The US construction industry is one of the biggest industries worldwide, having an annual expense of over $1,293 billion. It contributes an essential percentage to the country’s GDP value, helping it expands and drives up the US economy. This has immediately resulted in the explosion of construction projects in the entire country, allowing construction companies and firms to gain speedy business growth. According to a Census Bureau report, since the start of 2021, US construction spending has reached a seasonal adjusted annual rate.
However, many issues and challenges started creeping up, hindering construction businesses from growing and expand. Most of these challenges are easier to overcome if contractors begin finding ways to remove inefficiencies internally and externally. So what’s the biggest challenge you face as a contractor on your construction projects?
For this blog, we’re outlining the answers that you have been looking for, particularly for the top eight most significant issues you often face alongside other construction professionals over the years.
1. Problem with equipment management
Equipment and tools are at the heart of most construction operations. Hence, it makes equipment management vital to business success. In most cases, construction companies typically record any equipment movement either with the use of spreadsheets and paper. But then again, manually tracking such high-ticket assets might lead to various problems for contractors and the company itself. Even logging data in spreadsheets may take a longer time and is prone to costly typing errors.
While using spreadsheets is easier for you and others, it’s a huge advantage to deploy subcontractor scheduling software to your business. You can realistically pinpoint any issues in equipment management. Thus, helping you to make decisions much better in this aspect. You can significantly accomplish this software application when tons of information and details are invariably changing during project execution. In fact, acquiring informed predictions in the future becomes easier
For now, let’s tackle some of the biggest challenges every contractor often encounters when it comes to traditional equipment management.
- Inaccurate data – Oftentimes, construction companies end up with many errors in the equipment data logs. A mismatch often prevails in the system. So, who is to blame in here? Unfortunately, if you can trace all check-ins and check-outs manually, chances are you’ll never know who updated the last log.
- Time-consuming manual process – Using the latest system in place, workers have to check out each tool separately and manually as needed. As a result, it can waste time that can be spent better elsewhere.
- Failure to comply with the standards – The construction industry needs accurate measurements at different project phases. Any small miscalculations can lead from order to chaos. This requires you to let your construction company regularly schedule calibration services. It is vital to comply with NIST standards.
- Lack of on-site assistance – Construction projects often require access to all data on-site. Doing so will help project supervisors and managers make informed decisions. However, it can be a struggle for most of them if they used spreadsheets continuously.
2. Unreliable subcontractors
Many contractors have issues in hiring reliable subs for the work. If you are in a pinch and have to find a subcontractor, check the material vendors and suppliers you work with regularly. You may ask other subs which you are working with for a recommendation. Ensure to check the subcontractor’s licenses. They have to carry general liability insurance. You can also list your company as additional insured on the insurance before you even hire them.
Scheduling can always be tricky, even with the most experienced construction professionals. If you are the contractor, you will find construction projects to be more complex compare to others. From outlining to delivering the final product, any projects include various things to keep track of, including resources, budget, and even your crew members. In some instances, it can be a potential nightmare if something goes wrong.
Scheduling and construction planning can also be a long-drawn procedure since many vendors and other third parties are involved. It is where coordination and collaboration between internal and external resources become vital. In such circumstances, an advanced crew scheduler like Pro Crew Schedule help since this construction management software is an all-time solution, helping to manage different aspects of your project.
Here are the many advantages of this software application:
- Get real-time updates and notifications
- Incorporate flexibility in the project planning
- Visibility of the tasks keeps improving
- Better construction crew management
- Accessibility of data and project details
- Easy to explore and navigate
- Time tracking and crew monitoring
Explore Pro Crew Schedule in a live demo. You can REQUEST FOR FREE!
4. Lack of skilled workers
There is a huge issue facing the construction industry over the years. There’s a lack of experienced and competent workers to fill the growing demand. Today, the younger generation is pushed toward college, not considering taking any vocational trades. Apparently, the benefits of having a construction career aren’t being sold to millennials anymore. Unfortunately, the existing workforce is now closing in on retirement.
While most industry experts try to confront these specific issues on a national level, you can still do many things as a contractor or a small construction business owner to help.
- Be a mentor. Recent college grads and even high school students start to look for job opportunities during the summer months. Be eager to introduce your industry to anyone who may not consider getting a career in construction. Mentorship works for skilled labor. Hence, if one of your excellent workers shows an interest in the construction business, you can offer mentorship. Introducing them the ins and outs of construction management or construction business ownership is a good start.
- Consider using a staffing agency. There are staffing agencies that can provide skilled workers ready to work for you. These agencies can take care of all pre-screening applicants, saving you time and give you qualified and excellent workers faster. Usually, a staffing agency covers the HR costs with employment, including workers’ compensation coverage.
5. Lack of communication
When many things go wrong on your project, it’s almost always due to team communication breakdown. Good thing that many construction techs start to emerge today and issues like this are solved. Technology is the solution, especially when you face communication problems with your team. As of today, two-thirds of Americans own smartphones. Hence, there’s a chance that everyone involved in your project has one.
With emails, messaging apps, and project task management software, you can access tons of data instantly, exchanging information from one to the other. You and your team can reduce the speed bump and slowdowns of communication once this application is deployed at work.
6. Available cash
You have a list of payments due to employees, subs, vendors, equipment renters, and even material suppliers. However, you will not get paid until the project is finally complete unless you already have enough available cash flow. It can be a significant issue between you and the people you negotiate with.
To solve this, you need to have an open business line of credit. Having this allows you to see through the tricky spots between the project’s end and bills due. You won’t need to see your reputation/credit suffers. Lately, insurance costs have also started increasing for the construction business. If you’re not keen on tracking and reviewing the coverage, you may miss several hidden costs and exclusions in the policy.
7. Ever-changing regulations
State, county, federal, and even city regulations are consistently being updated and changing. So what should you do to stay on top of everything? First and foremost, you should follow industry publications and read construction-related blogs to get the latest updates and news on the ever-changing regulations that may affect your construction business.
Sign up for newsletters and get new blog posts instantly emailed to you. You can prevent inbox clutter by getting these industry-specific emails sent to a particular folder in your inbox. Setting aside ten to fifteen minutes per day to read newsletters and blogs will help you catch-up on everything you must need to know to stay updated and compliant.
8. The Blame Game
Nothing ever gets easy and smooth in the construction industry 100% every single time. When issues arise, expect there are many bumps in the road, and fingers begin pointing. Contractors may blame the subs, the owner blames the contractor, and the project manager blames the owner. When worst-case scenarios occur, you should skip the finger-pointing and avoid the blame game.
It would be best to focus more on getting back on track, emphasizing the project’s timeline even more. Today, there are specialized property insurances that cover the entire project, including all of the principles working on it. Natural disasters, extreme weather, even vandalism, and theft can all be circumstances where a course of policy can get you straight back to work without finger-pointing.
With so many challenges and conflicts facing the construction industry, it is nearly impossible to overcome most of them on your own, most especially when your present system spins around using spreadsheets and manual tracking. Investing in advanced construction techs, you will undoubtedly find your efficiency going up.