Addressing new challenges in the building industry will strengthen your brand.
As business begins to pick up in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the construction industry is facing a handful of new hurdles related to how projects are being approached and executed. We’re breaking down some of the key challenges currently shaping the future of construction management in hopes of helping you set your brand up for success.
1. Labor shortages
While employment in construction has continued to trend up in the wake of the pandemic, and returned to its February 2020 level by March 2022 (+19,000), employment opportunities for construction managers are projected to grow 11 percent through 2030. This growth has many worried there’s not enough time to hire and train workers fast enough. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
One solution for dealing with the labor shortage is becoming a union affiliate, which gives you direct access to agents who can help you find the most qualified candidates and ensures the laborers you’re hiring are trained up and ready to work.
If you’re operating within a sector that requires an apprenticeship, like electrical contracting, you might also want to consider developing a state-certified, in-house program. In addition to making sure your employees are meeting state guidelines, in-house programs also give companies the ability to cater the on-the-job training to their personal style and project preferences.
2. The integration of hybrid and remote work
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that hybrid and remote working options are on the rise. While the impact of hybrid and remote work on construction remains unclear, and there will always be a need for onsite labor, the flexibility is allowing workers to explore new ways of doing their jobs. This includes project managers being able to plan projects offsite, as well as manage materials, equipment, and laborers from afar.
These types of changes have been generally well-received, but one major problem persists: access to reliable, high-speed internet connections. As hybrid and remote working becomes more common, and as the construction industry begins to further integrate software and video technology, a solution for high-speed connectivity needs to be a priority.
3. Using data and analytics
The next generation of construction professionals is being trained to use a variety of emerging building software, and business owners need to learn to adapt. A solid example of technology being utilized more regularly within the building industry is the use of building information modeling (BIM) in structural concrete projects.
In addition to giving contractors the ability to survey and troubleshoot design elements before getting to a job site, the data provided by BIM gives company owners and project managers more precise information about material costs and project timelines. This is especially important considering the supply chain struggles currently impacting all sectors of the industry. More data means more opportunities to improve your methods and make better-informed decisions.
4. Embracing artificial intelligence and automation
The integration of automation and robotics in construction is also on the rise, with the value of the global commercial building automation market hitting $32.9 billion in 2020, with expectations to surpass $76.5 billion by 2031.
We’re already seeing an increase in the use of drones to collect work site data and evaluate progress, staffing, and supplies. Contractors are also employing automation services related to water management, HVAC and energy management, audio, elevator management, lighting and window control, access control, security, and more. The integration of new technology is creating safer environments for workers, as well as enhancing productivity, efficiency, and manufacturing flexibility.
The future of construction management
We understand the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But we’re living in a different world post-pandemic, and in order to ensure your business remains relevant, you must evolve. Figuring out how these issues are affecting construction management, and tackling them right now will give you a head start.
Source: Construction Today, ABB Robotics, Construction Executive
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