Tools Through the Ages

Earlier this year, Julie visited the Galileo Museum in Florence. She says, “You guys, this place is SO cool.” That’s where we got the cover photo. This late-16th-century box of measuring tools contains rulers, squares, a plumb level, compasses and more. We still use those 500 years later. Other 21st century tools, such as computers, lasers and thermal imagers, would blow poor Galileo’s mind.

Our November issue theme is, traditionally, tools and equipment. This time, we’re getting a bit more into the digital tools and equipment you can leverage for the success of your business.

Jeff Griffin checks in with his annual Tool Trends feature article, “Nowhere to Hide.” Jeff investigated a concern of any business owner, which is knowing the location of all your assets. Software companies are meeting this demand, and tool and equipment manufacturers also are getting much more tech-savvy. These days, if you want to know where a particular tool is, that knowledge can be available at the tap of a smartphone or click of a computer mouse.

Speaking of tapping your smartphone, “App Happy,” by Susan Bloom provides some great mobile apps for electrical contractors looking to save time and money. (Which is everyone.) Susan reached out to ECs across the country to learn what mobile apps they find useful, and she lists some of the best. The best app, of course, is the free Electrical Contractor magazine app for Apple and Android. If you know of any others, please do share that information with us.

Outside of the theme, Chuck Ross has a feature about electric vehicles. This market is very important to ECs because, as EVs proliferate, so must their charging equipment and infrastructure. Chuck reports, by the end of this year, the United States will pass the milestone of 1 million EVs on the road. That’s a lot of electricity-hungry vehicles with more inevitably on the way. Read “Pedal to the Metal” here.

Also outside of the theme (and plainly just outside), Claire Swedberg writes about Kelly Electric and energy supplier Constellation partnering to deliver solar power systems to public facilities, such as schools and government buildings, both of which come with specific considerations. Claire also transports us to the Napa Valley to check out Grafton Electric’s winery project.

The definition of a tool is evolving. Certainly, a hammer is a hammer, and a screwdriver is a screwdriver. However, soft tools such as computer programs, mobile apps and good old-fashioned education and knowledge are vital to navigating a business, especially in this ever-changing industry.

On a final note, if Julie sold you on the Galileo Museum, she wants you to know you can visit virtually at www.museogalileo.it/en. Sharing experiences and making recommendations is one of her favorite pastimes, so take it from Tim; it’s best if you just check it out. She WILL ask you about it.

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