How construction can survive post-covid
Like all industries, the construction industry has struggled during the current COVID-19 crisis. In order to survive, changes are being made, as construction projects are halted or slowed, and office blocks sit empty. The industry is reshaping strategies and procedures and launching ambitious initiatives to come out of this difficult time even stronger. These actions can help leaders in construction to prepare for the new normal.
- Bolster supply-chain resilience. Most construction firms should have already reviewed their supply chains for any possible vulnerabilities due to the pandemic. You should now be looking at ways to fortify the supply chain, such as building up inventory, finding backup distribution panels, or hiring direct labor instead of subcontractors. You don’t want to be in desperate need of a Bosch Radial Piston Pump 0445020023 and unable to get on because a supplier went under and you don’t have a backup.
- Accelerate adoption of digitization. There’s no time to experiment with the perfect road map. Instead, you must enable well-proven remote use cases. This could mean scaling up remote collaboration during production stages using a digital model. It could mean strengthening your BIM capability and other tools for collaboration. Check your market access through e-commerce and enable remote sales.
- Invest in the culture and skills needed to operate. It’s always important to balance health and performance, but this is even more vital in the new normal. You should invest in culture to lessen the risks related to remote work, as well as apprehension regarding job security and productivity. This is the ideal time to upskill your workforce with training on new tools and technologies, and operating procedures.
- Redeploy capital and resources. If you’re going to survive, you must strategize your business priorities. Responding to the pandemic could present opportunities to make some moves you should have made a long time ago. These aspects will differ across the value chain, but each will likely contain choices of where to deploy capital, resources, and capabilities in the manner that is most economical. You could reinforce future high-growth segments by increasing funding and reallocating competencies or sharpening core business focuses by exiting some business areas.
- Identify opportunities to shift work off-site. Suppliers and subcontractors should find elements and subsystems that can be preassembled away from the worksite in a more controlled environment. In the long-term, you could also look for more significant elements of construction to build off-site. These changes could help manufacturers of building materials on designing new product features that could aid building-site activities. Construction taking place off-site could also help companies to meet goals of sustainability by reducing waste materials, noise, and air dust.
- Get closer to customers. Customer preferences are changing, toward online retail, remote working, and more sustainable companies. Other shifts may emerge too, but many of these are likely to stick with customers permanently. This means that it is more important than ever to stay close to current and future customers, so you can meet these new priorities.