When the pandemic started, all economic activities halted, including the construction industry. The halt in activities was meant to stop the virus from spreading. After lifting some restrictions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released guidelines to ensure the protection of construction workers while at work.
But the situation improved after more than 51 percent of the total population got vaccinated. The increasing demand for new homes in the country supported the recovery of the industry. With this, construction companies had their hands full.
US Housing Boom
Even though the pandemic caused a recession, demand for new homes increased after the US Federal Reserve reduced interest rates to a near-zero level. Coupled with the stimulus package released by the government, people started buying homes in different parts of the country.
The demand for new homes rose, and the construction industry had to work hard to meet the demand. Prices of new homes steadily rose, but the demand continued as the Fed kept interest rates at a low level. Despite this, they still had to compete to get big-ticket projects to sustain their business.
Using Technology to Stay Ahead
One thing that construction companies can do is to use technology to their advantage. They can stay ahead of their competition by adopting the latest innovations in technology to increase efficiency, productivity, and safety in the project site. For instance, they can consider investing in smart wearables that can keep the workers safe while performing their tasks on the project site. A pair of smart boots can detect workers in certain areas on the site, allowing smart-enabled vehicles to avoid them.
Companies can also consider using drones on the project site. Drones can help companies with the topographic mapping of a construction site. They can also use these drones to monitor the location of equipment at a project site.
For smaller construction projects, companies can take into account the possibility of using 3D printing technology. The technology is already in use in the construction of small houses. While it has yet to reach the level of major construction projects, using the technology ahead of its competitors will give companies an edge in this aspect.
Hiring the Right People
The unemployment rate went up when the pandemic started after many businesses closed. But a year after, the situation has changed, and millions of jobs are available for people all over the country. This has made it challenging for construction companies to find suitable workers.
They can create a job post, put in the job description, and offer attractive salary packages. But if no one wants to join the construction industry, the company will have to look for workers in other places. They can consider hiring foreign workers, but they have to go through a complicated process to bring these workers into the country.
Construction companies need to follow a legal process to avoid issues in the future. They should obtain a certification for the US Department of Labor, interview the workers, and get a work visa. The employers should also look into all applicable tax regulations both in the US and the worker’s home country.
The process is also similar in the United Kingdom, but UK employers have to make sure that the worker passes an online CSCS green card course. After passing the course, they should get the CSCS Green Labourer Card so they can work at a construction site in the UK. Without the card, he will not be allowed to migrate and work legally in the UK. Similarly, US companies have to get the legal documents ready before bringing a foreign worker into the country.
Look for Better Projects
Another thing that construction companies need to do is to ensure they land big-ticket projects available in the industry. They can use online resources to look for these projects. These online resources allow them to find a project that they feel is ideal for their capabilities.
But these companies should understand that their competitors also have access to the database. So, they should work fast and ensure that their bid is better than their competition. They can focus on their capabilities, which means they have the technology and people to ensure the project’s success.
Construction companies can also work with local governments so that they can avoid issues once the project starts. They should consider the zoning laws and other requirements set by the authorities affecting the project.
Getting ahead of the competition in the construction industry is essential for a company to turn in a profit during the pandemic.