If there is one thing the construction industry loathes, it’s uncertainty. Yet that’s exactly what it has dealt with for nearly two years.
One thing that is certain: The industry will see a continuation of many trends that emerged in 2021. The coming year holds much promise for adaptable, flexible and technologically savvy contractors.
Remote-work arrangements are enabling people to migrate to areas where their dollars go farther, such as outer-ring suburbs and low-tax states. The residential construction market is absorbing this growth now, but it will drive gains across other sectors.
Supply chain headaches
Material shortages complicated schedules and budgets throughout 2021. Contractors can expect more of the same for at least the next 12 months. Novel work-arounds are emerging in response to the volatility, such as transitioning from just-in-time deliveries to just-in-case purchasing.
The labor shortage is not new, but the pandemic has made it more acute. Labor is now a limited resource and attracting and retaining employees is critical. In addition to offering higher wages, companies are investing in retention strategies.
Due to supply chain shortages and other circumstances, contractors are seeing extreme inflation in materials and key costs putting pressure on project profitability. Contractors are working with customers to alleviate the negative effects of price increases.
Vaccination requirements will add pressure to staffing plans. As more organizations require anyone working on their premises be vaccinated, contractors may need to account for vaccination status when staffing projects.
The digital advantage
Digital tools and platforms have proven their ability to shorten schedules, improve accuracy and increase efficiency. Contractors will discover they provide an advantage in attracting younger, tech-savvy workers, too.
While the infrastructure bill has been closely followed by industry stakeholders, other regulatory changes and legislation bear watching in 2022.