COVID-19 has impacted our industry, but the future of construction looks strong. Despite early and ongoing pandemic-related hiccups in 2020, only 29% of Marcum National Construction Survey respondents expressed concern about a lack of work. In fact, 36% of respondents said they expect more work as 2021 continues to move along.
These findings show the resiliency of the construction industry. Things are still changing at a blinding pace (due to surges in cases or material delays, for instance), which is why more than half of all survey respondents also said strategic planning in construction projects will be a primary focus. A construction labor plan can look perfect but then be outdated an hour later.
How can you navigate in this type of ever-changing environment? By being prepared. You need to strategically plan ahead, have the resources available to satisfy contractual obligations and improve your approach to construction workforce management. At the highest level, understanding your labor pool — how many people you need today and what your potential can be for the future — is critical in this new normal and beyond.
Putting new processes in place makes sense because 2020 has taught us that you never know what curveballs will be thrown your way. Here’s what you should plan to do moving forward:
1. Be flexible and adaptable
To remain successful, you’ll need to balance your pre-pandemic practices and new digital technologies. For instance, some construction leaders are relying on technology to allow them to virtually “visit” worksites. Others are experimenting with big data and predictive analysis to uncover patterns that will improve efficiencies and profitability. In general, the industry has been slow to embrace change, but new issues require immediate innovative solutions.
2. Update information in real time
Instant, accessible information promotes engagement, decreases the chance of miscommunication and makes construction workforce management easier. The Society for Human Resource Management noted businesses with 100 employees lose about $420,000 annually because of poor communication. Give your team the platforms, apps, and software they need to access important instructions and save you money.
3. Minimize waste
There’s no room for redundancy or waste. To maximize efficiency, you’ll need to employ lean workforce management processes and maintain consistent productivity. Lean construction waste elimination results in better communication, improved transparency and increased productivity because of more involved management. To see these outcomes, you’ll need to generate a labor plan and balance the ridges and valleys.
4. Avoid stagnation
COVID-19 has been the ultimate accelerator. During the shutdown, 50 Florida construction projects sped up to capitalize on decreased traffic. Companies were seeing the same trend internally: Outcomes are always getting better or worse; there’s no stagnation period anymore. To navigate this, you’ll need to make faster decisions without any “let me think about it” buffer zones.
COVID-19’s impact on construction has necessitated changes. Understanding the importance of strategic planning in your construction company will help you ensure success into the new year.
LaborChart Can Help You Strategically Prepare
With LaborChart, you have the ability to learn from your past and look ahead. You know what projects are coming up, who’s available and a holistic view across your organization. This type of proactive approach creates a positive domino effect next week, next month and beyond, even during unprecedented times.
Read more about LaborChart and how the cloud-based workforce management platform has helped others succeed during the global pandemic.