Do You Have an iPad Yet?

John G. Swanson
March 22, 2011
THE TALK... | Operations

With Apple introducing its second generation iPad to much fanfare a few weeks ago, it's hard to remember that it's been just over a year since the device was first launched. In some ways, it's the toy we all want to have, but it's also proving to be a very efficient, effective business tool.  And, personally, I think it's caught on in the window and door industry faster than any technology than I can remember. 

And it's not just the iPad, of course. It's an array of tablet devices that are coming into the market this year. Many industry people who have them are saying how great they are. That includes sales guys, technical types and CEOs. Those who don't have one say it's just a matter of time. So how long?  That's our poll question of the week.

And, as usual, I'd like to hear from you? How are you using your iPad, your Xoom, your PlayBook or your Galaxy Tab? Are you using one for lead management, sales presentations, quoting? Angy Birds? Netflix? What applications do you foresee for it? What impact do you see these devices having on your business?  Are you ready to scrap your laptop? Email me or post a comment below. 

Survey Results as of 3/29/2011


Do you use an iPad or some other tablet computer for work?

No, and I'm not sure when/if I will.




No, but I expect to by the end of 2011








No, but I expect to within 2-3 months




One in 10 of our respondents use an iPad or some other tablet for work already.  Close to 20 percent said they will have them soon. I don't know if that's impressive by tech industry standards...I imagine so.  It's definitely a pretty quick adoption rate for our industry.  I can't think of a technology so many window and door companies embraced within 18 months of launch.

Tim Musch of MarketSharp, which supplies sales and lead management software systems for home improvement dealers, reports that more than 80 percent of respondents in a recent customer survey conducted by his firm indicated interest in a tablet in-home sales presentation and estimating tool. Many see the benefits sited by Phil Rodriguez below.

Window and door industry software suppliers definitely see demand for tablets growing. Many Web-based applications, of course, can already be used on iPads, but more than one supplier reports they are planning to launch tablet- or iPad-specific applications at GlassBuild America this coming fall.  

Personally, I fall in the "I don't know" category.  I still have to convince the boss.


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Interesting interpretation of the results.  I wouldn't have viewed 71% feeling they may never use a tablet as being "embraced within 18 months of launch".  I guess I can see some application for the in-home salesperson, or field service tech, but I have yet to figure out why a laptop can't accomplish the same results.  I have nothing against tablets, I'm just still trying to understand the appeal.

I invested in my IPAD six months ago and it is a huge advantage during the sales calls (which is my primary usage). From project photos, to staff  bio's,, the opportunities are endless on how it can be utilized. The constant message it conveys to the propective client is that you are serious about your profession and willing to use the latest technology to show (not just tell) who you are and how you do what you do. There confidence level and trust is increased greatly when you can show step by step the processes of the  particular project your bidding on.  

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