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Today’s plumber has many new tools available to him thanks to technological advances in our industry. We have gadgets and gizmos that would have truly amazed our predecessors.

Fiber optic cameras for pipe inspections.
Electronic sending units for pipe tracing.
Pipe joining techniques that require highly specialized equipment.
Hydro Jetting equipment for drain cleaning.
Pipe boring and directional drilling that prevents the need to excavate in some cases.ID-100145342
Electronic leak detection.

These are just a few of the “field” advances.
Some of the operational ones are just as sophisticated.

GPS tracked fleets of vehicles.
Smartphones with credit card processing capabilities.
iPads with invoicing capabilities that allow us to be “paperless”.
Computer programs that help with route and fuel efficiency.

In a world that demands much and forgives little, it is the company who lags behind in these areas who will soon find themselves obsolete. These advances have tremendously benefited all parties involved. I can remember hearing stories from “older” plumbers who may have had to “dig for days” to find a leak. This was costly to the homeowner, as well as invasive, and physically demanding on the plumber.

While these new methods and tools can make life easier, and more efficient, they can also make things very complicated when they don’t perform as designed. I have seen a few plumbers that were unsure of how to handle a job when the equipment did not work properly. As advanced as we become it remains critical to train for situations where we cannot rely on the tools to make every job easy. We also must take care to have the human contact with our customers. In this fast-paced environment sending a text or email may make things go faster but they certainly don’t always build value with our customers. I am all for the technology as long as we can mix it with the outstanding value that our customers have come to expect, and, certainly deserve. I am excited to see the rapid advances that continue to make our job easier but I remain confident that the plumbing profession will always be an industry where the best companies are the ones who can harness it along with the “human” touch.

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