Technology/Innovation


Software of the future

Monday, August 29, 2016

QFloors’ QPro POS+ utilizes a user-friendly interface.

Technology is evolving at a rapid speed and today there are a number of areas, be it cloud-based solutions or mobile capabilities, that are key for the floor covering industry to adopt.

“Currently, the trend for software outside the flooring industry is toward cloud-based solutions that are device independent, easily used on any computer, with the focus on mobile solutions,” reported Chad Ogden, CEO and president of QFloors. And flooring-specific software is likewise moving in that direction.

To truly make software web-based involves programming things in a new way, Ogden explained, “while still keeping our same user-friendly interface.”

Plus, this software adds a time-saving “kit feature” so that when users select pre-defined hard surface inventory items, it automatically includes all the necessary components like tile, underlayment, grout and trim.

The future of this industry is changing daily, noted Dev O’Reilly, founder, president and CEO of RollMaster Software. “The internet is the key and specialized networks, like the RollMaster cloud, are the future,” he said. “Flooring-specific software innovations will all be net-based and hosted in the ‘cloud.’ The cloud will enable a form of virtual reality by enabling consumers to conceptualize their selections and room changes before signing the contract.” 

Furthermore, flooring software will enhance dealer interaction with clients and installation contractors, working anywhere with an internet connection, which RollMaster offers now. However, O’Reilly believes, “The best cloud is managed by a vertical market software developer.”

Mobile capabilities are also essential today. “We are focusing a great deal of development time on mobile capabilities, where people can interact with clients on a smart phone or tablet from anywhere. The mobile apps that we have available and/or in development include sales and quoting apps, scheduling apps and lead follow-up and generation apps. Technology keeps changing and our 80 employees work hard every day to adapt RFMS and our work flow processes,” said Terry Wheat, president of RFMS.

Greg Grady, vice president, sales at Dancik International, said that technology in the flooring industry, in fact, has overtaken related industries. “You get past the tipping point and gains are almost exponential; efficiencies increase, lowering overall operating costs,” Grady explained. “Next-generation software like Dancik Navigator makes for greater transparency and fluid communication, while its single database platform for CRM and wireless warehouse management minimizes human error.”

Added Cathy Welsh, operations manager, CDMS, “There will be more use of mobile devices to keep people connected 24/7. People will be running their entire business in the cloud.”

Ariel Fu, product manager at Measure Square, pointed out, “It’s the responsibility of flooring software to ease the profession into its future.” The latest software features she considers essential (which Measure Square incorporates) include quotes on site, 3D visualization, going mobile, user/customer collaboration and partnership via an open API. 

Going forward, Fu continued, “If I were to add another feature, it would be integration with Virtual Reality (VR) technology. Users wearing VR goggles can ‘walk’ in the 3D floor plan.”

Integration of tools and technologies will be the next step, predicted Jay Flynn, vice president of sales and marketing for Creating Your Space. “Technology in the flooring industry will be focused on making the consumer experience better, faster and more visual,” he said.

Added John Weller Jr., vice president, FloorForce, “The traditional pathway of searching online and looking through simple product catalogs has become dated.” Therefore, FloorForce plans to unveil new marketing applications late this year.



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