Motorizing for Profit - The Craftsmen Have Left the Building

In the summer, I can't drive two blocks without seeing the activity of the construction industry. Road contractors, house builders and landscapers are everywhere.

From my less than scientific windshield study, it seems that to remain competitive and to attract willing employees in the contracting industry, every tool needs to be powered.

1. Powered nail guns for roof shingles.

2. Powered brooms on Bobcat loaders for sweeping.

3. Powered wheelbarrows and concrete pumping trucks.

4. Powered sander/vacuums for drywall finishing.

5. Powered post hole diggers.

Other trades have put motors to work in their businesses, too.

The lawn spray applicators use powered sprayers for operators who stand up and ride to apply chemicals.

Lawn mowing services have moved away from those large walk (or run) behind mowers and have upgraded to stand or sit behind and ride mowers.

People power wash, power rake and power grind their work. "Hand work" is considered a punishment by some employees.

In retailing, we see touch screens on cash register terminals adding speed to retail transactions. In our vehicles, motors change our stack of CD's, open the car windows and lock the doors.

I don't care to comment if the motorization trend is good or bad. My observation is that to keep employees, employers are putting motors on everything. Gone are the days of most hand labor in construction. Similarly, office staff demands the "motor" of a computer to sort and print, manufacturing industries use both motors and computers to create near perfect parts and keep close tolerances.

The entry-level work force has grown up in a remote control world. Use, abuse then it's refuse. They can't repair anything because the only age they know is the push button and throwaway era.

This week's burning business question: Is your business "motorized?" If not, the hand tools and methods you use are destined for the museum. If you don't figure out how to put a motor on your business's tools soon, your competitors will.

Doug Emerson trains consults and coaches business owners on how to make more profit in less time using 8 key strategies.

He writes a FREE electronic newsletter about the business of life called Getting to the Point.

Free subscription available at the homepage. http://www.douglasemerson.com

In The News:

Small Business Struggles  NBC4 Washington
Small business debt load tops $150000  CanadianManufacturing.com

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