There are very few things in life that can make you feel old like new technology. From programming a VCR a few decades ago to barking out commands to Alexa, there’s a point in everyone’s life when you just don’t feel like learning about the latest in electronics.

But if you are running a business, ignoring the latest in technology can be the death knell at your company. While the competition is investing in products to make their employees more efficient, you are tripping over dollars picking up pennies.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking hour studying the latest and greatest in technology, but at least try to be aware of it and how it can help your company.

Whether it’s an app to make your back office more efficient or investing in a drone to aid in bidding a project, taking the time to stay in the loop can go a long way.

A common theme we hear when it comes to contractors investing in technology, mainly software, is they don’t have the time to learn how to use it. Even if they take some time to learn enough to use at their company, they still don’t feel like they are even cracking the surface of what it can do.

That’s why I was surprised when we received the survey results from our 2018 Technology Report, which you can read by flipping to the back cover of this issue.

One question we asked focused on how much of their software respondents thought they were using to its fullest capabilities. Only 32 percent said they were using less than a quarter of their software’s capabilities.

But as older owners sell or retire, and younger owners who grew up on the internet and playing video games take over, technology will only become more prominent in the green industry.

From what we hear, I expected that 32 percent to be closer to 50 percent. (By the way, you can find the results to that question and others that didn’t make it in the report on lawnandlandscape.com in the 2018 Technology Report under the Research tab.)

But as older owners sell or retire, and younger owners who grew up on the internet and playing video games take over, technology will only become more prominent in the green industry.

Plus, as finding reliable labor continues to be an issue in the industry, technology can help solve that problem.

It’s not to the point where robomowers will replace humans, and who knows when or if we’ll ever get to that point, but as the products you use become more efficient, spending those budgeted labor dollars on better products and equipment might be the answer to getting more work with less employees. – Brian Horn