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December 2007

For the Record

masonry MagazineKeeping up With Technology

My grandfather lives alone in a home on the banks of the Flint River in south Georgia. He has bird feeders, a small aluminum boat for fishing and a lot of time on his hands. Although he's one of the sweetest people I know, he can also be stubborn. Case in point: My family had to fight an all-out battle with him regarding the telephone. Since he is outdoors nearly all of the time, he was rarely answering the phone. A couple of years ago, my parents bought him a cordless phone (yes, they've been around since the 1980s, but you don't know my grandfather).

At first, the cordless phone served no purpose, because he wouldn't remove it from the receiver. But after a lot of convincing (read: nagging), he began to carry it around with him or, at least, have it outside within earshot. He's a little easier to reach now, but we are nowhere close to the possibility of him carrying a cell phone.

It just goes to show that technology really has to grow on some people. Then there's that segment of the population who can't get enough bells and whistles, blinking digital lights and wireless e-anything.

Depending on your business, the incorporation of software may stand less of a chance than a cell phone does with my grandfather. This is unfortunate, since the software industry has made so many strides for business owners in our industry. From estimating to regular old business management capabilities, the right software can be a huge money and time saver.

Then again, you might be a driver of the ship of the masonry industry, implementing great software products any way you can. Or, maybe, you're somewhere in the middle.

Like it or not, computer software, the Internet and eCommerce in general are a huge part of how we do business today. And yet, according to the latest Small Business Research Board (SBRB) study, small businesses in the construction and contracting industry lag behind all other industries in embracing the Internet.

The study, co-sponsored by Business Today magazine, disclosed that 57 percent of the small construction and contracting firms participating in the study do not have Web sites. The poll also indicated that the construction and contracting industry would continue to trail other industries, with fewer than 14 percent projecting sales resulting from their eCommerce efforts.

For an industry that is so important to the growth and future of the world on so many levels, it would seem we should be leaders in embracing technology when it can improve and streamline business.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Email me at jmorrell@lionhrtpub.com, or call 770-431-0867, ext. 255, with comments on what technology means to your company.



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