Commentary by Jim Seffrin of The Infraspection Institute
While it is possible that some people may try to replace the services of their professional consultant by purchasing an imager, you should keep the following in mind:
Thermal imaging is both art and science and relies upon a trained operator.
It is not a ‘point and shoot’ technology.
Most firms that hire consultants are likely to continue to do so as they simply do not have the manpower to perform inspections in-house. Just because tools are available to laypeople, it does not mean the end of a trade.
Trades with tools that are available to anyone include, but are not limited to: carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, drywall, insulation, and painting. All of these trades continue to thrive despite the availability of tools and materials.
Additionally, buyers will get what they pay for when it comes to inexpensive equipment.
Despite such record low prices for thermal imagers, 2013 was a record year in sales for many infrared inspection firms. I expect the same for 2014.
As we move forward, the keys to success for professional thermographers will be to:
- Not panic or let irrational fear take over
- Welcome and embrace lower priced imagers as they will only increase public awareness of the technology
- Seek to enhance their credentials to the highest level possible
- Effectively communicate the value of their services to their clients
- Recognize that you cannot win every project.
When it comes to sales – some will, some won’t, so what – Next!
At present, the demand for competent thermographers still exceeds the supply and this trend is likely to continue for quite some time.
For professional thermographers who believe in their abilities and are committed to properly promoting themselves, I believe the future is bright!
R. James Seffrin: February 2014
About Jim Seffrin
R. James Seffrin (Jim), a Level III Infrared Thermographer, is the Director of the Infraspection Institute and has been?? training thermographers for more than 25 years.
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