With one fifth of tradespeople admitting that their working practices are outdated, Mhairi McDougall, country manager UK and Ireland at roof window manufacturer Dakea, explores the modern technology that’s changing the way tradespeople work.
It feels like every day there’s a new website, app or piece of technology that’s promising to change the way we live and work forever. While this might be a slight exaggeration, there are definitely a lot of technological innovations out there which were unthinkable only a few years ago.
It’s important for the trade industry to stay abreast of these advances, especially as in a recent survey we conducted it was revealed that 1/5 of tradespeople are concerned that the way they are currently working is outdated and 10% admitted that they barely use any technology during their daily work. 25% of the 500 roofers, installers and local contractors we questioned said that they believe the entire trade industry needs to be better at adopting tech in the workplace and a further 1/5 acknowledged that they don’t use technology effectively.
With the current pressures on the construction industry forcing trade professionals to work in new and innovative ways, it’s imperative that everyone has the skills required to work faster, quicker, better and safer. To make sure that tradespeople can get to grips with the technology they need to know, we’ve created a selection of guides that includes advice on key websites, apps, tools and tech.
With social distancing still encouraging us to avoid face to face contact, video call technology has never been more in demand. Using video calls will also help you to save time when talking to customers, as you no longer need to call round to show them samples or see parts of the project.
Using a drone is a great way to get an idea of the state of a roof without having to spend time and money putting up scaffolding. With the right drone and software, it’s even possible to get some extremely accurate measurements and data such as square footage, roof features, pitch, surface area and slope. Drones can also help with health and safety issues, as using the drone to carry out survey work avoids having team members working at heights.
Finance apps mean you can record expenses on the move and complete all finance processes from the comfort of your van. As well as saving time, moving to an automated digital process could save you money, as updating receipts in real time will ensure no records are lost. If this sounds intriguing there’s quite a few options out there to try, check out Xero, Sage or Kashflow to get started.
Online lead generation
Online platforms provide multiple opportunities for tradespeople to get their name out there. Once a little time has been spent building up an online presence, this can become a great way to funnel new business opportunities to your inbox with only minimal time investment. A couple of places to make sure you appear in online searches include social media websites and online directories. Make sure that your presence appears professional and encourage customers to leave as many reviews as possible on your profiles.
It’s never been easier to learn a new skill thanks to online training. YouTube, for example, holds a wealth of instructional videos and many manufacturers have uploaded helpful guides on how to install their products. If you’d prefer a more formal education, check out online compliance and training platforms like Citation or Able Skills. These allow you to sign up to comprehensive online courses and earn certificates to prove you’ve completed the training.
We hope that you’ve found the advice in this article useful and that it’s encouraged you to embrace a new type of technology as part of your daily work. Just remember that it’s never too late to embrace new tech and sometimes you don’t know how much it’ll help until you’ve given it a go. If you’d like more advice on any of the above or on similar ideas for getting stuck into new technology for tradespeople, visit www.tradematters.co.uk/technology to download our free guides.