Well the peak has come and gone and it appears that life is slowly getting back to normal, from shops reopening to days out at the zoo, we are all slowly getting used to the new normal. Here we talk about how the plumbing and heating industry has changed following COVID-19 and how we have adapted.
The last few months has been hard for all of us and the full effects of this will not be known for a few more months, but may I take this time to wish everyone the very best of luck over the next few months and we hope you all stay safe.
How has the plumbing and Heating industry changed?
One of the main issues is that as tradesmen we work within peoples homes, these are their safe zones which over the last few months has been a safe haven to protect them and keep them safe from danger. As tradesmen we should all take this into consideration and use the highest amount of protection to reduce the risk and keep our customers safe. Here at J & S Plumbing and Heating we check our employees temperature every day to ensure they dont have a high temperature (fever), we use gloves and masks to prevent the spread and we also wipe down surfaces that we have touched. This is in addition to the usual Protection of property procedures, including removal of shoes/ using dustsheets where required.
What procedures have changed in the plumbing and Heating Industry?
One of the Biggest changes we have seen is that everyone is using technology a lot more, from emailing to taking pictures and whatsapping them across to us directly, Lockdown has really increased the amount of people and the understanding of using technology. As a business we strive to be at the front line of technology and it is great to be able to use these skills in our business to not only help our customers but also to reduce the risk of contact and provide quotes without even entering the property. Of course we still need to visit some properties but generally feel that technology has advanced a long way in the last few months in a way that would have taken years under normal circustances.
What we did during the lockdown.
First of all, we spent a lot of time doing DIY and gardening and even managed to get some free online training, however after a couple weeks, the DIY run dry and so we started to consider some great changes to our business, with the introduction of the business bounceback loan, this made these changes a lot easier to make and we went fully at the new changes and hopefully this will be a great advantage to our business. One of the biggest changes was that we took on another engineer so that I can concentrate on helping people in emergencies. Liam was interviewed over the phone and we were extremely impressed with his attitude along with his 12 years of experience and I instantly offered him the job. Liam started on the fifteenth of June and we hope he will be ready to go alone after a few weeks of training in our systems and expectations.
What else has changed?
Some of the other great changes include the new online boiler installation quote system, which allows our customers to give some minor details and get a rough estimate of the cost of their new boiler without us ever stepping into their property, this helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus as well as giving our customers a clear and conscise guide to prices before we start.
The Local community and economy
We are all feeling the pinch at the moment with the reduction incomes and the unfortunate loss of jobs that have occured. The real effects of the economy downturn may not be known for several months/ years. However we feel strongly about helping our local community and we have also used the bounceback loan to purchase new signs to place around Lincoln, produced by a local sign maker. Our new van which will also be sign written was also purchased from a small family run local Forecourt and we have also had leaflets printed and delivered by a local company. Now is the time to invest in the future of our local business and help each other grow rather then sit back and wait to see what may or may not happen.
What does the future of Plumbing and Heating look like?
As with all tradesmen, we need to work in peoples homes. As people become more aware of the home being their safe haven, we will no doubt be less busy. Along with the reduction in peoples incomes, we will all see an instant downturn in business. Fortunately the Plumbing and Heating business is very stable and there will always be a need for Plumbing and Heating reapirs but with a lot of technology designed to remotely pass information to engineers without them even entering homes, the big question for us is wether the lockdown will speed up the self diagnosiing boilers so engineers will know exactly what is wrong before they even arrive at the property.
What did we learn from our lockdown training?
As part of our training we realised that we couldnt do everything ourselves and so we have teamed up with a lot of local tradesmen to produce a high standard job from now on. Our new additions include an electrician to ensure the work is installed correctly and the whole house is safe rather then just the boiler installation. Joe from JMF electrical has done several jobs for us now and his work is amazing and makes a real difference. We also have a roofer/ brick layer to brick up or install new flues so the work is brilliantly selaed and looks perfect too. Finally with the addition of a plasterer, we now feel our team is completely set up for the majority of scenarios, it has definetly been an eye opener to see the difference it makes by using trained proffesionals in each section of our business.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and if you have found it useful or interesting then please can you share it on your social media to help others.
Thank you and please stay safe