Running your own plumbing business, although rewarding, can involve many challenges. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2029, the plumbing industry is expected to grow by 4% – which indicates increase in competition, customer demands, and the urging need for effective management. Equipping your business, workforce, and contractors with the right tools and modern field management technology can only assure stability in the market. This quick guide will base you on current industry trends and stats and help you strategize a plan to grow your plumbing business in 2023!

Top plumbing industry trends and stats 2023

Digitization has changed the plumbing landscape. The key trends for 2023 include:

  • The emergence of smart technologies. For example, the popularity of smart toilets with motion-sensor faucets and smart leak detectors is rising.
  • The popularity of new tools. Examples include infrared sensors to detect leaks and trenchless pipe equipment to fix sewer lines. 
  • Thrust on digitization of processes, with a greater focus on the customer. For instance, businesses cater to the increasing customer demands of omnichannel engagement. 
  • Increasing environmental concerns. For instance, many customers now seek eco-friendly homes that reduce their carbon footprints. These developments force plumbing contractors to upgrade their knowledge and skill sets. They must acquire new knowledge and adopt the latest technologies. 

Plumbing contractors have to adapt to the changed realities to fulfill customer expectations. Side-by-side, they also have to cope with pressing challenges such as labor and supply shortages. The ongoing supply chain crisis and inflation have created shortages in supplies.

IBISWorld values the US plumbing sector at $134 billion in 2022, with about 130,300 enterprises active in the plumbing industry. The plumbing fittings and fixtures market will grow to $106.4 billion, with a CAGR of 4.4%, by 2026. 

Read more: How To Take Your Plumbing Service Business To The Next Level With Dispatch Software

An action plan to grow your plumbing business in 2023

Success in the competitive plumbing market depends on a methodological approach.

1. Maintain focus always

Focus is everything. Start-ups would do well to focus on a niche market rather than try to do everything at once. For instance, have a niche providing only commercial or residential plumbing. Even established businesses need to focus their efforts on their core strength areas.

2. Pay attention to HR

The success of any contracting business depends on the skill and temperament of the workforce. The field technicians are the only contact between the company and the customers. 

Make an effort to recruit talented plumbers. Many plumbing companies spend equal time attracting employees as they do selling plumbing services.

Optimize the use of talent. Use advanced scheduling tools to optimize plumber workloads. Make sure they are well-rested and, at the same time, not underutilized. 

Allocate the right talent for the correct jobs. For instance, assign experienced technicians for premium clients and complex jobs. 

Define each employee’s position with clarity. Have clear-cut job descriptions and make expectations explicit for every position. But at the same time, empower employees and promote a culture where they take the initiative and go the extra mile to please the customer. 

Make proactive interventions to motivate employees. Share success stories to inspire everyone.

Foster commitment. Make employees involved in the business process. Entrust them with ownership of critical tasks. For instance, empower them with digital transformation responsibilities. 

Train the workforce. The skills shortage has not eluded plumbing service contractors. Talent is hard to come by in a competitive business environment. Invest in training the workforce to the desired standards. Offer performance-related pay as growth incentives.

Cultivate a positive culture with values of transparency, openness, and growth opportunities for employees. Happy employees are more productive, work harder, and stay on.

3. Establish controls

Create a well-defined operating system. Institute checks and balances, inventory controls, and tracking key metrics. 

Track and control inventory in real-time. 

Include checks and balances for each department to ensure accountability. 

Use operational data to highlight good work, benchmark optimal service times, and flag areas of improvement. 

4. Boost operational efficiency

Increasing prices is not an option in today’s challenging business conditions. Competitive pricing and profits come through efficiency improvements.

Make sure employees proceed to the work site through the most optimal routes. 

Enforce control over field operations through forms and checklists. Automate routine and time-consuming tasks such as reporting, invoicing, and accounts processing.

Streamline communications. Ensure field agents and other stakeholders can retrieve information effortlessly. Spending time and effort on seeking information is unproductive and degrades efficiency. 

Read more: How Standardized Work Orders Can Boost the Growth of Your Plumbing Business

How field service management software helps to realize the action plan

A field service management suite ensures seamless operations. The suite:

  • Enables intelligent scheduling and dynamic dispatching. Managers can fix schedules considering all relevant factors, such as 
  • Jobs already assigned to the plumber
  • Leaves and time-offs
  • Company working hours
  • Customer preferences, and more. 

Integrated maps allow plumbers to reach work sites through the most fuel-efficient route.

Managers may enforce remote control through forms, checklists, and custom reports. Electronic data gathering and custom reporting enable managers to enforce supervisory control. Real-time tracking ensures timely interventions to nip issues in the bud. 

Automating routine and repetitive processes, delivering efficiency improvements. Invoicing, timesheets, accounts, and other time-consuming tasks get automated. Plumbers no longer have to waste their time doing unproductive clerical work.

Ensuring seamless access to information. Plumbers may access job history, contact details, details of the work, and other relevant information. Plumbers may capture electronic data and jot down job notes, which get updated in the reports. 

Enabling seamless collaboration. Plumbers may connect with remote experts using their companion mobile apps. They may finish complex jobs through online collaboration without scheduling a revisit.

Read more: How to create powerful invoices for your plumbing service

How ReachOut Suite makes the perfect FSM suite for plumbing contractors

ReachOut is one of the top names in the field service industry. The suite makes an ideal fit for all industries.

1. Intelligent scheduling and dispatching

ReachOut removes the complexity associated with scheduling. Managers get easy calendar views that make explicit plumbers’ job assignments over the selected period. They may make new assignments or changes to the work assigned through easy drag-and-drop interfaces. Grouping jobs area-wise enable plumbers to accomplish more tasks during their work shift. 

Integration with maps offers dynamic dispatching capabilities. The companion mobility app plots the most fuel-efficient, safest, and fastest routes.

2. Easy access to information

ReachOut makes all business documents available through the cloud. Plumbers may use their mobile apps to access 

  • Service contracts, 
  • Work orders, 
  • Product manuals
  • Customer call recordings
  • Service logs

Such information enables them to execute the job faster and better.

Plumbers with access to these details execute the job flawlessly. First-time fix rates and work quality improves. 

Robust APIs pull information from other enterprise data. The plumber or manager may access data from the CRM, inventory, and other databases. They get accurate insights to make real-time informed decisions, considering all relevant information.

3. Custom and stylized forms

ReachOut’s styled and custom digital forms enable smart operations on the field. Plumbers and managers may create custom forms with triggers that display the proper form for each type and stage of the job. These digital forms make processes consistent and improve accuracy.

Managers may guide plumbers by applying particular forms and checklists at different job stages, mandating plumbers to fill up each form before proceeding to the next stage ensures process integrity.

Electronic data collection, including images, videos, and signatures, make reports more insightful. The suite enables plumbing contractors to go paperless, enabling big-time efficiency improvements.

The templates offer plumbers a consistent framework for business proposals, estimates, and invoices.

4. Automation

Plumbing contractors may auto-generate invoices, reports, and other repetitive tasks. Costs reduce, and efficiency improves.

Businesses with a strong backbone through a field service app enjoy strong growth. ReachOut Suite enables plumbing contractors to simplify complex processes and gain competitive advantages. Connect with our experts today and learn more about how ReachOut Suite can help elevate your plumbing business.

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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