Written By:
XOi Technologies

How Wearable Technology is Helping Bridge the Skilled Trades Gap

Technology is a way to bridge the generational gap in skilled knowledge while expanding the capabilities of your people.


As a generation of Baby Boomers reach retirement age, leaders across the country are facing a very serious shortage of skilled trade workers to fill their spots. According to the US Department of Labor, there were 800,000 unfilled skilled trades jobs last year — a number that is predicted to rise to 31 million by 2020.


In the face of a growing skilled trades gap, field service companies have to answer the question: how do we grow? The answer lies in leveraging technology solutions to expand your core competencies and maximize your competitive advantage. At XOEye, we see technology as a way to bridge the generational gap in skilled knowledge while expanding the capabilities that already make you successful: your people.


Here are a few ways we help companies grow despite the technician shortage.


1. Create Training content before skilled techs retire

As a real-life example of the growing skilled trades gap, let’s look at two of our existing customers. One of them employs just 15 techs and, in the last 24-months, 250+ years worth of experience has retired. The other has 150 technicians, 50 of which are currently over the age of 55 — that means one-third of their entire workforce is about to retire. For both companies, documenting the expertise of those who are leaving, along with quickly hiring and training new technicians, is mission critical.


Because XOEye gives technicians the ability to record their on-site troubleshooting so that less experienced technicians can review it later, you can build a reserve of training materials while simultaneously solving customer problems. Technicians they can seamlessly record what they’re doing for future reference. By building a library of resources for new technicians, you can help cushion the impact of losing many go your most experienced technicians.


2. Provide real-time advice to technicians in the field

As experienced technicians reach an age where the physical demands of the job are no longer viable, they can use XOEye’s system to share their expertise with younger technicians from a desk at headquarters. Instead of having experienced tech accompany less-experienced technicians onto job site, XOEye’s wearable technology solutions allow experts to virtually monitor and advise on service calls remotely.


In fact, three of our customers have created virtual service centers where experts have made their way out of the field and spend their time mentoring others, which means that their careers have a longer lifespan and that the company isn’t letting experience walk out the door. In doing so, XOEye also gives less-experienced technicians a way to get the help they need and provides the customer with expert service — no matter who’s on site.


3. Build customer trust with detailed recap videos 

People inherently distrust technical tradespeople, largely due to the fact that most of their work happens in hard-to-reach places, like in basements or on rooftops, where customers can’t easily go. This becomes especially pressing when the techs who customers have known for 30 years are about to retire and be replaced by someone they’ve never met before.


You’re proud of your people: they are technically strong, transparent and trustworthy — and you want a way to share that with the customer. That’s where the recap video content comes in. You can use the recap video to can show customers the work that was done and share any recommendations for preventative maintenance. By bringing visibility to the solution with XOEye systems, you are able to gain customer trust, increase profitability and demonstrate value in a tangible way.


No matter how big a problem it solves, technology brings with it a certain amount of trepidation. Leaders want to know if it will fit within their current workflow, about the ease of implementation, and how readily their team will adopt the solution. We can ensure seamless integration with existing systems that your employees are already familiar with — so you can start seeing results right away.


What's Next?

Leveraging wearable technology has been revolutionary for field service companies that are committed to growth despite facing a retiring workforce and growing skilled trades gap. Customers across the country have discovered how to use technology to empower growth and improve customer relations despite the technician shortage. 



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