CES Takeaways & Service Tech OpportunitiesRobert Coolidge
They say you can’t be too rich or too thin, and the latter definitely applies to the trend in television design. All the major brands at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show exhibited display panels so slim they would make a Samsung YU1978 race to the gym.
Many manufacturers at CES also featured the “Internet of Things” or technology integration into just about any imaginable device from appliances to hair brushes. Want to stream Pandora from your refrigerator? No problem! Need a bed that adjusts when you start snoring? Stay tuned!
Virtual reality gaming, drones and robot assistants were other buzzworthy highlights at the show. And what’s old is new again with 1980s-style boom boxes and karaoke machines back, but with upgrades like Bluetooth technology and other high-tech gadgetry.
So what does this mean for the typical consumer electronics and/or appliance servicer? Who fixes the touch screen-enabled refrigerator that sends an alert when the milk is about to expire? Someone with computer repair experience? Along with all the intriguing new technology, comes a ton of exciting opportunities for servicers willing to become “hybrids.” Those resistant to change and reinventing themselves are at high risk of being left behind.
Many of those who aren’t interested in learning new technology are also very close to retirement, which leaves a huge gap in the servicer industry. If you’ve attended any recent consumer electronics or appliance association events lately, you’re sure to have noticed more gray heads than not. When these men and women were seeking careers, vocational tech training was readily available, or they may have inherited the family business. Today, too few schools offer repair training, and those family businesses are slowly closing shop as no next generation is there or willing to take over.
Whether there’s going to be a future shortage of skilled technicians is still to be determined. But what is certain is there will always be a need for specialized repair, and there should be plenty of opportunity for those eager to expand their technical know-how – as well as those ready to take a break from Snapchat and Facebook to learn the business.
And for the TV repair servicer, there may actually be a renaissance coming. Display panels are becoming so thin, components must be housed separately – some in portable soundbars. This advancement could potentially simplify repairs and make them more economically feasible versus replacement, which has been the default solution in recent years. This could help revitalize the depot repair model, while field techs can take advantage of installation and connectivity work.
If you’re in the repair business now, stay abreast of the trends and keep an eagle eye on opportunities to expand your service offerings. At Encompass, we’re doing our part to help by offering a variety of training classes at our Atlanta-area headquarters. If you’re interested in a specific topic, please get in touch via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those looking for opportunity, electronics repair may be the right door to be knocking on. Be open to change, look for ways to diversify and continue to evolve to stay relevant.