Construction Industry Transformation with Offsite Manufacturing

construction industry

At this point in time, offsite manufacturing makes only a small contribution to most construction projects. Usually, less than 30% of a construction project utilizes prefabricated component construction because it’s a “new” process. The concept itself has been around a long time in North America. (Sears’ prefab homes were around $700 in 1895.)

Offsite manufacturing is called:

  • Construction-integrated manufacturing
  • Designed-for-manufacturing
  • Modular construction
  • Offsite construction
  • Panelization
  • Prefabrication
  • Volumetric modular construction

By any name, offsite manufacturing of construction components is transforming the construction industry. A survey among construction professionals revealed some of the views of and motivations for offsite manufacturing that included:

  • 57% less wasted materials
  • 54% improvement in scheduling
  • 50% faster field construction

Companies DIYing Modular Construction

Challenges facing electrical contractors today include low labor productivity
levels, low and fluctuating profit margins and frequent schedule
compressions.
The State of Practice of Prefabrication

Weather delays, tight deadlines, and the need for more flexible work hours have motivated some companies to create their own prefabrication sites. In fact, JM Electrical decided to grow its prefabrication and warehousing operations. This has led to plans to hire more workers and expand its apprenticeship program.

Inventory Management Necessary To Reap the Benefits of Modular Construction

An investment in technology to improve construction processes can pay off in better control of inventory management, one of the main challenges facing construction companies. Survey respondents said enhanced inventory visibility could drive prefabrication manufacturing decisions, leading to increased profitability.

Software solutions are separating the wannabes from the winners in the construction industry. Offsite prefabrication offers so many money- and time-saving incentives. All you need to do is make the leap toward better business using technology.

Construction Monitor took that leap more than 33 years ago when we created software that takes basic building permit information and customizes it. The “big data” is filtered for specific construction-industry companies and their regions, field of interest, desired level of growth, and more. The parameters (data sorts) you use are uniquely yours. What you need and want can change every week, monthly, quarterly, or annually because how you use our software analyses is up to you.

Questions? Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

What to Know About Adopting Construction Technology

Construction Technology

Some construction employees seem to be all about technology. And sometimes it feels as if they want you to adopt technology for technology’s sake.

Granted, there are a lot of options available and many of them have lots of bling. You can really get caught up in a confusing maze of possibilities, so it’s important to refine your search for construction technology that’s right for you and your business. Here are some tips:

5 Construction Technology Questions

Don’t feel you’re alone when weighing the merits of several construction technology programs. Even seasoned technology veterans tend to get distracted by whistles and bells. Your software should have answers and solutions for these questions:

  1. What are my bottlenecks and pain points? Can this technology make a difference?
  2. Who will manage the strategic vision behind adopting the new technology?
  3. Who at the project site level will manage the data and how it is used/shared?
  4. How will I know whether our investment in technology has achieved the desired results?
  5. How can we plan for future construction technology expansion?

Probably the most important consideration is how your technology implementation will better-manage current processes. One proponent of onsite camera technology says identifying the issues first is the way to go. Then find the technology capabilities that address every problem plus has the capacity for additional services.

Some project site issues camera technology resolves:

  • Creating time and attendance reports
  • Developing emergency evacuation routes
  • Ensuring heavy-equipment workers have credentials to operate
  • Facilitating a contact tracing record
  • Identifying site safety risks
  • Knowing who is onsite, in the appropriate place, and if there are enough workers to keep the job on-schedule
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Managing project site access

Look Before You Leap

Create technology goals. You can’t hope to hit the ground running, but a reasonable expectation of implementation timeframes is necessary. Where should you be in 6 weeks? Six months?

Don’t toss your new technology investment into the wrong rollout. Make sure your project leads and the team is onboard and eager to be the flagship operators of this technology adventure. There’s a learning curve, and with the wrong project and the wrong people, your software possibilities won’t get the opportunity to solve onsite problems.

Speaking of Possibilities…

Construction Monitor shares construction technology information without recommending nor endorsing any brand(s). Our software service can help you win more business. The possibilities are here and the opportunities exist. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Industry Facing National Skills Gap

Construction Industry

Do you know what “Hit them where they live” means? The definition is something that affects someone on a personal or intimate level. Many people – most people – only care about a problem if it hits them where they live. The construction industry is facing a serious labor shortage. And it’s hitting us where we live.

America’s Backbone Needs Bracing

It was once said manufacturing is the backbone of America. Considering some of the outsourcing issues we now face, that may no longer be true. We think construction is the backbone of America.

Construction personnel working here live, eat, sleep, and shop here. The problem is we don’t have enough qualified people in shipping and receiving. Or surveying, digging, operating forklifts, on the scaffolds, in the trenches, programming the software…

What You Can Do: Advocate

It’s time for construction industry business owners, managers, and anyone that wants a future in shaping America’s future to become a construction industry advocate. The most important qualification you need is a passion for what we do. “The first step to becoming an effective advocate is preparation. Know who to contact, when to act, and how to craft your message,” says the American Psychological Association.

Contact schools, colleges, and universities. Ask to join career fair days. Prepare a compelling presentation on the benefits of a career in the construction industry.

If you are able to communicate with state and national political representatives, do so. The development and future growth of your state can be driven by construction industry growth, and your state’s politicians are receptive.

Flagship Initiative for Construction Industry, Technical Careers

An example of how advocacy can become reality: In November 2021, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced a $17 million investment in Workforce Scholarships for the Future. This program will provide scholarships to cover tuition and fees at South Carolina technical colleges. He also requested the general assembly to approve $124 million to extend the program through 2024.

In addition to maintaining a 2.0 grade point average, students must:

  • Be employed
  • Complete a financial literacy course
  • Dedicate 100 hours volunteer time at nonprofit/public-service organization

Sharing information is one way to recruit potential personnel and grow your business. Using the information we share is another way to grow your business. Ask our marketing pros how it works. Contact Construction Monitor.

Reduce Your Construction Business Paper Trail

What are paper timecards costing your construction business? Software* company Arcoro™ says going digital is the key to saving money by increasing productivity, reducing errors, and better-managing workers’ reporting systems. And let’s face it…paper costs money and storing those timecards for 10 years takes up space that could be better-used.

4 Ways Timecards Cost Your Construction Business

  1. Manual processing takes longer. The exact same data may be entered 2 or three times by different employees.
  2. The paper itself costs money and you need to replenish your inventory regularly. Someone must distribute the timecards to several project sites and retrieve them for processing too.
  3. Time theft can be accidental or intentional, but it costs money. What is 7% of your total payroll? That’s what you’re paying for hours not worked. One survey found 75% of U.S. companies lose money due to buddy-punching. (Digital apps can have visual identification requirements.)
  4. Whether it’s a worker or a manager filling-in the timecard, when recording pen-and-paper hours, manual-entry mistakes happen. Next, another employee enters the hours into a payroll system; another opportunity for errors.

Digital Time-Tracking Saves Money

Digital time-tracking software is an investment that pays off. It reduces human error and can eliminate timecard dishonesty. Adding a minute here or there…Your co-working punching-in for you… The costs can be higher than you realize.

As always, one of the biggest advantages of software applications is saving time. You have access to information now. You can generate reports within minutes, not days.

Who Uses Construction Monitor Software Data?

Any company that wants construction work lead-generation information subscribes to Construction Monitor. We’re the largest lead source in the country. But you’d be surprised how many companies use building permit information to sell goods and services.

Here are some of our company-subscriber demographics:

  • Building materials
  • Carpentry
  • City/county government
  • CNC machining
  • Concrete
  • Contractors
  • Countertop
  • Developers
  • Drywall/sheetrock
  • Electrical
  • Fabrication
  • Financial organizations/mortgage lenders
  • Fireplace
  • Flooring/floor coverings
  • Food trucks
  • Framing
  • Garage doors
  • Home appliances
  • Industrial
  • Insulation
  • Insurance
  • Investors
  • Iron/steel
  • Legal
  • Lighting
  • Manufacturing
  • Masonry
  • Medical
  • Office equipment
  • Paint/wall coverings
  • Pipefitting/welding
  • Plumbing
  • Pools/spas
  • Real estate
  • Restaurants
  • Robotic/electronic engineering
  • Robotic/laser welding
  • Roofing
  • Sheet metal machining
  • Solar
  • Stone/granite/marble
  • Subcontractors
  • Tile
  • Title companies
  • Transportation
  • Venture capitalists
  • Waste management
  • Welding/boilermaking
  • Windows/doors

If these companies use our presorted building permit information, what are you waiting on? Our marketing specialists know how data analytics can make money for your company. Contact Construction Monitor.

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*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any Brand software/company (except our own).

Construction Industry: Winning the 21st Century

Construction Industry

Construction industry contractors are ready to “hit the ground running” toward implementing the largest long-term investment in our country’s infrastructure in 100 years. But many construction professionals say it’s too soon to begin counting your money.

The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild crumbling roads and bridges, replace lead pipes…and produce concrete results that change
people’s lives for the better. These results will create good-paying
union jobs, support domestic manufacturing and supply chains,
and position the United States to win the 21st century.
 –whitehouse.gov

7 Ways the Infrastructure Bill Impacts the Construction Industry

Some of the notable takeaways from a recent report on the infrastructure bill for construction industry developers were cited:

  1. Climate change – Roads and bridges will need to be more flood-resistant.
  2. Dam projects – More than 15,000 dams are identified as high-hazard-potential structures. That means their failure could result in loss of life and property damage. Of those, about 2,000 are urgently deficient.
  3. High-risk haste – Companies may promote unprepared employees into supervisory roles as they attempt to onboard as many new hires as possible. Fears over safety will be compromised as companies rush to recruit and train employees.
  4. Rising costs – Material costs and increased pay for labor will put increased strain on project budgets.
  5. Safety programs – Distracted drivers are driving faster. Sixty percent of highway contractors reported cars crashed into their work zones in 2021. The spending package has provisions to improve road building and road worker safety.
  6. Skilled wages – Skilled workers will become increasingly more valuable with the infrastructure spending package.
  7. Technology – “Technology is only an enabler,” said inventor Jane Chen. We need to learn how to make do with fewer workers, and one way is to eliminate unnecessary and repetitive tasks. Companies will continue to be encouraged to upskill workers and empower new hires and veteran construction workers to adopt technology. “Technology is skilling jobs, not killing them,” says Leica Geosystems.

Our data tells you who’s working on what. It also tells you where business-building opportunities await. Just ask us how, when, and where. Call 435-586-1205 or contact Construction Monitor.

2022 Commercial Real Estate Trends and Construction

Commercial Real Estate Trends

Have you been to the office lately? Not many of us have. The pandemic has created more virtual offices, less dining-out, and even going to court means getting on a Zoom™ call. Will that change in 2022? The impacts of commercial real estate construction are affecting our construction industry.

Commercial Real Estate Predictions

Multifamily and industrial properties continue to see solid development. Those of us that took it tough during 2020 and 2021 are more carefully analyzing risks. Even conservative construction businesses are comfortable bidding and investing their time on multifamily and industrial commercial construction. But keep an eye on other areas that may impact construction developments this year.

Here are some of the commercial real estate predictions for 2022:

  • Hospitality will rebound – Hospitality projects on hold (some since 2020) are ramping up this year. Hotels and motels that survived the pandemic are making up for the lost time. More families road-tripped last summer rather than boarded cruise ships and airplanes. Despite rising prices, we’ll spend $771.0 billion dining in restaurants this year. Also, resorts and extended stay properties that weathered the pandemic storm are being targeted by investors.
  • Medical space developments increasing – Repurposing vacant malls and offices will be targeted by the increasing need for healthcare solutions.
  • Offices will rebound – Employers will create workplace health and safety practices designed to minimize contact. Equipment (and hands) will be regularly sanitized. These efforts should woo office workers back to their cubes.
  • The supply chain will strive to rebound – “As space near seaports is extremely limited, developers will be looking to move inland,” says reporter Sebastian Obando. Rising transportation costs continue to be a challenge, and some companies are relocating operations closer to production facilities.

Developing New Customers; Maximizing Information

There’s so much information available it’s difficult to know which sources are worth your time. Construction Monitor is your best lead source because construction business development is our business. Ask our industry marketing pros how to develop your own strategy for increasing business. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Construction Industry Trends 2022

construction industry trends

Did you think the supply chain issues the construction industry faced in 2021 would magically resolve themselves this year? Some predict many of the materials we had difficulty acquiring last year will go forth and multiply, creating another construction industry issue: hoarding.

Contractors will pay more for materials and stockpile what they can get. Construction competitors will be divided among the haves or the have-nots.

Some of the construction industry trends predicted for 2022 are:

Continued supply chain backlogs

In January, international construction insurance CSO Doug Lyall reported more than 90 percent of builders said there were shortages of appliances and lumber, while 90% had shortages of plywood and 87 percent said they had shortages of windows and doors.

What’s the solution? Cultivate backup suppliers in North America. And instead of “hoarding,” which sounds bad, you may be applauded for “creating reserves.”

Cybercrime

In 2021, three-fourths of construction-related companies suffered a cyber incident. Look for cyber insurance premiums to increase 20% this year. Cyber insurance was once a luxury; it’s going to become a necessary reality.

Increased use of technology

Drones, bots, and self-driving vehicles will be technologies driving the construction industry this year. And continued software development and utilization will make project management more efficient than ever.

Materials alternatives

Alternative materials are looking much better than before. One of the reasons is, they are better. Cross-laminated lumber (mass timber) offers notable fire resistance. Concrete reinforced with fibers is sustainable, flexible, and more durable than traditional concrete.

On the downside, alternative materials cost more. You and your clients must do the math to determine if the investment is worth it.

Residential remodeling

Homeowners may spend $400 billion by 3Q2022 on home improvement projects. But rising costs – labor and materials – could hinder the growth of residential repairs and renovations.

Uncertainties management and business development

“The construction industry is well-positioned for 2022, but… Organizations that can plan their way around the uncertainties are better positioned to manage their risks and come out on top,” said Lyall.

Construction Monitor data analytics can take your company from hoping-it-all-works-out to making it happen. Learn how to use building permit information to build business in 2022. Contact Construction Monitor.