While the pandemic has certainly had an effect on the construction industry and some companies have struggled to deal with its effects, technology has become a lifeline in the past year. From video conferencing to digital planning and organization, the industry is finding new solutions.
Bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic will be a focus for construction companies in 2021 and technology will continue to play a major role in that recovery. Here’s a look at four post-pandemic challenges and how contractors are successfully overcoming them.
1. Adopt construction specific software and technology
In a recent survey by Software Advice among US-based small business construction workers, 53% had implemented new construction specific software in the last year. In an industry that is usually among the slowest at adopting new technology, that’s significant.
Many companies didn’t feel like they had a choice, as shutdowns, safety concerns, and the need for smaller crews meant they had to utilize newer technology. Companies invested in BIM, estimating, takeoff, and project management software programs.
Adopting construction specific software and technology allows companies to eliminate costly paperwork and automate day-to-day processes, saving them time and money in the long run.
2. Invest in safety processes
In the same survey, 40% of respondents said that staying up to date with safety requirements was the biggest labor challenge of the past year. The need for health check-ins, periodic testing, and contact tracing meant that new processes had to be invented all the time.
Companies looked to technology to automate as many of these protocols as possible to help lower exposure risk and reduce the number of workers on a project. This led to an increase in the use of wearable technologies, such as smart watches for contract tracing and drones. Smart hard hats and other tech wearables are quickly gaining more traction, as well. As the industry gets back to work, maintaining a safe and healthy work environment will be crucial to keep things running smoothly.
3. Stock up and order early to avoid material delays
The material delays in construction have been a major roadblock to projects progressing. Due to truck driver shortages and manufacturing shutdowns, everyone is struggling to get materials to their job sites. The survey also reported that 57% of construction businesses that expected lower revenue this year reported delays in getting raw materials.
However, several contractors have been working hard to deal with the material shortage by ordering materials early in the project, stocking up on commonly used items when they are available, and identifying alternative materials to utilize. Recent reports have suggested that the shortages may be easing up, and supply should start to improve by the end of the year.
4. Successfully bid more projects
Many projects were slowed or canceled during the pandemic. As states are slowly reopening, everyone is now looking for more work to get their teams back on the job. With 33% of construction businesses saying that winning more bids is their top goal for the next six months, it’s clear where the focus will be for the industry.
With the passing of the recent federal infrastructure bill, and the increasing availability of more projects to bid on, contractors need to take advantage of the situation.
Contractors should start adopting new estimating and bid software to help them improve their bidding accuracy and efficiency. This will ultimately lead to more jobs and higher profits.
Can tech lead the way?
While no one knows what the next few years will bring, construction technology has certainly answered the call in 2020 and 2021 to help professionals recover in big ways. Simply put, contractors who adopt construction specific technology and software will be the first to recover. They’ll be better able to respond to changing requirements and grow their businesses.
If you’re looking for more project leads and are ready to upgrade your bidding experience, check out PlanHub.