Despite the struggles felt across many industries in Australia, the infrastructure sector remains one of the most stable in the country today. In March 2018 alone, The Australian Bureau of Statistics Building Activity Report, stated that was a consistent uplift in the trend values of works completed on buildings, residential buildings, non-residential units, and dwellings with 0.6%, 0.4%, 0.9%, and 0.2% increases respectively.
Moreover, in the private sector, the trend estimate for house commencements rose 2.0% in March 2018 on the back of a 2.7% increase in Q4 of 2017. For other residential building commencements, the value rose 0.2% from a 0.7% lift in the December 2017.
Whatever the detractors say, or news outlets report, the numbers don’t lie. Combining the statistics with the ongoing boom in engineering as well as in commercial construction, the signs are positive that it will be a steady 2018 — if not beyond. In the next few years, Australia’s infrastructure sector is set to continue its rise and as a business you should be ready to scale with the demand.
Gearing Up to Meet Demand
Before you seek to sign on multiple large projects, a little preparation wouldn’t hurt. It is not necessarily a matter of improving what you are good at, but rather looking to address the pain points you have within your organisation. Doing so will help set the foundations for solid and maintainable growth within your organisation.
To help you out, we have listed the most common yet typically overlooked challenges experienced by various professionals involved in the construction landscape.
- Communication and Information flow: With teams dotted around the country, it can be difficult for employees and contractors to keep data organised if they have no access to cloud-based resources — be these file access, project data or even photos. Even something as simple as having access to construction time keeping software can streamline processes and make them more accurate. Likewise, various software construction apps will foster better communication between people assigned in the field and those who are working in the office. After all, it is important to have real-time communication with all members of the project to easily identify issues and make decisions crucial for the development of the project.
- Execution discrepancy: More often than may be ideal, there are often changes to construction which are not detailed in the original construction specifications. For example, changes to construction materials such as the cladding used, or the methods and products used to achieve required fire rating specifications. Sometimes these changes are made due to cost sensitivities within the project (the current focus on the Lacrosse Building in Melbourne is but one example) whilst other times it may be due to time restrictions. Where it is the latter, implementation of construction time management platforms can be of great assistance helping to track project progress, identify bottlenecks, manage third parties and assist in the development of contingency plans.
- Skilled labour shortage: In recent years across Australia, there has been a spike in demand for trades people such as carpenters, electricians, bricklayers and other skilled workers. This imbalance in workforce and projects, has led various companies to find themselves delaying timelines (which incur penalties and affect profits). Whilst it can be hard to negate this affect completely, having a good human resources strategy in place which touches not only on recruitment, but on retention of staff makes it easier to scale when you need to. Having HR specific software which you can utilise will be of great assistance.
- Construction waste: One of the challenges on the field is reducing and disposing off the waste produced in construction sites. While most of us strive to uphold our environmental values, we cannot avoid generating tons of debris as part of the project. More and more companies are looking to integrate vertically with providers of waste management solutions so they can mitigate and control costs more efficiently.
There are several other issues which exist within the industry and with changing regulations, more which will continue to plague us all. Our mission remains focussed on helping construction companies to find efficiencies in their own processes and to improve their operations. We’d love to talk to you about your current challenges and see what we can do together to improve your business. Contact us today and let’s focus on removing your pain points and moving forward together.