On the app track

Mobile apps continue to improve professional productivity

It was 5 a.m. on a warm June day in 1984 when Charlie Hansen, a young foreman at Vinny's Roofing, Skokie, Ill., was arriving at a job site to start a day's work of replacing the roof system on a new furniture store in a strip mall. The local weatherman said there was a 30 percent chance of rain that day.

With deadlines approaching, Charlie decided to "open" the roof—a decision he never would forget more than 30 years later. At 10 a.m., that 30 percent chance of rain became 100 percent. The amount of water that entered the building ended up costing Vinny's Roofing more than $50,000 in damages, and delaying the grand opening of the store created an exceptionally unhappy customer.

In 1984, roofing contractors listened to weather reports on the television or radio, called weather services and/or relied on their office staffs to warn of impending weather situations. As a result of advances in technology, present-day workforces have new ways of monitoring weather and other safety issues.

What's an app?