July30

Innovation & Invention

By Tony Shepley

If this has seemed like the longest 4 months of your adult life, from April through July, you are not alone. The daily ups and downs of pandemic statistics and news, along with the desire to return to a life like the one we had before March of this year, has been a true test of everyone’s character. If you think about similar times in world history where many things have been out of our control, you picture images of war and of financial disruption. These are times when it is so easy for individuals to feel helpless and fall victim to a type of herd mentality that can make them feel pushed along by the flow of events with little influence to the outcome. While most of human history has been paved with roads of pandemic misfortunes, we, growing up in the 20th and 21st century, have been remarkably fortunate in the areas of disease and pestilence, compared to previous eras. The last few generations have lived longer than our predecessors, and have had much less widespread epidemic or pandemic diseases, thanks to the miracles of modern science and medicine.

So let’s say that we have been relatively fortunate in most of our lives lately: no world wars (just smaller ones), no Great Depressions (just great recessions), and no Black Plagues (but we have pandemics). Here is the punch line to the human experience. Never is there more innovation, more creativity, and more gain than after an extremely challenging time in a nation’s experience. The Greatest Generation pulled this country out the Great Depression with the mobilization of industry for World War 2. They also pulled off one of the most impressive transformations in history; taking us from an isolationist nation to a world leading super power and paving the way for the post-war technology boom that has continued up to the present day. Out of challenging times come innovation and invention.

The COVID-19 pandemic is by no means over. As much as we would like it in all of our rear view mirrors, we are still in the middle of it. In the spirit of “Let no crisis go to waste”, we have been working hard at Shepley on new initiatives that will drive our business forward.

ShepPay is a software platform that will facilitate online payment by secure ACH or credit card for our charge customers. Bookkeepers and A/P teams will really like the ease with which they may see invoices, select them for payment, and execute that payment online. We are testing and tweaking the platform and expect it will be available this Fall.

ShepTracker is a mobile app that you and your field crews can use to track deliveries and arrival times to the jobsite. We will reduce head scratching & wondering and replace them with the ability to actually see the delivery coming to your jobsite. We are on track to roll it out this Fall and very excited to share the app with you.

We are also working to streamline our estimating process with an internal program that gives us better control from plan submission to final quote by centralizing plans, specifications, notes, and revisions in one spot and sharing it with your entire Shepley Team, from Estimators to Specialists. It allows us to collaborate on work more quickly and ensure that we give you complete, accurate, and timely estimates to bid your jobs and control your costs.

We will continue to keep you updated as we get closer to launching ShepPay and ShepTracker. Be sure to check our website for the latest updates.

I am very proud to work with a team of motivated professionals at Shepley, who have worked hard to make the very best of the difficulties presented by the pandemic. I admire the way everyone here has pushed through fear and uncertainty, that they have shown up every day, no matter what, and kept us open for business so that you, our customers, have been able to work. Everyone has had to work outside of our comfort zones, and we have not only done it but learned from it. This too shall all pass, but until it does, stay safe, stay positive, and stay healthy by your diligence with safety and hygiene protocols.

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