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The Challenges Facing the Construction Industry and How to Fix It

The construction industry is expected to see a 15% increase in growth by the end of 2021, which is great news for the construction companies who were able to quickly adapt to the forced changes brought on by the pandemic. 

However, many construction companies continue to struggle to keep up with the demand. And when you couple the demand with worker shortages, supply chain disruptions, increasing material costs and operational and technical challenges, it’s getting harder and harder to stay afloat and be competitive.

In a recent report from the US Chamber of Commerce contractors say the top challenges they face include:

  • Worker shortages
  • Worker safety and health
  • Availability of building products
  • Project delays and shutdowns
  • Technology integration

In this article, we will first discuss the challenges contractors are facing. Then I will share some opportunities that, if implemented right away, will get you ahead and keep you working despite the challenges you are facing.

The Challenges for Construction Companies

Challenge #1 –  Shortage of Skilled Workers

Finding workers with adequate skills remains a major concern for contractors, even as we head into the colder months when we typically see a slow down in construction.

To combat this and stay ahead there are several strategies you can use. 

First, contractors must use non-traditional hiring methods. The talent pool is thin right now, so you need to go out farther afield and engage potential workers where they are. 

Second, provide ongoing training for current workers. Keeping workers involved and challenged with their work increases their job satisfaction and earns their loyalty. 

Third, use technology on job sites to perform repetitive physically demanding tasks. There is a wide array of technology available now to help construction companies during the build phase. 

From software to robots that do the work, you can eliminate the hard labor that some tasks require.

Contractors who use these strategies will find it easier to keep projects running on time and on budget.

Challenge #2 – Operational Problems

In a recent report from the Associated Builders and Contractors 70% of its members listed operational challenges as being a major problem. The top three operational issues were project coordination, estimating and planning.

These issues are most commonly found when the technology being used is either outdated or it’s not the right technology for the task.

Challenge #3 – Disruption in Supply Chain / Product Shortages

Contractors are still seeing supply chain disruptions and product shortages as a result of COVID-19. 

For the first time since 2020, the amount of unmet steel demand surpassed lumber. 93% of contractors report experiencing product shortages. The top three materials contractors are desperately trying to get access to are: #1 Steel, #2 Lumber, and #3 Insulation and Insulation Materials.

Technology can help ease this challenge by using ordering systems that are tied to your vendor stock in real-time. This allows you to order the materials you need as you need it, project future needs against supply, and decrease your material costs by planning correctly.

Challenge #4 – Implementing New Technology and Software

While the construction industry has been working to adopt technology, contractors are having a hard time in four key areas:

  • Integration
  • Connectivity
  • Efficiency and Duplication
  • Selection and ROI

To find out more about construction technology and how to get rid of these problems, get your copy of the Definitive Guide to Construction Technology.

In the guide I share how one construction firm in Pennsylvania completed a project early and under budget just by using one simple, affordable piece of technology.

Opportunities for the Construction Industry

Opportunity #1 – The Use of Robots on Construction Projects

Gone are the days when we dreamed of flying cars and robots that would do the heavy lifting and all the labor intensive jobs no one wants to do. 

We are seeing a rise in jobsite bots that do everything from site and safety inspections to screeding bricks. 

These technologies help contractors get projects done quicker, more efficiently, safer and at lower costs. For additional information on how bots make you more competitive check out this article on How Technology is Helping with Labor Shortages in the Construction Industry.

Opportunity #2 – Use Technology Designed for the Construction Industry

Integration is one of the biggest challenges contractors face with technology. The major reason we see this problem is due to technology selection. 

More times than not, contractors use technology that wasn’t built for their specific needs. They end up trying to make something “work” which ends up taking more time and money, and often is not fully implemented or used.

To get rid of the integration problem, you need a good IT partner.  An IT partner like Attain Technology. We have been working in the construction industry since 2008 and know the best technology suited for your needs – eliminating the integration problem.

If you are interested in finding out the technology that is best for you, schedule a free construction technology audit here.

Opportunity #3 – Infrastructure Bill

The passing of the Infrastructure Bill has presented many opportunities for construction companies. 

In an upcoming video, I will go in depth about the Infrastructure Bill but essentially, construction companies with skilled workers and technology in place are ideally positioned to bid on these projects immediately. 

If you are still on the fence about technology and getting it integrated in your company, now is the time to take action. Rhode Island and Massachusetts have been allotted $11 billion for infrastructure projects so the time to get your company in top shape is now.

Future Opportunity for the Construction Industry

Technology is a common thread with all of the challenges and opportunities the construction industry faces. 

Construction companies who quickly and efficiently integrate technology tailored to their needs will have a leg up on their competitors, it is just that simple.

The key is in selecting the right technology, utilizing robots, and integrating the technology across your project’s requirements. 

For more resources on the construction industry and construction technology see: