The times they are a’ changing

By May 4, 2015 News No Comments
goCabinets Times are Changing

The last 30 years has seen massive advancement in technology compared to the previous 150 years. Personal computers have become a huge part of how we navigate life everyday. You may question this but if you own a smartphone then without even realising it you are carrying a personal computer. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 the world as we knew changed forever.

So how quickly is technology advancing? Consider these facts:

  • The internet did not exist 25 years ago.
  • Google did not exist 11 years ago.
  • The smartphone, the tablet did not exist 9 years ago.

There is no job which has remained unaffected by information and communication technology (ICT). Technologies have a profound influence on society and society has a huge impact on industry. Society creates the demand for new inventions as entrepreneurs see the possibilities and create devices or programs (Apps) which meet the demand. Quite often society does not even know it needs something until it experiences it, then they can’t live without it. Since 2000 in the area of communication technologies, these have been the most dramatic changes which have effected every Australian life:

  • Digitalisation – analogue forms of the media have been digitalised (Phones and TVs).
  • Less hardware – more software: hardware is being replaced by software. (Cloud Software, Apps on Smartphones).
  • Higher Bandwidth (Faster Internet) – 14.72 million Australians had access to the internet in their home in June 2014.
  • Internet Usage – 77 per cent of online Australians banked or paid a bill online and 69 per cent used social networking.

Australia has shown to have a huge appetite for the internet. ‘Consumers are doing more over the internet, using more devices and accessing more online services,’ said ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman. ‘Growth in these areas is posing both opportunities and challenges for traditional industry revenue streams.’ One of these traditional industries is the fixed landline telephone, this it would seem is heading the same direction as the Dodo bird. Fixed lined connections are on the decline, 51% the 25 to 34 year old age category are now mobile only, they do not have a fixed lined phone.

So what drives invention and innovation? Is it convenience? Is it the challenge of finding a better way? If you look at most inventions from as far back into the history of time they were based on making something, better, quicker, smarter, easier. No invention ever intentionally tried to make the process more difficult.

Some may argue that technology advancement has not always been a great idea for business, think of the horse and cart industry when the car industry took off. Not too many people who could afford a car were striving to purchase the latest cart. So as one industry starts its demise another starts to boom. There are many examples of once thriving companies who were brought undone by technology. Think polaroid, liquid paper, kodak 35mm photography film, tape deck, vinyl records and of course the analogue phone and TV.

The Digital Age

The digital age is well and truly upon us and you should ignore it at your own peril. Computers have contributed to the downfall of many traditional industries, but they have also been attributed to creating more jobs and new industries in the last 100 years than any other.

So why are computers feared by such a large contingent of the work force? Why are so many industries scared of technology? Computers have certainly in the past been used to replace a task once performed by a human, but computers are tools and really are assistants to humans rather than replacing humans.

Looking at professions such as cabinet makers and builders it is interesting to observe the divide between businesses which embrace technology against those who have clung to the status quo. For starters cabinet makers and builders who have invested time in AutoCad and 3D render programs such as KD Max have the ability to use software which makes not only designing but also the selling of their ideas to potential clients so much easier. Lets face it, most people can’t visualise so if you can show them what their house or kitchen design will look like before it is actually built it takes the guess work, assumptions and a multitude of problems out of the equation.

For businesses that are not afraid of computers and software the decision is easy, but what comes of the businesses who avoid computers and long for the past when everything was so much simpler, (that’s a discussion for another day). Well if history is anything to learn from, which it is, they will struggle to compete with their more savy and technologically advanced competitors. There will always be a place for traditional cabinet making and building skills, but the market is shrinking and the demand is falling.

As younger cabinet makers and builders decide to start their own businesses they will not suffer from computer phobia, they will see computers and software as an integral part of the business and essential to their success. It also must be noted that computers have never been and never will be a substitute for great customer service.

Software such as goCabinets, a cloud based online ordering and quoting system is allowing young cabinet makers to start their business on a shoe string budget without sacrificing quality. There will always be people who bemoan technology because it requires more education and time to learn it. But if they stopped and looked at the time saved and improved productivity the new technology would bring, they would quickly realise the time they invested in learning the technology would pay dividends in the future.

Written by Cabinets by Computer.

* Facts sourced from Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Ray Morgan and Australia Bureau of Statistics)

18-24

40%

25-34

51%

35-44

29%

45-54

20%

55-64

16%

65+

7%

The above graph identifies the percentage of people who own a mobile phone and do not own a fixed line phone (June 2014).

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