Technology even in the twilight years

This article warns that electricians and plumbers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to make their lives easier using technology, even if they don’t like it much.

The march of technology

If you look at the facts closely, it’s hard not to believe that smartphones will bring about big changes in society and the workplace. That might seem like a bold statement, but you can now put the equivalent of a supercomputer in your pocket. It is connected to all of the world’s knowledge, while always knowing your location.

Never too old to learn

You may be seasoned by years but technology can still be for you, whatever the young may say or think. It’s true that people under 30 find it very natural to use smartphones, but the truth is learning this skill actually takes less effort than passing your driving test.

Notwithstanding the fact that we’re never too old to learn, it is the case that many people have a method of working which once established makes them cautious about changing. This can be misunderstood as resistance to change when in fact it is more subtle. When you have a system that works, even if there is additional benefit from a new approach, that benefit will be less than for someone starting from scratch.

But there’s danger here. I clearly remember the things that my parents told me would never stand the test of time. On occasions they were right, but often they were wrong.

Being open minded

I personally love new technology. Whenever something fresh arrives, I want it. My much older business partner doesn’t think like that. His belief is “never be first and never be biggest”. His approach is to wait until other people have sorted out the problems.

There’s a balance to be struck between caution and enthusiastic adoption. Where would we be with no vans, mobile phones or thermostats. But these were all new at one time. People who are early in on the action should get a competitive advantage.

The mobile revolution

If you are an installer, you have to be mobile. It’s why the developments in smartphone technology are so significant for the industry. That’s even more true if you don’t have back office staff and have to do the paperwork yourself. Mobile technology can help you to do paperwork on the go and may be the one thing that could give you your evenings back.

Paper or keyboard

You don’t find many businesses today producing hand-written paperwork. Even in little restaurants you frequently see people carrying iPhones or iPads. The reason is because computers end up needing less effort to produce better results. Remember, small businesses adopt computers for hard business reasons. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be around long.

The thought of paperwork at the end of a day of hard installing is a nightmare. You’re always dealing with the urgent but a good move would be sort out an effective long term solution for your paperwork.

Change always makes sense when there is more to be gained than lost in making that change.

This is like buying good tools. The cost is expensive and training takes time. But that’s all made back with interest over the long run.

Next steps

Already knowing how to do things is a weakness as well as a strength. Every generation tends to think that it is wise and the next generation is stupid with their lack of experience and wide eyed innocence. In the business world, taking care before taking action is good. At the same time this risks missing opportunities. My honest belief is that technology in general and mobile smartphones in particular, can genuinely help installers to improve efficiency and take the headache out of paperwork.

I hope in all of this you can find some useful ideas and all of the best with your decisions.

Emma Dyer