Right tool for the job

The glass industry is facing a new future, thanks in no small part to Covid-19. For businesses to maintain competitive advantages and thrive in this new landscape, glass software is a vital component. Dave Thom from Smart-Builder looks at the areas to consider when choosing software.

The glass industry is unique. Glass cannot be sold as merely a product code, and this makes it important to choose glass-specific tools.

Software, such as Smart-Toolbox, is built for glass shops and each implementation is carefully configured. It provides a single point of entry for design, sales and administration, making it a much cleaner choice than trying to force multiple programs to cooperate. The best software provides insight into business performance through advanced reporting. The use of margin analysis and supplier comparisons maximises profit and focuses on the jobs that impact the bottom line.

Smart-Builder extends this concept by providing glass specific designers that automatically perform deductions and add cutouts based on the opening/void sizes entered and the specific hardware used. This results in detailed 3D drawings and accurate cutting instructions for balustrades, showers, splashbacks, shopfronts, mirrors and cut glass.

A huge benefit for Smart-Toolbox over the last few months has been the ability to maintain uninterrupted access. This has meant the difference between some shops having to shut down entirely and others continuing to operate without having everyone in the office.

Brad England from GGP Glass in Kidderminster said: “It has allowed key staff to continue working from home. There were absolutely no issues at all.”

Staying on top of enquiries has helped glaziers be as productive as possible while minimising risks. It is not just doing more quotes either but doing better quotes.

To get ahead of the competition, giving an accurately priced, professional-looking quote in the shortest possible time is a must. Even when there is a low chance of converting, it still should be done. Worse is when quoting eats into the weekend or takes time from other parts of the business. Good software can help win that time back.

A core strength of Smart-Toolbox is to allow any team member to quote confidently and quickly. It helps make the most of valuable leads, winning more jobs and making more money. Customers are impressed with professional quotes, including 3D images, that are received immediately or even quoted on site.

“Being able to provide a detailed quotation with a 3D image has both improved conversion and delighted our clients,” Tom King of Majestic Showers said.

There are customers wanting to see a showroom, which can be difficult at present. Software provides an alternative by delivering a bespoke 3D picture to their inbox.

“When the high streets close you need to bring your business online,” Tracy Saunders of Go Glass said. “Smart-Builder’s online designers, with their bespoke quotes, enabled us to do this.”

Developing online sales tools is often on the wish list but can quickly fall into the ‘too hard’ basket. Smart-Web is an example of a powerful quoting tool that can be added directly to any website.

The use of software will always improve a business. There will always be reasons to put off process change. However, with the changed landscape this is more important than ever. Improved workflows for design, invoicing, scheduling and reporting will make life much easier. Now is the time for glass software.