Construction professionals are beginning realize the opportunities effective preconstruction solutions can provide their business.
By Ro Bhatia, CEO, PlanHub
One industry that will continue to face prolonged changes into and throughout 2023 is the construction industry. While it was able to weather the economic pandemic slowdown, it is not immune to the issues of labor demand, volatile pricing, and inflation.
Data as a Resource
Over the past quarter century, technology and digitization have transformed our economy, but construction has been a relatively change-averse, “old school” industry. While some construction companies have already begun using technology as a tool, many are still slow to adopt these changes. Construction historically has been one of the slowest industries to adopt new technology, so it is no surprise that there is a gap in utilizing data as a resource.
Even as many begin to embrace technology and the promise of data, too many general contractors and subcontractors still primarily use spreadsheets, whiteboards, paper-based processes, or other methods instead of construction tech platforms. That simply will not work in a rapidly evolving industry.
Thankfully, more construction professionals realize the opportunities effective preconstruction solutions can provide their business. To get a clear view of not just the challenges construction professionals face every day, but also the role technology plays in the industry, PlanHub issued its inaugural State of the Industry report. We reviewed the internal platform activity of 26,000 contractors, over 250,000 subcontractors, and an industry-wide survey, the results showed great positivity.
According to our survey, 82% of general contractors and 80% of subcontractors plan to grow their businesses in 2023.
- Embracing Technology. Since the beginning of 2021, a 324% increase was seen in the number of general contractors posting their first projects, and projects with strong activity increased 231%.
- More Bid Activity. General contractors increased their invitations to bid (ITBs) by 35%.
- Increasing Opportunity. Subcontractors have responded to adversity by seeking new ways to find business. Subcontractors expanded their reach by listing up to 20% more trades in which they work and expanded their service area by nearly 50%.
According to our research, over one-third of specialty contractors plan to increase investment in construction technology in 2023 to streamline functions, improve productivity and drive revenue.
PlanHub’s data is consistent with reports of greater utilization of technology across the industry to increase efficiency, improve bidding and takeoff, better track assets, mitigate labor shortages and more. According to McKinsey, the impacts of COVID have spurred new construction technology innovation and accelerated its adoption. In fact, investment in construction technology increased by $25 billion between 2014 and 2019 and increased by an additional $4.5 billion in 2021.
Instead of combing through old bidding documents, spreadsheets and Post-It notes, the right construction planning and management solutions will digitize all the critical information that contractors and subcontractors use most often. Software solutions provide quick and easy document replication, streamline bidding and other critical processes, and save precious time and money.