What have been the hot topics in the construction industry lately? We thought a round-up of the construction trends we’ve been seeing and hearing about would be a good way to share what’s been on our minds so far in 2019. Staying on top of these trends helps us mitigate any issues they’re causing and capitalize on potential benefits. These are the things that have been the topic of conversation around the office, at association events and with our customers:
1. Industry-Wide Workforce Shortage
This isn’t news to anyone in the construction industry: we’ve all been experiencing a shortage of workers. As more of our employees are retiring, there just haven’t been enough people ready to take their places. Qualified labor and operators have been especially difficult to find, but this is also an issue with positions like estimating. In order to maintain our workforce at Gray & Son, we’ve really had to move to a more proactive recruiting approach.
2. Increased Focus on Workforce Development
This focus on workforce development has evolved as a necessity due to the first trend above. As it becomes harder to find new workers, we’ve been paying more attention to developing our current workforce. We’re helping our employees advance in their careers, and we’re constantly growing our internal training and mentorship programs. The happier our employees are with their career paths, the better off we all are!
3. Emphasis on Project Management Processes
We also want to make sure that we’re utilizing our team members, equipment and time as best as we can, which is why project management processes have been in the spotlight lately. Managing a job, and the processes involved with the job, more efficiently means a more strategic approach. Our last blog post talked a bit more about why this trend is beneficial.
4. More Automation via Technology
Speaking of that post, we also highlighted technology’s growing role in the construction industry. By automating the processes we can, we’re able to do more with less with these more efficient systems. For example, tools like Field Manager and equipment like drones are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason.
5. Metric-Driven Approaches
We’ve also seen customers and business partners become more metric-driven, and Gray & Son has gotten on board with this trend as well. Instead of focusing solely on budget and deadlines, businesses are paying attention to key performance indicators on a variety of metrics. Laying out priorities and expectations from the get-go can help everyone get what they want out of a project.
6. Rising Material Costs (and Creative Ways to Save Money!)
Finally, a construction trend that’s caught our attention is the rising cost of materials in the construction industry. From asphalt to petroleum used in PVC pipe to stone, commodity prices are going up. All of this translates into increased costs across the board that get passed on throughout the industry. Instead of throwing our arms up, though, we’ve been working hard to find ways to save our customers from these increased prices. Value engineering is how we build a job more efficiently and cost effectively, coming up with creative solutions to find savings. We also focus on changes we can make on the design side and in the field that will ultimately reduce costs.
So those are the top six construction trends affecting the industry that have caught our attention lately, as well as some ways we’ve approached them. Have anything to add? Share your thoughts on Facebook!