BY NICOLE KRAWKE
Technology never ceases to amaze me. I still marvel how I can voice control all the lights in my home through my nifty Google Home devices, change the thermostat temperature with a tap of a button on my phone — and the latest, shut off my water at the main (also from my phone) thanks to my FloLogic leak detection system.
Technology is rapidly evolving. It’s not always easy to stay up-to-date. I find myself having to call my baby brother, a Ph.D student at the University of Michigan, for tech support on new apps and programs more and more often. Don’t worry, he’s paid for his time in free meals!
The plumbing industry is no different. Not only are there constant product updates and new product innovations PHVAC contractors must keep themselves and their employees current on, but they must also stay up-to-date on the technologies that help them run their businesses. It’s all too easy to get complacent and comfortable with the way you currently do things. I get it — we are all guilty of this sometimes. However, in doing so, you may be missing out on new, innovative ways to drive sales, production and profits. Ask yourselves, “What if there’s a better way?”
Take XOi Technologies, for example. Given the difficulties most contractors are having finding good, reliable technicians — not even taking into account how long it takes to train newbies enough to handle solo calls — XOi offers a complete solution for contractors by providing tools, resources and training for techs to ensure every job is done right the first time, regardless of skill set or level of experience.
The company recently announced a partnership with Nexstar Network, a business coaching and networking association for plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors. The partnership will enable Nexstar member employees to access XOi’s education and coaching as well as documents and technical manuals through the company’s Vision app.
“By marrying Nexstar’s proven training and growth programs with XOi’s patented technology, we will empower technicians with the tools, data and resources needed to solve the industry’s greatest challenge — the skilled trades gap.” – AARON SALOW
“At a time when data and insights are revolutionizing entire industries, XOi is focused on breaking down the barriers to communication and data collection that have plagued the field service industry for decades,” says Aaron Salow, XOi founder and CEO. “As we look for innovative ways to empower the next generation of service technicians, this strategic partnership offers a unique opportunity to couple XOi’s end-to-end engagement platform with Nexstar’s impressive suite of resources and tools. By marrying Nexstar’s proven training and growth programs with XOi’s patented technology, we will empower technicians with the tools, data and resources needed to solve the industry’s greatest challenge — the skilled trades gap.”
XOi’s technician-first application leverages AI, optical character recognition (OCR), data science and virtual intelligence technologies to allow field techs to safely capture crucial jobsite information, launch on-the-job remote support, access relevant equipment specifications and contextual data insights, and provide visual documentation to verify recommended and completed work. This type of support on a jobsite is extremely beneficial for any technician, not just the ones with less experience.
Now, is this a better way of running field calls? That’s for you to decide. Maybe it’s time for a review of your technology and how you operate your business.
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Nicole Krawcke is chief editor of Plumbing & Mechanical.