As our new Administration continues to transition into power, there is much good news for the Construction Industry. The Infrastructure Spending bill that has been stalled in Congress for the last 6 years has a decent chance of being implemented in 2017. The appointment of Elaine Chao, a highly experienced Washington insider, bodes well for an orderly and professional roll-out of this massive program with estimated expenditures in excess of a trillion dollars.
So, as we all prepare to meet a new, unprecedented demand – are we ready? Can we scale up fast enough? Some items for consideration:
New employees will be the key to scaling up. The ability to do this in a rapid and organized fashion will become key. Juggling the duality of proper payroll compliance and skill assessments will likely overwhelm firms still reliant on manual processes or firms who ask their onboarding personnel to work in multiple systems.
The ‘Gig’ Economy
Gone are the days when managing employees only is the key. Sub-contractors are no longer managed by a company – they are often individuals who work on their own. The new contractor economy will require managing these individuals in the same way you manage your employees. Older systems that still make operational divides between these two types of resources will rapidly become over-burdened.
If you are still managing this type of reporting manually, the expense will likely have a significant effect on margins. There is no doubt that a more conservative administration will likely eliminate some of this (for example, prevailing wage rules) but the sheer volume of new projects and reporting will need to be automated for a profitable response.
Real Time Information
This has always been important, but in a slow economy the Construction industry has been allowed to take its time. With an influx of new projects, the time is up. We all know that the most important aspect of managing slim margins requires real-time views. We no longer have the luxury of time, if your system can’t handle this – you could be flying blind.
Millennials in the Workplace
Here they come, and they are used to using intuitive mobile solutions in their everyday lives. As they will suddenly be in the position of picking and choosing where they work, will they be willing to take a ‘step down’ to work with your solutions? If you are still confounded by this type of technology – will you be able to attract young talent?
We are all hearing about ‘digital transformation’ for our Construction businesses. Have we waited too long to respond? There is no doubt that we are about to face a new marketplace and a new economy, will we face it with the same old monolithic, back-office centric operational and accounting systems? There are more questions than answers – but we are running out of time.
Check out our other blogs in the Construction series, including:
4 Technology Trends Construction Firms Should Embrace
Dynamics 365 – Disruption for the Construction Industry
KPMG: Slow Technology Adoption Plagues Construction Profitability
Design-Build: How Will Construction Companies React?
Why do Construction Companies Struggle with Automated Job Assignments?