Technology is moving at an incredible pace compared to 30 to 40 years ago. I’m aging myself here, but I remember the first computer we got was an IBM 286 that we had to insert floppy discs and it had 640K of DOS memory. A couple of years later we purchased a 386 for around $3,500, I remember my brother-in-law telling me that I would never run out of memory with that computer. Oh, how times have changed.

There are memories of cruising down the highway listening to my 8-track playing some good ole rock and roll, and being able to select from eight different tracks that I could listen to. 

I also remember when we got our first fax machine, we had to run down to the warehouse to see if the fax went through and to see the actual copy. Back then, it was thermal paper, so if you left it in sunlight, the paper would turn black. Yeah, found that out when placed on a dashboard of my car.

I thought I was hot stuff when I got a digital pager and then the next year or so got a voice pager. Now the voice pager allowed the caller to leave about a 10 second voice message, but we still had to get to a pay phone to make our call. Moving forward, my first “brick” phone. Back then you were either a doctor or “someone” when you had a mobile phone, then they introduced what we referred to as a brick phone. We still had to be careful with our minutes or else we would have one heck of a bill at the end of the month. Fast forward again and we’ve got access to cell phones that are mini computers. Yes, I got converted to an  Apple Mac, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max with 256 gb, ram 4gb, which is light-years of where I started with a phone and computer. Even the cameras on cell phones are advanced to the point that I use mine to take pictures on my inspections.

Cell phones have made so many things accessible to us and one of the most useful is the ability to download apps. From games to business links, the world is literally at your fingertips.

Whether you’re a retailer or installer, manufacturers have apps that can assist you in sales and when you’re on a jobsite and need manufacturer information/ guidelines. And yes, now there’s even an app that can be used to connect a retailer and installer to work together. 

While I was at TISE in January, I met with Jason Goldberg, CEO of America’s Floor Source. He and his team have developed a program called TraLaMa, which is a trade labor marketplace for the flooring industry. You can download the app from your app store. If you’re a retailer looking for an Installer to do an installation for you, you can post your job. If you’re an installer, you can respond if you’re interested. There is a small fee for the retailer who posts a job but there is no fee for the installer to contact or agree to the installation. If you’re an installer looking for work, you can also list with a small fee. For more information on this, you can log onto tralama.com, and yes, there’s an app for that!