Construction Industry Feb Starts: We Get By With a Little Help From Our (Manufacturing) Friends

The total construction industry starts increased nine percent in February 2022. The new construction of three “large manufacturing facilities” boosted nonresidential building starts up 32%. Without the large manufacturing projects, total construction would have declined six percent in February, according to Construction Business Owner magazine.

The manufacturing facilities are:

  • $10 billion – Intel chip fabrication plants/Chandler, AZ
  • $1.5 million – Steel mill/Osceola, LA
  • $550 million – Intel semiconductor facility renovation/Rio Rancho, NM

Manufacturing may continue to drive construction industry business, but other sectors are facing challenges.

Other construction industry statistics for February 2022 include:

  • Nonbuilding construction – <1%
    • Highway/bridges – >2%
    • Misc. – <26%
    • Public works – <23%
    • Utility/gas plant starts – >66%
  • Nonresidential – >32%
    • Commercial – <8%
    • Institutional – <22%
  • Residential – <3%
    • Multifamily – >2%
      • $400 million – Central condos/St. Petersberg, FL
      • $220 million – Journal Squared apartments/Jersey City, NJ
      • $147 million – Miami World Tower/Miami, FL
    • Single-family – <4%

February 2022 was negatively influenced by weather and the war against Ukraine. The continued material and labor issues and expenses may be causing some construction industry business owners to put the brakes on project startups. They may be pausing just long enough to examine areas in which costs can be cut for better balance.

Data Continues To Drive Construction Operations, Marketing

Our construction industry is embracing digital transformation. Ninety-five percent of construction project site workers say they’d utilize technology-driven tools that would make their jobs easier. Software implementations have added efficiency and accuracy that saves time and money, so it’s an all-around win-win for companies investing in technology.

Construction Monitor data is used by project managers and construction industry business owners for project statistics and marketing leads. Our information helps: It tells you what your competitors and potential partners are developing. You can study historical trends so you can make informed decisions about future investments. All you need to do is use it. We’ll help with that too. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Inflation Will Continue to Impact Construction Industry

construction industry

There was a comedienne whose catchphrase was, “It’s always something.” We are cautiously optimistic that the pandemic will be something we can someday tell our grandchildren about. But you might need to take your mask off to blow-up balloons today because the construction industry is dealing with inflation.

9 Ways To Manage Your Construction Industry Business During Inflation

Long-term trends ranging from high housing demand to tight labor markets will probably fuel inflation well into 2023 even if the pandemic, and short-term price pressures caused by it, begin to fade…-Construction Dive

There are several strategies for your construction industry company to employ as you struggle with inflationary prices and economic downturns resulting from it. Some are just common sense approaches for any business. Some are construction industry-specific approaches to manage inflation:

  1. Consider implementing commodity tracking logs.
  2. Differentiate between strategic and nonstrategic spending.
  3. Don’t prioritize low bidding over quality work.
  4. Implement TVD (target value delivery). TVD is a management practice used during every phase to deliver fixed-budget projects while meeting the client’s operational requirements.
  5. Integrate skilled trades early in a project; pay them quickly.
  6. Lock-in material prices earlier and leverage warehousing.
  7. Partner with companies that are knowledgeable about global markets.
  8. Scrutinize work processes and trim them. Eliminate unnecessary work and automate where possible.
  9. Take communications to an even higher level. Misunderstandings will cost more now than ever.

Conference Board Global Chief Economist Dana Peterson said transitioning to renewable energy, immigration restrictions, and returning production to the U.S. will also drive inflation. Incentives that may reduce inflation include:

  • Enhanced infrastructure
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased automation
  • More remote/contract work
  • Retailer price competition

National and global economics will always impact the construction industry. And Construction Monitor data analysis based on building permit information will always increase construction business marketing leads if you know how to use it. Ask us what’s in it for you and your company: Contact Construction Monitor.

SOSDCB: Same Old Services, Different Construction Business

construction business

“Affordable.”

“Dependable.”

“Effective and efficient.”

“The best.”

“We care.”

Does any company within any industry in the United States ever say otherwise? Have you ever seen a blog or website that reads:

“We’ve been late a few times, but it really wasn’t our fault,”

or

“We have to price our construction business services higher than Fly By Night Remodeling because we include workers’ family medical and dental insurance, 401K options, and the owner’s wife likes to travel.”

Lowball bidding for construction services is a strategy that works. It’s just not the best strategy for getting A-list jobs. You want a portfolio with quality work that lets your construction business shine; that sets you apart from competitors. Your construction business strategy can be different and better.

Here are suggestions to solidify your presence in a highly competitive industry. Your construction business can become a standout when your presentations include:

  • Asking questions – What are your most important criteria that will determine selection? What other companies are bidding? And the last, most important question is, what would it take to win this contract right now?
  • Building trust face-to-face – It’s not a new strategy, but it still works well. Seeking new customers, “wining and dining,” and not just handing out box-seat tickets but attending events with your new clients lets them get to know who you are. Small talk reinforces the values your company represents, which builds trust and wins better business.
  • Finding out what really matters – Price is seldom the determining factor in a quality job. Your subcontractor selections, reputation for problem-solving, and other factors may weigh heavily in the decision-making process. If you really want this job, rather than submit the bid online or by phone, meet with the potential client.

Construction Monitor

We are affordable, dependable, effective and efficient, and the best at what we do. But don’t take our word for it. Ask for opinions from valued construction business resources, read testimonials, and check out current news about Construction Monitor.

Then contact Construction Monitor. Our marketing professionals care about your construction business. Let us prove it.

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.

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.

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.

Construction Industry Economic Outlook

“They’re no longer lollygagging when it comes to committing to projects…” That’s one of the first economic indicators a Canadian construction CEO noticed in 2022. This year the construction industry will see a year of rebuilding, reorganizing, and recommitment to the future. Challenges and opportunities.

Construction Industry 2022

Pricing continues to be a shot in the dark as supply chain and materials remain unknowns. And then there’s COVID – whatever variant – causing jobsite stress and adding to the labor shortage. All that aside, you have to admit: It’s beginning to feel like “normal” again.

Ken Simonson of Associated General Contractors of America says he’s “nervously optimistic.” Materials lead times seem to be shortening and nonresidential construction is looking up. But vaccine hesitancy among construction industry employees means more downtime and greater severity of COVID’s symptoms for workers.

Inflation’s almost stunning rise might benefit the construction industry. It’s sad but true: As more people have difficulty paying their bills, more people will return to work. Pricing uncertainties are pressuring developers to sign contracts sooner, rather than later.

“People are starting to think that if they wait, they may miss the right opportunity to build their project,” said Deron Brown of PCL Construction.

The Three Ps of Construction

People, prices, and productivity will dominate the construction industry in 2022. U.S. manufacturing is returning home, as overseas manufacturing exacerbated an already problematic supply chain.

Another concern is hoarding by construction companies. The supply chain snafu and materials shortages led to a Depression-era mentality; many are buying what they can, as much as they can, and filling their warehouses “just in case.”

In 2016, a report was released on what people “really want” in residential construction. What people want will always drive commercial and residential construction, especially in 2022. What do you want to achieve this year? If it’s more like making history rather than watching others do it, you’ll need business-building processes. We’ve got some ideas for you.

Call 435-586-1205 or contact Construction Monitor.

Help Wanted: Construction Labor 2022

Construction Labor

The construction industry may be sailing into “the perfect storm” this year. A combination of factors may impact construction labor in 2022. Construction Dive says, “From a huge influx in public spending…vaccines…and continued social changes, here are the top trends impacting construction labor in 2022.”

Construction Labor Trends To Watch

We’re wooing high school seniors in an effort to flip negative perceptions about careers in skilled trades and construction work. This is not the kind of process that delivers immediate results. In addition to recruiting, cultural awareness will be key to every company’s ability to get and keep talent.

Attitude Adjustments Are Critical

Workers need to feel valued. It’s time to stop joking about it and become the flagship for a changed environment in-house. Otherwise, you’ll be good-old-boying and laughing all the way to bankruptcy.

Employees want steady, good-paying jobs. They also want respect, women and minority initiatives, and a culture that values them and their families. They want a career with a future. Construction labor will take lower-paying work closer to home. Maybe jobsite transportation is something to consider. Childcare and family day programs are in your future (and the future is now).

More Work, More Challenges, More Vaccination Confusion in 2022

The $550 billion earmarked for infrastructure improvements will call for even more workers, exacerbating the construction labor shortage. Wages may increase. Public projects will take priority and pay more, so private projects may drop off the radar.

There will be even more pressure for unvaccinated workers to get vaccinated. The confusion about regulations continues despite January 13’s Supreme Court ruling blocking the vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers. Construction managers “find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they try to facilitate the discussion between their workers,” said Construction Dive. Watch for public – and some private clients – to attempt enforcing their own vaccination requirements in 2022.

One thing we want to see this year is more work. Construction Monitor is the number one source for generating leads based on building permit data. This year, build your business and start by contacting Construction Monitor.