Commercial construction is anticipating a busy 2022 with some economists predicting a 5.4% growth bump. While that’s music to our ears, we know the major challenges the construction industry has faced over the past two years will stay with us for a while.
Still, we see reason for hope and optimism as we explore the opportunities presented by three leading questions.
Will we see an end to supply chain issues?
Unfortunately, the material and supply chain disruptions we have experienced over the last two years will continue into 2022.
On top of the existing issues with shortages, slow production, and logistics, pent-up demand is escalating congestion at major ports, which is increasing delays and driving up material and freight costs even more. But now that we know what to expect, we can prepare for it.
D-Mar’s history of success overcoming complex challenges is directly related to the strength of our collaborative partnerships. So our project approach begins with getting all participants and stakeholders involved as early as possible. Working together, we map out the project to identify roadblocks before they become problems and develop creative solutions.
Engaging vendors and partners early in the process also helps to gain a more complete understanding of potential problems and possibilities. Digital supply chain tools can provide deeper insights into the availability of materials, their costs, and how they move down the supply chain. Regionally sourced materials, alternative materials, and prefabrication can open up opportunities as well, depending on the size, scope, and type of project.
Considering whether a project would be best served by changing the delivery method from traditional to Contractor-Led Design-Build (CLDB). At D-Mar, this collaborative approach is built on a streamlined system where a single source of accountability leads a high-functioning team. We have found CLDB to be the most effective method of ensuring the project team is in sync and working at peak performance from beginning to end.
How do we recruit and retain talent?Nearly every sector is experiencing bouts of employment pain and construction is no exception. The struggle to keep and recruit skilled workers has a cascading effect in our industry. From project delays and cancellations to losing bids to an inability to acquire new business, labor shortages can have a catastrophic impact on a company’s bottom line and reputation.
Moreover, it can negatively impact culture and morale. When multiple people quit, the remaining employees are expected to pick up the slack, leaving them to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side for them as well.
An increase in retirements has further complicated the hiring process as professionals with deep industry experience leave the workforce at a faster rate than young professionals enter it, creating a wide knowledge gap.
Strategies like implementing training programs that reskill and upskill employees can both shrink the knowledge gap between older and younger generations and open new avenues for growth and advancement.
The “Great Resignation” challenges us to ask the hard question: is my company the best place to work? We believe that supporting our people to the best of our ability is imperative to our company’s operational success and that it’s the right thing to do. We also know there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
We all have an opportunity to examine our company cultures, compensation packages, pathways for advancement, and recruiting strategies to ensure we are offering a competitive employee experience.
While we’re at it, let’s think about how to position the construction industry for younger generations.
Merging workforces are seeking more than tangible benefits from employment, they are seeking purpose.
Construction is all about purpose – we are in the business of transformation, which is really exciting. By emphasizing the tremendous impact our work has on people and communities, we can attract passionate individuals who want to make a difference.
Can technology change the game?
The pandemic has advanced technology in construction as well as accelerated its adoption. While historically slow to enter the digital age, construction companies and the ancillary businesses that support them are increasingly taking advantage of digital tools and technologies to power greater performance.
Concepts like “connected construction” are gaining momentum as they aim to bridge divides in communications, provide data-driven insights and streamline processes through digitization. Likewise, supply chain technology, such as automation, artificial intelligence, and cloud logistics, are easing some of the headaches we are experiencing today and preparing us for future sustainability.
Integrating tools such as cloud-based project management and procurement software, BIM modeling, drones, 3D imaging, and virtual reality applications provide a host of benefits, including:
- Enhanced workflow
- Better connections
- Improved safety
- Increased transparency
- Time savings
- Error and cost reduction
- Real-time data
At D-Mar, we stay on top of emerging technologies and techniques that improve the way we work and serve our clients. Technology allows us to maximize results through greater insights, higher efficiency, and stronger partner collaboration. Technology can also help us recruit the younger, digitally savvy generations that want technology-focused positions.
Challenges Create OpportunitiesAnyone involved in construction understands no two projects are the same – each build presents its own unique set of challenges. But out of these challenges come valuable opportunities for us to learn, adapt and pivot.
In 2022, we look forward to learning, adapting, and pivoting alongside our industry partners as we band together to support expansion and growth in our communities.
Want to talk? Get in touch with us.