“Perhaps we should all stop for a moment and focus not only on making our AI better and more successful but also on the benefit of humanity.” Stephen Hawking (2017).
The benefit of humanity should come first. Not capital or technology. At the end of the day, the purpose of any technology like AI that drives automation should be for the greater good of people.
AI is changing the way industries work. People often think that AI will take our jobs. Customer service representatives thought that when chatbots were born. Relationship Managers of financial institutions thought that when banks got the digital assistant integrated into their mobile applications. Why did people do this? To make life easier. To save time and cost and transfer those savings to the end user – the consumer.
You still see customer service representatives and bankers around. Maybe a little less than earlier but AI hasn’t replaced humans. In fact AI will never replace humans. The job of AI is not to replace humans but to AUGMENT HUMAN CAPABILITY.
For the landscaping industry, it is no different and automation is truly the need of the hour. Here’s why –
The industry is still held back by multiple manual processes. According to the most recent industry data available, 71,000 landscaping jobs went unfilled in 2017. This comes at a time when demand for lawn care services is growing exponentially, with the National Association of Landscape Professionals hoping to add 100,000 new jobs to the industry by 2025.
“I don’t need more business; I need more people to do the work.”
That is the underlying sentiment that landscape contractors and association representatives expressed at last year’s Workforce Development and Recruitment Summit. And the times haven’t changed; in fact, the situation has escalated.
Clearly, automation is the solution we have been waiting for in the landscaping industry.
Be it robotic mowers or automated measurements. With companies like Robin Autopilot, Scythe Robotics and Attentive, the sector is ripe for disruption.
We know how you are always short of crew members to do more jobs. We also know how your account managers and estimators have to devote valuable time, fuel and effort on PROSPECTs by physically visiting sites to offer quotes.
With robotic mowers, landscaping businesses have the ability to augment the capability of their crew members so that they can maintain more properties using the existing workforce. With automated measurements and AI, landscaping businesses have the ability to automate entire sales workflows so that account managers can actually spend more time with the customers.
This is just the start of the automation revolution in the landscaping industry. The objective of AI is not to put the jobs of existing employees at risk. It is to augment their capabilities so that they can DO MORE and FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT.
DO MORE. WITH THE TEAM YOU HAVE BUILT. That should be the motto.
It is time to embrace new technologies. Yes, change is hard but it’s easier when that change drives profit. It is time to leave boring and time consuming tasks to AI and focus on what is important.
If you are an estimator and you feel automation is a threat, it is understandable. You might be an estimator whose job could be threatened by automated measurement software like ours. However, do remember that every threat is an opportunity in disguise. What you need to understand is that you can DO MORE with your time and that is the most important task. You need to show your boss that your job is not just measuring sites but a lot more than. Even if it means that you need to upskill yourself to take on additional roles and responsibilities, so be it. It is always best to have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.