How Mechanical Contractors Can Leverage Software for Better Business Outcomes

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Introduction:

Specialty contractors, especially mechanical contractors, are the lifeblood of construction sites. With construction projects getting more complex each year and opportunities for work increasing globally, mechanical contractors need to streamline workflows and scale with ease in order to succeed. Not only do project owners expect a certain level of efficiency, but any productivity gains made by mechanical contractors on their own can result directly in profit gain for all partners involved. By harnessing software, mechanical specialists can achieve goals for delivering high-quality work, communicating better with their teams, and delivering right on time.

The Current Mechanical Contractor Landscape:

Specialty contractors are the primary labor force that completes work on a construction site, providing trades that make large construction projects possible. Mechanical contracting typically includes HVAC, but can also include other types of cooling systems, chillers, refrigeration, working with sheet metal, piping, and sometimes plumbing. Mechanical subcontractors spend a lot of time working closely with other specialty contractors on-site, as well as general contractors and project owners, due to the interconnected need for wiring and piping to connect mechanical systems.

The mechanical contractors that are part of the ENR Top 600 Specialty Contractors group generated over 18% of the $135 billion in revenue brought in during 2018. With over $25 billion generated by these contractors alone, these companies are definitely handling large enough projects to require better management techniques.

With the total global mechanical services market valued at over $7 billion as of 2019, there’s already a healthy demand for HVAC and related installations. However, demand for mechanical contractors on new construction in particular is forecasted to rise because of higher temperatures in many parts of the world. Research supports the forecast of a rise to $14 billion in value for the entire HVAC market by 2025.

As the spend on construction projects continues to increase, the demand for mechanical contractors will rise simultaneously. Anything these contractors can do to improve efficiencies, scale with ease, and better communicate will help to expedite these projects—allowing even smaller contractors to take on more work, capitalizing on the predicted market growth.

Common Challenges Mechanical Contractors Face:

In today’s market, specialty contractors like mechanical installers face many challenges during both the preconstruction and construction phases. Challenges across the project lifecycle make it difficult for mechanical contractors of all sizes to take full advantage of the opportunities in the market.

Challenges During Preconstruction:

Mechanical contractors spend a lot of time and effort in the bidding process before a project has even begun. Since mechanical systems are required in most commercial buildings, the process of planning and estimating costs for a project can take weeks. In any mechanical contractor’s project, this stage is crucial because it ensures there is both work in the company’s pipeline and a steady cash flow.