4 Significant challenges facing the concrete industry

The construction industry is going through a period of transition. Construction investment in the United States has reached an all-time peak in recent years. Despite surviving the Great Recession, the concrete industry continues to face old and fresh problems as it moves on. This also has a bearing effect on concreting companies in Sydney. In this regard, if you’re looking to start a concreting company Sydney thrives on, you should pay more attention.

Concrete companies face a number of problems, including the material and labour prices, labor shortages, intensified competition, and declining profit margins. New OSHA laws, revisions to building codes, and recent tax legislation are all examples of new rules and regulations that company owners must be aware of.

Here are some of the major challenges facing the construction industry today:

Labor Shortages

During the crisis, the building sector lost over 2 million concrete workers, and it has been difficult to bring work up to pre-recession levels. Many employees left the industry, either because they quit or were laid off, and sought jobs in other fields. When the rehabilitation progressed, it became apparent that these staff, who had moved on to new jobs, were not returning.

The bottom line is that the construction industry is unable to find sufficiently qualified workers to satisfy rising demand. According to a new survey by the AGC, 75% of businesses plan to increase headcount in 2018, and 78% of businesses are having difficulty recruiting eligible employees. Furthermore, 82 percent of businesses anticipate that finding and hiring skilled employees would be challenging, if not impossible, in 2018.

In the building sector, about 21% of workers are 55 or older, compared to just 9% who are 24 or younger. Construction workers are leaving at a higher pace than the younger generation is entering the field. Millennials, who are more tech-savvy than previous generations, aren’t flocking to construction jobs in the same way as previous generations did, which will continue to create problems for companies as they want to satisfy rising demand. The lack of diversity, as well as the confusion around immigration reform, would only exacerbate the situation.

In a more optimistic note, the building sector added 241,000 jobs in 2017, up from 190,000 in 2016. Construction companies have done an excellent job in developing in-house educational and apprenticeship programs, as well as working with state and local governments to develop programs aimed at attracting and training young talent for construction careers. Labor shortages will prove to be a huge problem for businesses for many years to come, so this pattern will have to continue.

Stagnant Productivity Levels

Construction, unlike other sectors, has seen little or no production growth over the last eight decades. According to a new study by McKinsey & Co., “while many U.S. industries, such as agriculture and manufacturing, have improved productivity ten to fifteen times since the 1950s, construction productivity has remained stagnant at the same pace as it was 80 years earlier.” According to current data, the industry’s productivity has been declining steadily since the late 1960s.”

These results are concerning, particularly given the increasing complexity of construction projects. Low efficiency on building sites is caused by a variety of causes. These may be the result of poor preparation and scheduling, a lack of coordination and cooperation among project partners, or idle time spent waiting for materials and equipment to arrive or for previous work to be completed.

In recent years, the labour shortage has hampered productivity, with jobs lacking the necessary expertise or experience, or businesses attempting to do more work with fewer employees. Fragmentation in the industry as a result of operating in silos is often a significant factor in the loss of quality improvement over time.

Design-build and lean construction techniques, which necessitate a high degree of coordination and teamwork among key players on a construction project, have been shown to increase project efficiency and productivity. Technology such as building information modeling (BIM) and project management software are also tools that contracting firms can use to bolster productivity.

Safety

The construction industry appears to have a problem with worker welfare. For years, architecture has ranked first of all sectors in terms of total worker deaths. For years, the rate of occupational accidents and illnesses has been stable. All company owners should prioritize keeping staff safe and saving them from crashes and injury.

In the building industry, the average time away from work following an accident or sickness on the job is ten days. In 2016, out of the 82,760 accident injuries requiring days away from work, 26,010 required 31 days or more away from work, accounting for nearly a third of all accident injuries requiring days away from work. That’s a massive amount of lost productivity due to injuries and illnesses.

The most effective way to keep employees safe on the jobsite is to provide them with training. Safety preparation should not be done just once. Throughout a worker’s career, ongoing preparation is needed to stress the value of healthy workplace conditions and to affirm the lessons learned. There is no such thing as an excessive amount of safety preparation.

When risks are mitigated and good job conditions are strictly and vigilantly followed, accidents are easily avoided. Health begins at the top, and research has found that businesses with good safety systems are more profitable. By demonstrating an interest in the well-being of its employees, a building firm will boost its image and recruit top talent.

Technology Adoption

The construction industry as a whole has a reputation for being reluctant to embrace modern technology. Despite their recognition of the many opportunities that technology can offer in running their company and overseeing building ventures, several reports and polls have shown that business owners appear to underinvest in technology.

For many years, the building industry has used BIM, telematics, smart computers, and software applications. Emerging technology such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), robotics, drones, 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, and self-driving cars are all being adapted for use in the construction industry.

Many of these technologies, ironically, will be used to better solve the other issues that the construction industry is facing. BIM, VR, project management tools, and mobile devices can aid in organizing, planning, connectivity, and teamwork, both of which can contribute to increased efficiency.

Staff are being monitored and kept secure using drones and wearable sensors. VR is being used to train workers in secure conditions, and robotics and automated machines are helping workers to avoid some of the most dangerous areas on construction sites by alleviating some of the most strenuous activities they are expected to do. Companies that are adopting new tech also have a leg up on attracting more millennials to come and work for them.

Technology is rapidly approaching the point that it would be a key component in all building programs. Companies who are early adopters who integrate emerging technology into their workflows and career centers would have a significant edge over those who aren’t. Companies who refuse to recognize the benefits of technology or continue to underinvest in these tools will be unable to compete in this fast-changing world.

Final thoughts

With the challenges we just discussed, you should be able to have some preemptives measures as regards mitigating these problems. This is especially important if you’re looking to start a concrete company Sydney features.