Contractors big and small seem to face the same problems, project after project. We have compiled a list of some of the biggest problems facing construction professionals today. Also included are suggestions for how to deal with these problems from the start, so the project pipeline runs smoothly.
Meeting design deadlines can be critical in ensuring a project starts off on the right foot. There are several hurdles involved in the pre-construction and design process. LDC works directly with the design team to ensure that these hurdles are tackled from the beginning of the project. This includes scheduling and preparing for things that we know have a lead time, such as budget constraints, the responsiveness of the parties involved, the owner’s decisiveness, and obtaining permits from the city.
City permits and inspections can sometimes cause snags in ensuring a job maintains forward motion. Planning for delays and receiving timely design approvals from clients can help ensure that projects stay on track.
As a whole, the construction industry has been experiencing labor shortages for several years. There are many construction workers who are nearing retirement age and there aren’t as many qualified individuals to fill their shoes. The industry lost over 975,000 jobs in April (according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Throughout the years, we have built relationships with local subcontractors who are capable of doing the job while also having the capacity to take on more.
Proactively ordering supplies and materials is essential for the construction project to run smoothly. Delays in this area could further set back other scopes of work. We ensure that everything stays on track by having material selections made well in advance of the beginning of the project.
Throughout the pre-construction and construction process, there are many documents that can begin to fill up the filing cabinets. These include contracts, change orders, materials orders, receipts, and daily job logs. Rather than dealing with all this paperwork, we have focused on paperless project management methods. We hold all of our important documents in our project management software, Procore. It allows for frictionless management at your fingertips while bringing every team member of the project together in one centralized location. Procore streamlines the planning and execution of the project by providing transparency between the owner, design team, and contractors.
Lack of Communication
When things go wrong on a project, it is almost always due to a communication breakdown during the process. Technology has proven to be a vital component of communicating projects, this is another reason why we chose Procore as a comprehensive project management tool. Our team relies on Procore for many reasons. It helps to streamline communication so that everyone is on the same page.
Living in Mid-Missouri, we know weather can be unpredictable. Extreme weather can cause delays for days and sometimes weeks at a time. Our schedules reflect a certain number of weather days so that weather delays won’t affect the project completion time.
Recent changes to the economy have had drastic impacts on the pricing of some raw and finished materials. Suppliers have notified us of upcoming price increases in raw steel, metal and wood studs, and mechanical equipment. When designing the project, it is essential to take these aspects into consideration. We lock in pricing through contractual agreements with subcontractors and suppliers in order to keep costs under control. This also allows us to give our customers an estimate of the final cost.
In addition to being more expensive, some materials have also become increasingly difficult to find. It’s becoming a growing challenge to find metal joists, drywall materials, and mechanical equipment, even with lead times that exceed schedules. Packaging equipment lead times are already exceeding one year in some cases. Working with the design team to design the project with products that are readily available and meet the requirements is critical for achieving a “fast-tracked” timeline.