Why should plumbing professionals go paperless?

Technological advances, including cloud computing, 5G and improved mobile technology, have created the possibility for more and more businesses across virtually every sector to embrace digital transformation.


These advances are facilitating smarter, faster and more environmentally friendly ways to revolutionise the way businesses work. With that in mind, the question surely must fall on the side of why would a business not want to adapt to digital?


Whether it’s due to tradition, concerns around the potential costs and complications, or a simple matter of complacency, there isn’t a real reason for any industry to show reluctance to digital transformation.


One industry in particular appears to be holding itself back from the significant benefits of going paperless: the plumbing and heating industry. Our ‘Death of the Papertrail’ report found that 67% of those working in the trade and utilities sector are still heavily relying on paper-usage for day-to-day businesses processes, such as filling in forms and sending mail.


Although plumbers’ reasons for failing to make the transition to digital processes will likely vary throughout the profession, the most common response seems to be the perception that the ROI of going paperless is, overall, rather minimal.


This couldn’t be further from the truth, so let’s consider the benefits of digital transformation to the plumbing industry in more detail.


Reduced costs


Any process that slices through costs and makes more efficient use of available funds, is of course, one of the biggest benefits for any business.


In the grand scheme of things, the cost of paper likely isn’t at the forefront of any business’s mind. However, with one study finding that the cost of printing and storing paper could be as high as £15,000 a year for a small business, the potential for paperless working to reduce day-to-day expenditure is one of the most compelling reasons to consider the switch.


Paperless working provides a more secure way of working


It is probably safe to say that most of us can remember a time when the ‘safe place’ we placed documents didn’t turn out to be so safe. One of the biggest risks of relying on paper is its potential to be lost or damaged – particularly for those who work from a range of locations.


For workers like tradesmen, vital information may be compromised if crucial documents are lost. Plumbers may find themselves in a world of trouble if matters of data protection arise, requiring time and money when attempting to rectify the damage – particularly if the loss of information leads to a negligence claim against the plumber in question for failing to abide by professional standards.


Increased efficiency and productivity


If a plumber arrives at a job without the necessary documentation, a large amount of the day is wasted travelling back to retrieve the paperwork – a cumbersome job that makes for a loss of productivity.


Digitally completed documents that save to the cloud remove this possibility, as workers can transport all required forms on easily portable digital devices, without the panic of physically having to retrieve them.


Overall, digitalisation shows no sign of slowing down with businesses across almost every sector continuing to revolutionise the way workers perform their role. With new technologies constantly emerging, those within the plumbing and heating industry looking to grow and future-proof their business would be wise to stay ahead of the curve by beginning their digital transformation now, or they risk being left behind.