Stone Column: Embracing technology
From time to time, I write about the significant benefits that advances in technology afford us – particularly when it comes to stone fabrication. With manufacturers continually investing in research and development to improve upon machinery, as well as tooling and accessories, stone production has become faster and more efficient. There have also been huge strides in the manufacturing of alternative stone products such as Dekton, Lapitec and Neolith. Producers of these materials are even working with manufacturers to assist in developing tooling that is designed to make cutting these materials easier. You can learn more about that by reading the articles beginning on pages 48 and 52 of this issue.
And while the importance of technology has become increasingly at the forefront in recent years, it has become a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you haven’t embraced it yet, now is definitely the time.
During this difficult period, I rely on the internet more than ever. While I already was a pretty big supporter of Amazon and online purchases in general, I am now ordering what I can from websites so that I don’t have to go out to a store. I have also been participating in GoToMeetings, GoToWebinars, Zoom conference calls and even virtual Happy Hours. And then there are the numerous apps on our phone and tablets that simplify our lives, such as banking ones that let me deposit checks from home or transfer money, and I have now finally set-up a Venmo account which makes ordering take-in to support our local restaurants easy.
Social media is also being used more than ever. With the Stay-at-Home movement that has been put in place by our local governments, being able to connect with family, friends, acquaintances or business associates through platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter helps us maintain communication and take away some of the feeling of isolation.
Looking at the current situation, there doesn’t feel like there is an end in sight to the worldwide pandemic. But we all know at some point there will be, and we will be able to resume our lives. But what will be the new normal? My guess is that many of us will still turn to online services and virtual meetings more. Maybe a little out of some remaining concern, but also because we realize they provide a modern convenience.
With all this said, the use and need for technology is only going to continue to gain momentum. I just listened to one of the Coverings Connected webinars which was entitled “Growing Countertop Sales During COVID-19.” The panel of industry leaders discussed ways for fabricators to handle the affects from the pandemic and how to prepare for the future. The underlying message was to utilize technology through updated websites offering online services to customers and reaching local markets through social media.
Here at Stone World, we are embracing the information age as well. We know that many of you might not be in the office to get your mail, or you just might prefer a digital edition, so if you don’t receive our digital edition yet, go to www.stoneworld.com to sign-up. In the coming months, look for more Stone World web exclusive features, podcasts, videos and webinars. We will strive to cover topics that can most benefit our readers. In the meantime, I hope everyone continues to stay healthy and safe.