Construction Being Forced into a Digital Transformation

If you’re tired of hearing there is a skilled labor shortage in offsite construction…well, join the club. Wishing and hoping aren’t going to help the problem.

Even though the number of trade schools is growing slightly, it’s still not attractive to GEN Zs or the new GEN Alphas that are only a few years away from entering the workforce.

Many factories and general contractors are working hard at trying to get retired workers to return to their former jobs but that is just a stop-gap answer.

The rising age of the average construction worker isn’t a problem in and of itself, provided there’s a pipeline of new talent entering the workforce as people move toward retirement.

What options does our industry have if we can’t find skilled labor? 

We should be looking at expanding our investment in technology and digitalization. We need to begin filling our toolboxes that have considerable potential for construction – from automating processes to digital workers and accelerating the use of modern methods of construction.

The construction industry is being forced into a digital transformation due to a number of factors, including:

The increasing complexity of projects. Projects are becoming more complex, with multiple stakeholders and multiple stages. This complexity makes it difficult to manage projects using traditional methods, such as paper-based documentation and manual processes.

The need for greater efficiency. The construction industry is facing increasing pressure to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Digital technologies can help to improve efficiency by automating tasks, improving communication, and reducing errors.

The need for greater sustainability. The construction industry is also facing increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact. Digital technologies can help to improve sustainability by reducing waste, using recycled materials, and improving energy efficiency.

The need for greater safety. The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Digital technologies can help to improve safety by automating dangerous tasks, improving communication, and reducing errors.

The need for greater compliance. The construction industry is subject to a number of regulations, which can be difficult to comply with using traditional methods. Digital technologies can help to improve compliance by automating tasks, improving communication, and reducing errors.

In addition to these factors, the offsite construction industry is also being driven to digital transformation by the increasing availability of digital technologies and the growing demand for digital solutions from customers.

Every convention and tradeshow in the last 5 years has featured digital advances. The next 5 years will see new ideas and innovations becoming the real focus of construction trade events and rather than just having vendor booths and speakers promoting this digital transformation, look for actual working models to become integral parts of the events.

Sorry Boomers, but as your companies begin seeing more GEN Zs in management positions, look for more digital transformation. And heaven help us old timers when the GEN Alphas arrive!

Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach

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Gary Fleisher

Gary Fleisher, “The Mod Coach”, has been entrenched in the offsite construction industry for most of his life. Having started his career in the lumber industry, Gary spent decades working with manufactured and modular home producers and homebuilders. For the past 15 years his blog and LinkedIn postings have introduced thousands to the benefits of factory-built construction and have served as a forum for industry professionals to share insights and perspectives. Gary lives in Hagerstown, MD with his wife, Peg.

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