The Supply Chain Is Broken, Labor Is Scarce, and Work Is Remote: Now What?

Now’s the time to take stock and hedge your bets  so you can finish work faster — and better — when resources are scarce. Here’s how to get it done.

This era could go down as one of the most challenging times in the history of the U.S. construction industry — and one that may change construction forever.

Challenge after challenge has plunged contractors into uncharted waters, forcing them to find new ways to keep their business alive.        

To describe these challenges in a single word: shortages. The industry needs more workers, more materials and more ways to keep projects going — even when not everyone can be on-site.

While many reports indicate the industry is booming, this positive news doesn’t do much good if you’re running out  of ways to get work done.

As the industry continues to dodge curveballs, two kinds of construction companies will emerge:

  1. Those that turn challenges into opportunities and flourish as a result.
  2. Those that continue with business as usual, keeping their fingers crossed under their desks while hoping nothing catastrophic happens.

These curveballs also present you with new possibilities: the chance to reinvent your business, retrain employees and improve the way your team works. If you want to build resiliency, leverage your company’s strengths and stand out from the competition, then your only choice is change.

Getting Ahead When You  Can’t Hire

Associated Builders and Contractors reports that construction needs 1 million additional workers to keep projects moving over the next two years. Where will you find these workers? You most likely won’t. But there’s another way to crack the code: technology.

According to McKinsey, technology is posed to improve construction productivity as much as 60%. This doesn’t have to be accomplished through elaborate tools such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning and 3D printing, either. It can be as simple as using technology to capitalize on your existing workforce and maximize job site productivity instead of hiring.

“In this environment, you have no choice but to maximize what you have,” said U.S. CAD Director of Autodesk Construction Aaron Wagner. “Baby boomers are retiring, and younger generations aren’t as interested in construction. One group of workers is leaving, and nobody new is coming in. During the pandemic, some contractors closed their doors or had layoffs. Some workers lost hope and interest, and they moved on. We’ve got a growing talent gap — but technology can help close it.”

Now’s the time to take stock and hedge your bets so you can finish work faster — and better — even when resources are scarce. Here’s how to get it done.

“ Baby boomers are retiring, and younger generations aren’t as interested in construction. One group of workers is leaving, and nobody new is coming in. During the pandemic, some contractors closed their doors or had layoffs.

Some workers lost hope and interest, and they moved on. We’ve got a growing talent gap —  but technology can help close it.”

–  Aaron Wagner, U.S. CAD Director of Autodesk Construction

A Goal Without a Plan Is Just a Dream: Make a Plan

A simple Google search for “construction technology” can be overwhelming.

There’s a lot to choose from regarding digital platforms, software and apps.

“A lot of companies say they want to know how projects are performing financially or whether a job will be done on schedule,”

–  Aaron Wagner, U.S. CAD Director of Autodesk Construction