2021 is a year for change, modernization, and new ideas. The industry is growing beyond technology advancements and education is an important step in updating the conditions and experiences for both workers and customers. Find out some of our industry predictions for 2021 and the future.
- Educating customers
Maintenance workers and plumbers are an important part in educating others about environmentally conscious changes that can be made. It’s increasingly important to educate men and women about the how greywater systems and other water conservation methods can reduce waste, benefit the environment, and save money.
Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact water consumption has on climate change. However, some customers may not be sure how to decrease their personal water consumption. This is a great opportunity to share industry knowledge and improve the environment at the same time.
- Plumbing industry expanding to HVAC units, water treatment systems, conservation, sprinkler systems, waste management
Maintenance workers are largely becoming a one-stop shop for facility management. While it use to be divided by specialty, such as different workers for plumbing, water treatment, HVAC, and electricity, it is increasingly common for one worker to take on all of these roles.
In addition to smart fixtures, smart pipes will soon be readily available. These smart pipes can detect leaks and problems before they become a major issue.
The average age of pipes in the United States is 47 years old, with some pipes in New York and Philadelphia almost 100 years old. Aging pipes can be a cause for concern and it is usually best to replace or repair them before major issues can arise. Customers may not know the current age of their pipes; encouraging customers to replace their current pipes with smart pipes can be helpful now and in the future. Smart pipes can detect leaks and can end an alert before much damage can occur.
- Need for online reviews and reputation management
Online reputation is more important than ever and will continue to be. It’s also important to respond to any negative feedback. Customer reviews are one of the biggest factors that influence reputation. Having happy customers leave reviews including positive experiences can help persuade potential customers to trust your business. On the other hand, it is just as important to respond to any negative reviews. Showing how you respond to a negative review or negative experience can help you and your business grow. Reputation management is key to increasing positive customer experiences and growing your business.
- Online payment options
Being able to pay online instead of only via check can open up more possibilities for customers. It is increasingly uncommon for consumers to carry and use cash, instead preferring to use a credit/debit card or electronic transfer, such as Venmo. Limiting payment options to cash or check can close off multiple generations. According to CNBC, more than 1in 10 millennials use their digital wallet for every purchase. About 34% of adults under 50 make no purchases in a typical week using cash. This is in addition to decline of check usage. 42% of millennials still write checks, especially for bills and services.
- Labor shortages leading to apprenticeships
Recent labor shortages have spiked due to multiple factors, including older workers retiring, lack of industry knowledge, a lack of school programs, and an increased stigma around trade positions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 14% increase, about 70,000 new job openings, in plumbing by 2028. In order to get started in the industry, apprenticeships are a great ay to gain experience and knowledge while gaining on-the-job training.
- Women breaking down industry barriers
More women are becoming involved in trade positions, plumbing and maintenance included. The traditionally male-dominated industry is evolving. While it can still be more difficult for women to break into the plumbing industry, the number of women becoming industry in trade positions have increases and will continue to grow.
As the plumbing industry grows and expands, technology advancements will influence these changes. Best Plumbing Specialties works to bring you the latest and greatest in products, technology, and tips to keep you at the top of your game.