The current lack of qualified workers, i.e., the labor shortage, is affecting multiple industries from trucking to hotels and airlines to restaurants. Many businesses are struggling to do the same amount of work with fewer workers, leading many to cut hours or work with a bare-bones staff.
The labor shortage in the construction industry not only affects daily work but creates a domino effect for other businesses – a slowdown in construction has the potential to halt growing cities, shut down busy buildings and disrupt the processing of goods we can’t live without.
In other words, if the construction industry can’t overcome its labor shortage issues, other industries will suffer. The solution? Technology.
Software is the Construction Industry’s Secret Weapon
Digitizing your talent management processes – like hiring, onboarding and development – can give construction companies a definite advantage against the competition. According to LaborChart, the digital transformation in the construction industry is still taking shape and the forces behind it are stronger than ever. Construction software can combat the labor shortage by:
Technology streamlines the communication process, allowing everyone to get on the same page quickly and easily. Instead of trying to chase a field worker down over the phone, through text message or email, communicating through a tool such as a workforce management software ensures your message was sent and received. Additionally, digital documentation of ongoing communication creates a trail that can be effectively tracked.
Eliminating Misallocation and Unnecessary Downtime
Construction software takes the guesswork out of where workers are heading next and if they’ll have what they need, when they need it. It’s estimated that unplanned downtime from equipment maintenance can add up to 20 to 30% in the construction industry. Tracking where workers are working and the equipment they’re using – through time clock apps and equipment tracking software – means working hours are spent more efficiently. This also creates a better understanding of what’s expected from one day to the next.
Tracking how projects went, what it took to complete them, which workers successfully completed assigned tasks and areas for improvement can be difficult to record and track without some sort of digital documentation. When contractors utilize systems such as a pen and paper, spreadsheets and whiteboards, real-time data is never captured, and looking back to chart project success becomes a nightmare. Construction software makes it easy to learn from the past so you can better prepare for upcoming projects. This makes bidding, scheduling and overall planning more accurate.
In a 2020 AGC survey, 57% of respondents cited the skilled labor shortage as the biggest challenge to worker health and safety. Unfortunately, this adds up as the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics data shows 34.9% of new workers are injured during their first year on the job simply due to being undertrained.
Construction software, like a Learning Management System (LMS) can help automatically track certifications, keep everyone up-to-date on safety protocols and help identify and prepare the right workers for the right jobs. An LMS, like Arcoro’s, can also automatically send reminder notifications of approaching certification expiration dates.
Creating a Tech-Savvy Culture
Technology is attractive to the younger generation of workers and Millennial employees are now the largest segment of the workforce. This generation, along with Gen Z, grew up having information at their fingertips and the way in which they work shouldn’t be any different.
According to CompTIA, a non-profit trade association representing the technology industry, two-thirds of millennials and their younger Gen Z colleagues—those turning 23 and younger—consider an organization’s embrace of technology and innovation as an important factor when choosing an employer. Fostering a culture of continuous improvement based on innovative construction software makes your company attractive in a competitive market.
Providing a Data Hub
Obtaining information is key, but you also need a secure system to house all your precious data. Construction software, such as workforce management software, helps you track and store information about your workers’ skills, traits, qualifications, and certifications.
Software Solutions Leading the Way
An investment in the right pieces of software can help contractors survive—and thrive—during the labor shortage. But with hundreds of construction software solutions to choose from, it can be difficult to understand which ones will help move the needle. Arcoro and its partners, LaborChart, Procore and Foundation, are leading the way in navigating the labor shortage.
The solutions offered by Arcoro and its partners provide a well-rounded digital experience for both workers and managers. Processes not only become easier and more efficient but can help companies grow.