Facing the Future Post COVID
No industry has been immune to the impact of the pandemic and it seems that every industry is seeking ways to come out stronger after coronavirus. While there is still uncertainty about COVID-19’s long-term effect on the economy, SoCal construction industry economic opportunities exist, albeit perhaps in different ways.
Adapting and enduring during the pandemic and beyond
Construction companies are well aware of cyclical downturns. Even with the unprecedented obstacles presented during the pandemic, there are steps that can be taken to prepare for the future, even if operating in “the new normal” is a bit different than what we’ve experienced before.
First and foremost, it’s important to get through this crisis. Construction industry safety, which has always been priority number one, now becomes more vital as essential workers “stayed” on job sites in Southern California.
A recent survey showed that as companies implemented return-to-work strategies, CFOs have concerns about the effects of a global economic downturn (60%), the possibility of a new wave of infection (58%) and financial impact on their company (47%).
As a result, many companies are now embracing new ways of working, with 52% of those surveyed saying they plan to make remote work a permanent option for roles that allow for it. Digital tools that prove to increase productivity also may become the standard. For example, designers and engineers now rely more heavily on digital collaboration tools with 4D and 5D simulation to replan projects and reoptimize schedules. Contractors are finding ways to communicate online and via app to check on employees’ health, order materials, manage resources and maintain cash flow.
As the industry adapts, some construction experts say a building boom may actually happen in the post-COVID world with 81% perhaps optimistically expecting an economic rebound before the end of the year. Until that hopeful day, it’s important to adapt to address today’s financial challenges and prepare for those that may present themselves again.
For example, many organizations quickly learned the construction supply chain was highly impacted by COVID-19. In many instances, the disruption then generated project slippage and/or extra costs. Moving forward, contractors must be proactive to keep businesses going.
The days of having one supplier are gone. Building resiliency into the supply chains is important. Some companies are going beyond simply having a backup and instead finding three to five other suppliers in different geographic locations. Taking this step not only keeps the jobsite operating, it also helps the bottom line by protecting from being trapped by price increases.
The future is now for the construction industry
With the focus on health, there’s a demand for construction to be more sustainable and incorporate components that promote healthier lifestyles. This includes higher standards on air quality, large outdoor spaces, more public bathroom space, and touchless locks, elevators and doors.
Technological advances that once may have seemed futuristic have become more commonplace and necessary. With the pandemic now a reality, construction companies that can conquer the challenges of adapting may find ways to navigate demands that also impact their bottom line.
ABOUT REBUILD SOCAL PARTNERSHIP – The RebuildSoCal Partnership, (RSCP) is an organization that represents 2,750 construction firms and more than 90,000 union workers in all 12 Southern California counties. Based in Anaheim, California – RSCP is dedicated to working with elected officials and educating the public on the continued need for essential infrastructure funding including rail, water and ports, airports, roads and bridges.