Survey puts spotlight on contracting challenges
By Adam FreillConstruction Construction Materials Labour Leadership Software
Use of technology may improve productivity and efficiency as trade contractors face workforce and skill shortages and a tight supply chain.
Supply chain constraints are impacting the amount of work Canadian contractors are able to take on. That was one of the key findings from the 2022 Top Business Issues for Specialty Contractors Report, presented by Dodge Construction Network in partnership with construction management software provider Procore Technologies.
The report highlights key issues impacting specialty contractors, including workforce management, technology and profitability, to help businesses better understand recurring trends while broadening industry awareness of the advantages that can be created by leveraging digital solutions.
At a time when more than 40 per cent of Canadian subcontractors say employees are devoting a fifth of their hours to low-productivity administrative tasks, and while these companies are losing margin to rework and non-invoiced change orders, 42 per cent say they will likely be turning down work to adjust to shipping and supply chain constraints over the next 12 months.
It is not an easy time to be a contractor.
Out of all surveyed regions, Canadian subcontractors were also amongst the most severely impacted by labour shortages, with over 53 per cent reporting that more than half of their projects are being impacted by the shortage. Also concerning is that Canadian subcontractors report that on an average of 38 per cent of their company’s workforce will likely retire in the next five years.
“The challenges specialty contractors are faced with today highlight the need for a connected platform built to address their needs,” said Will Lehrmann, head of product, specialty contractors, at Procore. “Several key takeaways show that the power of technology can help improve productivity and efficiency—as well as combat the workforce and skill shortages—that many specialty contractors are still facing.”
The report suggests company leaders must identify where inefficiencies are present within their organizations and adopt more dynamic technological solutions to address them. Best practices for technology evaluation and implementation include identifying needs before evaluating options, using a structured process for engaging key stakeholders, and using metrics to determine success.
“Specialty trade contractors are vitally important to the construction industry,” stated Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research for Dodge Construction Network. “Dodge and Procore partnered on this research so these companies can better understand how their peers are performing and what could improve their critical outcomes. We sincerely hope these insights will help them operate more safely, efficiently and profitably.”
To learn more, download the report here.