Technological Change

I have seen a lot more changes in our industry recently, and one falls under the category of digital information technology. It seems that companies are relying more on the different websites available to get answers to some of their questions, and the reason seems to be that this is both fast and accurate (for the most part, anyway). But along this same line comes the technician’s need for some kind of technical support, which often occurs in the basement while working on some type of equipment.
With that in mind, I decided to do a little Sherlock Holmes work on my own to see what I might be missing in this area. So I took the time to ask a very good technician what he does when he comes across a technical service issue he is having trouble with.
I thought that he would tell me (as I did back in the day) that he would go to his van and refer to what I called my on-board trouble shooting library. From there, I would pull out the technical information that would lead me down the path to solving my problem. In fact I had two mounted literature racks and a small file box on board that I guarded like it was one of my most important possessions. I bet that many of you who read this article can relate to this method also.
However, the unexpected answer I got was, ‘I use my Smartphone ‘ I only have a few books.” He continued to explain that he is able to link up to almost any manufacturer’s literature for either technical or just general knowledge.
He was kind enough to satisfy my interest by reaching on his hip and pulling up his Smartphone and offered me a demonstration. He asked me to pick any product used in the oil business, so, of course, I named a particular oil burner. As I’m sure many of you advanced techies know, up came the brand installation instruction and technical specifications pertaining to this product and even part numbers.
So I then asked, ‘What about a heat loss?” This I thought would outsmart the Smartphone, but without hesitation he pulled up a heat loss program on this same phone, which, by the way, was located on a wholesaler’s website.
I then questioned him about how he receives his on-going trade education and where he goes for the training. I thought that he would name a supplier or a school, but I was wrong. He said that he used to attend training programs at the above locations, but now he finds the online webinar training programs great educational sources. He said they are easier for him to attend and more programs are being offered by many companies.
He also said that others in his company are attending these same programs and that management is very supportive. Recently, while attending meetings, I have noticed that many have even done away with laptops and moved into the iPad generation, due to the portability and access to wifi. I guess it’s time for me to move further into this new technology.

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