INDUS.AI Addresses GCs’ Top Concerns in 2020
In general, 2020 isn’t turning out the way anyone expected. But in the Construction Industry, the INDUS.AI solution is perfectly positioned to help GCs solve the biggest problems they see in the upcoming year.
1. Worker Shortage
Most construction companies expect demand for their services to increase in 2020. That’s one reason why three out of four firms plan to increase head count this year, which is on top of the 77% of respondents who expected it to last year, the 75% in 2018, and the 72% in 2017. While that sounds like a positive growth story, 81% of contractors said they’re already having a hard time filling positions, and almost 2 out of 3 expect it will remain difficult or become even harder to hire personnel in 2020.
Already, contractors report that the lack of available, well-prepared, and/or experienced workers to hire is impacting their construction schedules, the way they compete for new work, and their bottom lines. They’re also changing the way firms recruit, compensate, and train new craft professionals.
2. Rising Labor Costs
As a result, over half of responding firms raised base pay rates more than in 2018, while many also increased or introduced incentives, bonuses, and benefit contributions. Firms took a variety of steps in the last year to invest in training and the development of skilled labor to attract qualified workers. More than two-fifths revamped initiatives to recruit labor while one in three devoted more money to technical education and nearly as many restructured or changed programming for current craft professional recruits.
It’s no surprise, then, that almost 50% said their costs are higher than expected, and they’re putting higher prices into bids and contracts.
3. Worker Quality & Safety
Yet rising costs may not be the worst problem: more than 50% of respondents see the combination of inexperienced workers and workforce shortages as a major challenge to the safety and health of their workforce.
No wonder 75% of respondents listed worker quality as one of their top concerns, while 72% picked worker shortages.
Even many contractors who didn’t mention safety as one of their biggest concerns worry about challenges regarding the safety and health of their workers. 57% cited inexperienced skilled labor/workforce shortage. 23% see poor subcontractor safety and health performance as a major challenge, which is even more than the 22% who cite safety hazards created by third parties, such as motorist crashes in highway work zones.
4. Technology Adoption
It’s not surprising, therefore, that many firms are turning to new, labor-saving technologies in response to the labor squeeze.
Nearly half expect to increase their investment in information technology (IT) in 2020, with the largest share planning to increase investments in project management software. 28% have adopted labor-saving methods like lean construction and Building Information Modeling (BIM), and 32% report adopting technologies like drones, robots, 3-D printers and laser- and GPS-guided equipment to become more efficient.
Yet even as a growing number of firms embrace information technology, 43% admit they lack the time needed to implement and train on new systems and 38% cite employee resistance to technology as a significant barrier to increased productivity.
In this context, inherently disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) have the potential to provide the efficiency, productivity, and safety breakthroughs the industry has sought for decades and needs more than ever now.
The INDUS.AI Platform
The fact that digital technologies represent a solution to all the above challenges has been clear for a while. As Deloitte summarizes the situation, “All these constraints make it important for contractors to be proactive in managing processes and operations that contribute to margins and profitability, adding efficiencies and optimization where possible.” In fact, firms are adopting a variety of approaches to automate and replace manual work or allow for the use of workers with less experience or training than before.
For example, INDUS.AI uses computer vision and machine learning to collect and analyze mass amounts of data and translate them into invaluable insights that provide increased visibility into site activity and empower managers to improve efficiency, lower costs, and reduce waste, and use fewer resources.
INDUS.AI has shifted project monitoring from its traditional defensive role of documenting overruns and delays to a more proactive approach that allows developers and general contractors to capture forward-looking insights, adapt to the unexpected in real-time, and manage labor and materials more cost-effectively.
By providing greater awareness of site activity, INDUS.AI also addresses contractors’ concerns about safety. Not only do video cameras pick up safety violations in real-time, they alert construction managers about them. And archived data, video, and reports can be used to train new, less-experienced workers in safety best practices.
Even though a growing number of construction firms, especially the ENR Top 400 contractors, have started to embrace AI, 43% of firms report they lack the time needed to implement and train on new systems. And many employees are resistant to new technologies. To ease the adoption of this new technology INDUS.AI provides a turnkey passive monitoring solution proven at over 100 million sq ft of construction sites, not requiring any implementation or training effort from the contractors.
INDUS.AI eases the negative impacts of the growing labor shortage by allowing developers and GCs to do more with fewer, less experienced employees and subcontractors, even as they improve site safety, keep projects on schedule, and reduce costs. To find out how INDUS.AI can address your top concerns, request a demo right now.