The pandemic saw the construction industry pausing for a while due to the lower productivity of the workers, delays in the delivery of construction materials, and an increase in the prices of materials. The slowdown in construction activities also affected other countries as governments implemented lockdowns to slow down the spread of the virus.
Despite the situation, US building contractors started to recover. But they had to implement safety measures to protect workers at the project sites. These companies also had to find a reliable supplier of construction materials to prevent delays in the project.
Even as the situation has improved since the pandemic started over a year ago, the emergence of new variants of the virus has kept construction companies on their toes. This comes as they ensure the safety of their workers while working on their projects.
Here are some things that contractors should consider to stay resilient amid the challenges posed by the health crisis.
Better Supply Chain Management
One of the things that building contractors had to struggle with when the pandemic started was the delay in the delivery of supplies for their projects. These delays resulted in losses as they to meet deadlines when it came to completing their projects. Due to this, contractors need to manage their supply chain and look for suppliers who can reliably provide them with the materials they need.
Contractors can opt to release the payments early so their suppliers can prioritize them when it comes to delivering supplies. But the situation might only apply to big contractors since smaller contractors can affect their cash flow, which is risky with the uncertainty in the current business environment.
Smaller contractors can look for backup suppliers who can provide them with the materials they need for their projects. If their primary supplier cannot meet their deadline, they can opt to check with their backup suppliers to keep up with the timeline of the project. Managing the supply chain is important for contractors to maintain their cash flow while completing their projects on time.
Focus on Collaboration and Adaptability
When the pandemic started, many businesses had to close due to low revenues. For the construction industry, the need for physical distancing limited the number of workers at the project site for a particular shift. In this situation, contractors should collaborate with their workers to minimize the effect of these guidelines on them.
They should also work with their suppliers to ensure they have the materials on time. At this point, the stakeholders in the industry should work together to achieve their common objectives of keeping the project sites open and completing the work on time.
The contractors also needed to adapt to maximize productivity even with a limited workforce for each shift. Despite this, they should also avoid cutting corners so their projects will pass building commissioning parameters. These parameters ensure that all the systems in the project will work according to their design. With this, the contractors can avoid delays since they do not need to rework the project after it’s inspected. It also facilitates the turnover of the projects to their clients.
Diversify and Innovate
Contractors who focus mainly on working on commercial buildings can diversify their market. They can look into entering the residential construction market, especially with the increase in the demand for new houses in the market.
They should not limit their focus on a single market, especially after many businesses closed. Even though things have improved since last year, they should avoid the same situation when the pandemic started.
Contractors can also modify their working hours to maximize the skills and experience of their workers. They can opt to add night shifts so that they can enhance the productivity of their workforce. They can also improve their monitoring efforts, especially with the pandemic still far from over.
Contractors can implement a QR code tracking system to know who among their workers were at the project site during a specific period. Using QR codes facilitates their monitoring efforts since the contractor can check the computer instead of going through the workers’ time cards one at a time.
The use of digital tools in the construction industry can increase productivity while monitoring workers’ health. It also allows contractors to adapt their working patterns to add more shifts to their projects.
Contractors experienced issues when the pandemic started last year. But they can avoid these issues by implementing measures that enhance their resiliency amid the challenges posed by the health crisis.