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May 03, 2017

Navigating Boom Times Via the Cloud

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Here’s the good news: the construction industry has come roaring back to life, bringing with it an uptick in new construction projects across the country. The bad news: the industry is in the midst of a labor shortage, with leaders from multiple regions wondering just how they’re going to keep up with demand without a robust workforce. In particular, demand for new housing is driving projects forward but without the depth of tradeworkers needed to answer the demand.

 

While this may seem like a good problem to have, it quickly becomes a major obstacle if firms can’t compete for business, or if companies are immediately overtaxed by the projects they win.

So if a company can’t force new hires to materialize on the jobsite, what are they to do? Whether your firm is a residential property developer or a commercial contractor working for healthcare clients, finding a way to do more with less is essential. Fortunately, new technology solutions are emerging that change the landscape of project management.

How Software Helps Team Do More with Less

Rory DeJohn, a senior vice president at Turner Construction, recently testified that current construction activity is on par with that of 2007, yet there are 100,000 fewer workers.  Now, this speaks to a bigger problem we won’t solve here about training students to go into the trades and investing in workforce development, but it does underscore how important collaboration software and mobile field applications are becoming.

Both of these types of construction software solutions help companies overcome the personnel gap. Cloud-based collaboration tools help teams stay connected even when each team member is stationed remotely. When resources are short, the last thing project managers want is to be tied up in meetings. From subcontractor RFIs to owner approvals, cloud-based construction technology solutions make project data instantly available via the cloud – no waiting means fewer delays.

Similarly, remote field management applications take advantage of the proliferation of mobile devices in the field. From arming your service technicians with up-to-the-minute information on project status to eliminating the need to visit or call the home-office to get their next work order or submit timesheets, cloud-based construction software tools are helping companies work more efficiently and provide better customer service without having to add to the headcount.

Growing Smartly

 As construction companies, subcontractors and owners look for new ways to deliver projects more efficiently and with fewer moving parts, it’s important to remember that just as the good times can roll in, they can roll back out. This latest surge of construction growth is worth watching, but it’s too soon to tell if it will last. In the meantime, investing in collaboration tools with the help of United Solutions Group will provide a return on investment that will pay dividends no matter the economic climate. For more information or a product demonstration, contact USI today.

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