When you think of high-tech, you probably aren’t thinking of plumbers and woodworkers. Instead, images of Silicon Valley, endless server stacks and reels of fiber optic cable probably come into mind.
The tech revolution has been roaring for a few decades, and finally, low-tech industries are being impacted in a positive way. Cloud-based platforms that provide real-time communication and collaboration allow tradesmen to work more efficiently. And mobile time-tracking allows for skilled individuals to spend less time filling out timesheets, and more time generating profits for their company.
Electricians gained access to new, specialized technology in 2017.
The way that tradesmen work is changing. Increasingly, freelancers are accepting projects through bidding sites. And they use the extra-income to build out their own side-businesses. This is one of the reasons that the economy has come roaring back – more access to flexible work that is empowering a new wave of entrepreneurs.
This wouldn’t be possible without specialized platforms that cater to different types of skilled workers. For example, these apps for electricians allow virtually anyone to operate their business in the cloud. From generating professional bids, to sending invoices and managing time spent on each job, these tools significantly reduce the backoffice headache.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a more secure solution for small businesses and individual tradesmen.
The cyber threats that small businesses face are many. From phishing attacks to SQL injection, it’s almost impossible to blindly trust technology. Cyber vigilance is one answer to the problem, but most non-tech companies lack internal resources for defending against cyber threats on their own.
Everyday there’s a new story of a breach or hacking that results in the leaking of customer records and huge financial loss. Software as a Service provides a solution to this. SaaS providers are dedicated firms that create and maintain cloud-based platforms for small companies. This allows non-tech companies to leverage the expertise and resources of a tech-savvy firm, without having to build out their own servers and hire expensive IT experts.
SaaS software is more secure than standalone offerings because it includes relevant security patches and ongoing updates. This not only improves security, but results in a far superior user experience – allowing new devices and technology to be supported with automated updates.
Fleet Tracking, Improved Workflows and Faster Turnaround Time
There’s a ton of stuff to be excited about in the trade tech world. For example, fleet management has never been easier. From an iPad, managers can see where their team’s vehicles are currently located – including information like speed and driving characteristics to ensure safe operation of company vehicles.
Dispatch can pick-up an iPad and relay information to a highly mobile workforce, based on their proximity to clients and trouble tickets. What used to require countless phone calls and radio transmissions is now completed with a few taps.
For plumbers, advanced video inspection systems allow for a quick peek behind walls and other barriers to identify problems. Instead of ripping out drywall, a small hole can be drilled and a camera can be snaked into tight spaces. Plus, for the nastier jobs they work on, minimizing human contact with waste during a diagnosis is always a win.
New tech is empowering a shift to skilled freelancing.
The connected workforce is growing. More than 57 million people in the U.S. work in some sort of freelance capacity. It’s projected that the freelance workforce will represent more than half of our total labor market by 2027.
The introduction of specialized technology is supporting this shift. But the thing that is helping it to boom is the plunging cost of acquiring, maintaining and upgrading the technology that skilled freelancers rely on. As the barrier to entry is weakened by lower startup costs, we can expect to see more and more individuals enter the trade workforce in some capacity.
It’s more important now than ever before that tradespeople get familiar with technology. The ability to quickly respond to client requests, submit competent bids and complete work efficiently will decide who wins and loses in this new economy.