Challenges facing the construction industry

February 6th 2020

The construction industry continues to grow, making it an interesting time for companies both old and new. As the construction industry continues to grow, with spending at an all time high, companies in the construction industry are putting their focus towards how they can fix some of the problems the industry faces to give them that competitive edge. So, what are the challenges facing the construction industry?

There are many challenges facing the construction industry today for both large and small businesses. Common challenges businesses face in the construction industry are: resolving labor shortages, stagnant productivity levels, managing safety on-site, avoiding scope creep and adopting technology. Businesses in the construction industry use digital tools like Locale Central to mitigate these challenges and gain a competitive edge within the construction industry.

Labor shortages in the construction industry

The first challenge that comes to mind when you ask almost anyone in the construction industry is labor shortages. With a growing industry, you need a steady supply of skilled labor, which is becoming harder and harder to find. A lot of countries are facing an ageing workforce in the construction industry, with many young adults not opting for a career in the construction industry. 

Resolving labour shortages is a complex problem, that requires improving training programs and providing more opportunities for an apprenticeship. Companies can improve their employment strategies by working with local schools to encourage a career in the construction industry, as well as providing an in-house training program.

Productivity in the construction industry

When considering how to gain a competitive edge, improving productivity is often a good place to start. Improving productivity uses the resources you already have but increases your net return from them. To improve productivity in the construction industry, companies should identify areas they can reduce downtime and optimise their working processes.

Common areas the construction industry could improve productivity is reducing time waiting for materials and equipment, improving resource management, automating regular tasks and faster on-site data entry. Software and digital tools like Locale Central can help with improving productivity by converting your paper forms into digital forms that can be completed on mobile, as well as using Locale Central for simplifying resource management; check out our job contractor template for an example of how you can collect data and manage resources with a digital form.

Safety in the construction industry

Safety accidents are a rising concern in the construction industry, with companies under the stricter safety rules than ever. Aside from the risk of personal industry, safety issues also put a lot of financial and legal risk on construction companies, making it crucial to follow proper processes. 

With this need to follow proper safety processes, the paperwork has increased too; such as safety checklists, incident reports, and inspection forms required to prove compliance and take the necessary precautions to keep employees safe. Tools that turn paper forms into digital, such as Locale Central, are valuable in maintaining an accurate record of safety precautions taken and simplify data collection on-site, check out our health and safety manager template for an example of how you can create safety checklists and other crucial safety forms.

Scope creep in the construction industry

As the margins get thinner and thinner in the construction industry, misquoting a project can hit companies hard in the pocket. Complexity is also increasing in the construction industry, increasing the risk of components having an unseen cost that eliminates the profit margin. To combat this, construction companies need to achieve proper planning and documentation to share knowledge throughout the company and reduce the risk of unforeseen expenses.

Technology adoption in the construction industry

The construction company is very guilty of adopting technologies at a snail pace, limiting their ability to improve productivity and ultimately their bottom line. Technology can assist with many facets of the construction industry, such as data entry, invoicing and employee training. 

Part of the difficulty with technology adoption is getting the employees and subcontractors to adopt it, which requires providing adequate training and communicating the benefits that workers can relate to.

If you’re looking to adopt technology in your construction company, try going paperless with Locale Central. Locale Central makes it easy to record data on-site with mobile devices, with an easy to use layout and the ability to export your data for use with other technology such as spreadsheets; get started for free.

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