18.01.2020

Challenges for the Construction Industry

A recent report sponsored by Procore, a US based construction project management software company, examines the top challenges facing the construction industry today and how firms are leveraging technology to combat them.

The 738 study participants—mostly contractors—hailed from the U.S. (42%), U.K. (22%), Australia & New Zealand (21%), and Canada (15%).

Constructor’s Top Concerns

The construction industry is changing, with projects becoming ever more complex whilst delivery times speed up. At the same time, there is an inherent skills shortage in the sector—in 2017, 89% of firms stated they are facing talent shortages, up from 53% in 2013. The construction population is also aging and contracting, with young people increasingly choosing other career paths and the majority of baby boomers exiting the industry over the next 10 years.

Study respondents ranked their main concerns by the level of importance, and it emerged that the greatest worry is maintaining a safe job site, followed by attracting and retaining skilled labor and maximizing field productivity. According to the report, whilst “job site safety is being proactively managed, firms are making little headway in addressing field productivity or talent acquisition and retention.”

This is definitely food for thought for the tech companies building solutions for the construction industry.

According to the study, the majority of firms surveyed have formal software programs in place for project financials, project management, and safety or risk management, but less than half
have the tech for equipment management and field labor management. The latter is especially salient, in an industry plagued by rising labor costs, stagnating productivity and a dwindling workforce.

What do construction companies want?

The report makes a distinction between what construction companies look for when they invest in tech as opposed to when they are buying a solution. In the former case, they value
solutions that will enhance speed and efficiency the most, whilst in the latter, they look for a good fit to their functional requirements. In both instances, they want something that is
easy to use and cost-effective.

We will be following developments in ConTech (Construction Technology) in upcoming issues of Intersect.

For a copy of the full report email info@designmatters.org.au