Whilst we live in an age where businesses today include drone pilots, phone app developers and VR rental services – there are trades businesses which have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. These businesses operate in very similar ways as they did in the past, however now with technology have been able to modernise and offer faster and better improved services. Let’s take a look at some industries where this is the case:
It goes without saying – but plumbers have been around as long as there has been running water. It may surprise some, but some cities have had running water since Roman times, which in turn has meant plumbing technicians have existed to setup and maintain these systems. Not only were these systems used to bring fresh drinkable water to the large cities, but also waste removal and heating. Plumbing initially was rudimentary, with plumbers using clay and brick water systems, along with large stone water ducts to bring water from higher elevations to the city. 2200 years ago however, lead pipes became popular and water was able to be brought in more efficiently – which allowed Rome to rapidly expand in size. All works in this time was done by hand tools – so lead was favoured due to its easy to bend and form properties. Lead unfortunately also has properties which make it less than desirable for health purposes. Today we’ve progressed from lead, to copper and now plastics in many cases which represent a more cost effective and reliable building material to avoid leaks from breakages and deterioration in pipework. Tools instead of by hand now are larger viable power tools, hydrojets and camera systems to look deep into pipework to identify issues – saving significant cost in identifying and resolving problems. Adelaide Plumber uses a combination of water pulse jet and mobile camera systems to provide advanced fault finding and resolution solutions to help our customers save costs and have their water systems working sooner.
Chimney sweeps as a professional have said to arisen in the industrial revolution, when the increasing number of chimneys in houses meant there was an increased demand for an expert who could quickly and efficiently clear and clean chimney stacks. This profession initially was heavily labour intensive, requiring the cleaner to climb into the flue and brush the walls by hand and remove any blockages. Because of the narrow nature of most flues of the time, young boys were often used as they could squeeze into the small spaces and were willing to work for low wages. The occupation was extremely dirty and involved being covered and breathing in significant amounts of smoke and ash – leading to extreme rates of carcinoma amongst workers. This lead to the point of legislation being made in the late 1800’s to restrict children being used as labour in these environments.
Today because of occupational health and safety – rapid improvements have been made. Chimney “snakes” attached to pneumatic machines are used to quickly and effectively clear chimney walls, and vacuum systems pick up all ash before it enters into the living space. New drone technology is allowing professionals to access tight spaces without physically accessing the flue and current developments are looking to have complete drone solutions to clean the stack remotely. Some brands have actively worked to retain their old time charm by having their uniforms representing the previous industrial era styling.
In comparison to the above professions – mortgage brokers appear to be completely modern from the outset– however this isn’t completely the case. Mortgage broking as a profession emerged in the 1980’s, at a time where working digitally only went so far as using a hand held calculator. Applications for mortgages were completed in paper format, with documentation posted or at best faxed to the lender of choice. With developments in technology today however, we’ve seen an evolution in the industry where applications are completed via web applications, verified assessed by AI computer assessors, documentation delivered via email and signed digitally. Andrew Monk from WealthFin has noted that mortgage broking has become so efficient through technology, they are now competing against fully digital DIY broking website solutions which remove the broker from the process.
So as we can see almost every industry is being touched by the changing economy and technology – but so long as you’re an efficient, forward thinking business you can help your business grow. Some business mentors and coaches are actively engaging with their clients to get them ahead of their competitors in the uptake of systems and processes which use automation, AI and technology so they can remain relevant, and not left behind.