4 Construction Industry Statistics Every Construction Manager Should Know

By: on June 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global construction industry. Construction managers, specialty trade contractors, laborers, and other construction professionals continue experiencing the effects of the pandemic.

If you’re a construction manager or general contractor, chances are you had to shut down your projects. What’s more concerning is that the industry hasn’t fully recovered. Construction employment in January 2021 was 256,000 jobs lower than in February 2020.

But that doesn’t mean you should lose your sleep worrying about the future of the construction sector. What’s important is that you take the learnings from this pandemic and create a plan of your own so you’re better prepared to face a similar crisis in the future.

The first step to creating that plan is understanding the challenges your peers have faced since the pandemic began and what they say their current priorities are. Software Advice ran a survey* among U.S.-based small-business construction workers to understand the current market challenges and changes. We asked respondents about their software, labor, and supply chain experiences since the onset of the pandemic.

In this blog, we list out four key statistics, based on our survey findings, that discuss COVID-induced challenges in the construction market, the steps construction firms took, and what their short-term priorities are.

Stat #1: Companies are increasingly adopting construction-specific software tools

53% of construction businesses have implemented a new construction-specific project management tool since COVIDWhat this means for your small business:

Historically, the construction industry has been slow to adopt new technologies. Studies reveal that construction trades have grown at a slow pace owing to labor shortage, high prices, and resistance to technology adoption.

But the COVID-19 crisis pushed construction firms to embrace digital transformation. The sudden COVID-induced labor shortage had to be offset by allowing employees to work remotely, and that’s where digital technology helped. The availability of on-demand, affordable construction software tools, such as building information modeling (BIM), construction estimating, construction management, and construction takeoff solutions, allowed establishments to collaborate and continue working online.

Adopting construction-specific software tools can help your small business eliminate costly paperwork and automate time-consuming processes. Check out our construction software page to find solutions that are the right fit for your business.


Stat #2: Worker safety is becoming costlier and more complex

40% of construction businesses say frequent changes in worker safety regulations has been the top labor challenge since COVID.

What this means for your small business:

In 2020, safety regulations changed for most industries, but construction specifically saw major changes—from the Welding and Cutting Standard to the safety best practices outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

You must stay up to date with these regulations to avoid legal hassles. What you need to understand, however, is the difference between mandatory standards and general best practices. The former is a legal requirement, whereas the latter is just advice. It’s important to know this differentiation so you can choose the best workplace safety practices to follow, based on feasibility.

Investing in construction safety technology, such as wearables and drones, is an option you can explore to ensure more safety for your staff and construction laborers.


Stat #3: Delay in procuring raw materials will decrease revenue

57% of construction businesses that expect a fall in revenue this year, report somewhat longer timeframes to get raw materials.What this means for your small business:

Since the pandemic began, procuring materials has become a challenge for construction companies. The primary reason is the countrywide lockdown that has impacted the transportation of goods and availability of manpower. As a result, projects have been delayed or completely shutdown, ruining the bottom line of many construction businesses.

As a small business, you can’t afford to have your construction project stalled because of supply chain issues. Therefore, you’ll have to manage your building materials efficiently. This includes planning for the unexpected—accidents, thefts, natural disasters, and more. One way to be better prepared is to get transportation insurance, which will cover expenses in case your raw materials are damaged or stolen.

You can also use inventory management software to track stock levels as well as monitor the movement of materials. The software will help you plan your purchases so you don’t face any out-of-stock situations.


Stat #4: Becoming more competitive is the need of the hour

33% of construction businesses say winning more bids is their top short-term goal for the next six months.

What this means for your small business:

Most construction activities, whether residential construction or commercial construction, were halted due to the pandemic, making construction jobs scarce. As spending continues to fall, finding construction work will become more challenging. Businesses have realized that they’ll have to beat the market competition to get new projects.

And to beat your competition you need great bids. Creating winning bid proposals requires you to methodically implement strategies such as bidding early, performing detailed customer research, improving communication with clients, and working on your value proposition. You’ll also have to present a clear, realistic project estimate that takes into account the client’s needs as well as your current capabilities.

Using construction estimating software can increase your chances of winning more bids. With features such as a bid proposal generator, built-in calculators, and cost database integration, the software will help you create competitive cost estimates.


Looking for new construction software or an upgrade?

If you marry construction best practices with the right technology, you’ll be better prepared to handle crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The construction industry statistics we’ve shared should give a jumping-off point to your construction efforts.

As for the technology bit, we can help with that too. Head to our construction software page to compare top options, read reviews, and filter products based on your needs and budget. Need more help? Chat with an advisor now or schedule a call to get personalized recommendations in 15 minutes or less, for free.


Survey methodology

*Software Advice conducted this survey in April 2021 for 538 U.S.-based small-business workers in the construction/contracting industry. Respondents were screened for employment status (employed full time), annual business revenue (<$100 million), and number of employees at the respondent’s company (1-250).

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