What does the future of the construction industry look like? Significant disruption is almost certain, but so too is opportunity, says Brian Moore of FMI Corporation during a recent webinar hosted by the American Concrete Institute (ACI).
Moore points to three trends in particular that will either make or break your construction firm over the next decade: the ongoing labor shortage, growth of megaprojects and the implementation of technology. And while the idea of “disruption” is always scary, Moore sees this next chapter for the construction industry as an exciting one, specifically for those companies who can find a solution to these major disruptors.
For the last several decades, the manufacturing sector has invested significantly in technology to significantly improve the output of its workers. A less capital-intensive industry, the construction business, however, has historically grown by employing more people, not buying more equipment. It’s easier to hire more labor when the economy is good and lay-off employees when it falls than make big capital investments in technology and equipment.
The industry, Moore adds, has also found it easier to simply raise costs and prices than invest in becoming more efficient.
That trend must change going forward, however, as construction activity is only expected to grow. And companies who are unable to find labor will be constrained by what types of projects they can take on and, therefore, how much they can grow.