In sheet metal shops, technology starts with workflow
Here’s a bit of information you already know: research shows that each generation thinks that they are smarter than the last. That’s right. Your kids? Smarter than you. Their kids? Guaranteed to be smarter than you. That new, millennial apprentice you’ve been training? Most likely smarter than you; they probably just don’t know it yet, but it is only a matter of time until they do.
The good news is, if you care to look at it that way, studies show that each generation is also more ambivalent than the next — something to do with a general anxiety and fear for the future of humanity (Hello, climate change!). Therefore, a hostile takeover by any generation is unlikely. The bad news is — again, if you care to look at it that way — the next generation’s fears will quickly become your fears. But more good news: their strengths will be yours, too.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force in 2016. This year, they are hitting their stride.
Although millennials won’t saturate the labor market as much as baby boomers, (boomers in the workforce peaked at 66 million. Meanwhile, the entire millennial population will only reach 75 million), they have technology to close the gap.
If you are the type of contractor who shudders at the mere mention of new technology, you are missing the point entirely. There is more to technology than tech. Beyond the productivity apps, drafting software and construction estimation platforms, of which you will find in this issue very useful, learning new processes renovates our way of thinking.
In our cover story on integrated project delivery (IPD), Matt Cramer of Dee Cramer walks us through how the seemingly new construction process has its roots in BIM (building information modeling). “If you understand BIM, you can understand integrated project delivery,” he says.
As much as we want to fully appraise the pros and cons before adopting a new technology, you will never really know until you pick it up and take the plunge. In this issue, we aim to show you that the water is warm.
Popular opinion says you need a full year to settle into a new job. Well, it’s officially been a year since I stepped into the editor-in-chief role for SNIPS magazine, but I am far from being settled, and I don’t plan on it anytime soon.
So much of what we do is about reaching above the status quo to give you insightful stories and information about our industry. You can’t do that sitting down. As we continue to enrich our storytelling style into a second year, I thank you for your continued support — the letters, the story ideas, the compliments and the critiques. For that is what keeps this magazine strong and growing with content that is a cut above the rest.
Emell Derra Adolphus
This story originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of SNIPS magazine.