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April 04, 2019

Outside Forces: Changes Impacting the Construction Industry

changesinconstructionToday, the business and political worlds are seemingly in a constant state of change. Fortunately, for many industries, the effects of a growing economy are being felt. Cutting away the media headlines and infighting among political parties, you’ll find evidence of an administration committed to bolstering our infrastructure – and that means business opportunities for contractors of almost any size.

While it may not be felt by every construction company at once, the signs are there that the economy will continue to pick up steam and affect contractors in a big way. That is, provided your company is in a place financially and resource-wise to pursue new business development opportunities (a robust CRM software solution would be helpful in this instance!)

By looking at the numbers, the A/E/C industries can see where growth opportunities exist and where caution flags may remain. Fortunately, with the right equipment – both on the jobsite and in the office – construction managers and contractors can be in the best position to reap the benefits of a booming economy.

Higher Spending, Greater Need

Reports show spending is up when it comes to investing in building projects. The numbers cited in industry research shows a range of 12- to almost 15% GDP since 2015. Part of this growth could be attributable to the growing demand for housing units, especially as many cities and towns report that new housing is desperately needed to ease the pressure on house hunters that find properties out of reach or simply unavailable.

Unfortunately, new reports show that the construction industry is one that continues to lag others as it relates to efficiency. According to McKinsey & Co., productivity growth in construction averages 1% annually, while the overall economy averages 2.8%. New construction project management software is designed to help curb some of these inefficiencies, which Millennials in the workforce have come to expect with the overall proliferation of technology.

On a related note, despite the strength of the economy, workers remain in short supply. Construction and other industries like it are increasingly reporting they don’t have the manpower to pursue projects that could fatten the bottom line. This is even as the hourly wage for construction employees continues to tick upwards. Many construction firms are rolling out all the stops, investing in generous benefits programs, on-the-job training, and new technology resources that should help attract younger workers to the field. With demand for new projects high, HR professionals in construction will have to find new ways to attract top talent.

One way to do this may be to improve worker safety. Data shows the construction industry still suffers from a high rate of workplace incidents, most often due to fall-related accidents. In fact, they’ve increased since 2013. OSHA has recorded the incidents it cites on jobsites most frequently, which include unstable scaffolding and communication hazards, in addition to lack of sufficient fall protection.

Realizing the Benefits of a Booming Industry     

Growth is a wonderful thing for the construction profession. Whether it’s the opportunity to grow in one’s career as new projects present leadership opportunities, or the chance to grow through immersion in new construction technology tools that help improve worker safety, there’s no shortage of ways to expand one’s horizons.

One of the key ways to do this is through the adaptation of new construction technology solutions. Whether using cloud-based collaboration software that enhances jobsite communication between the trailer and the home office or deploying estimating tools that provide real-time data updates to assemble the most profitable bids, new technology developments are keeping up with the momentum that the industry as a whole is experiencing. 

United Solutions' decades of experience in servicing the A/E/C industries means our consulting teams have weathered the upswings and down times and can provide a product demonstration and overview that will help your teams be prepared for every scenario.


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