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Overcoming Challenges Facing the Construction Industry

Challenges facing the construction industryConstruction fleet management is no picnic, just ask any contractor these days. Steep price tags at the start and hefty repair costs for each piece of equipment can quickly decimate your bottom line. You also have to deal with the challenge of comparing things like usage, location, and engine health. And that's just the beginning. When it comes to dealing with challenges facing the construction industry, construction fleet management telematics is a game-changer.

Fleet management telematics solutions can make how you manage drivers and construction equipment easier. For instance, instead of struggling to collect data across various machine manufacturers or models, you can use telematics to collect and store all your equipment data in a central location. When you can review all your data in the same place, you can make solid management and maintenance decisions. This is just a snapshot of how telematics can help you overcome the challenges you face every day.

Labor Shortages and Stagnant Productivity in the Construction Industry

You rely on experienced, skilled employees to make sure you get quality work and a safe work environment. Across the nation, construction companies struggle to find the skilled workers they need. This shortage is limiting the number of projects construction companies can take on and increases the time it takes to finish projects.

As reported by the Associated General Contractors of America (ACG), 81 percent of construction companies say they are finding it difficult to fill hourly and salaried positions, and 65 percent of companies think it will continue to be hard to find skilled employees.

With no end to the labor shortage in sight, focusing on training unskilled workers will become more critical. And making sure your fleet runs efficiently with optimized routes and efficient scheduling will help give your employees more time to do actual work at job sites.

A high level of productivity is needed for completing high-quality construction projects on time. The labor shortage in the construction industry is a direct cause of reduced productivity. As older workers retire and leave the workforce, younger workers with less experience are taking their place. As construction projects become more complex and demand for projects remains high, finding skilled workers to hire and taking steps to ensure you retain them is vital for your company's success.

Security and Safety Challenges in the Construction Industry

Because of the nature of the work construction workers do, construction is a risk-prone industry. A failure to address safety and security issues can cause unnecessary injuries or fatalities and loss of assets. Employees operating equipment without the proper training and up-to-date certifications are a huge liability.

According to OSHA, the construction industry's fatal injuries rate is higher than that of the national average. Accidents such as falls, scaffold or trench collapse, electric shock, and flash/arc blasts have all been documented accidents in the construction industry.

Safety challenges in the construction industry include driving around construction sites filled with equipment, workers, debris, barricades, and other vehicles. The value of your fleet's vehicles and the equipment and supplies they carry is substantial. Making sure your vehicles and equipment are secure and accounted for is crucial for the success of your business.

GPS tracking can help prevent misuse, loss, and theft of assets, whether they are onsite or not. You'll know exactly where they are and how they are being used. Tracking and locating technology can be used on a variety of assets in many types of conditions.

With GPS tracking, you can access asset information via a completely secure platform that helps you make informed and timely decisions about their assets.

Asset information—enter asset details and set up service, licensing, and certification reminders as well as fuel data.

Live tracking—locate and track assets, review asset diagnostics, and export a complete list of assets.

Historical tracking—see detailed trip replays, travel distances, and previous events.

Trip timeline—get information on the utilization of assets, events, and activities on a timeline.

Live information streams—monitor assets with activities and events in real-time through live information streams.

Reporting—get detailed trip, event, location, service, and fuel reports.

With this level of visibility, the risk of losing an asset or having it stolen is reduced considerably. GPS tracking telematics offers tamper alerts, video replay of asset movements, and records of distances traveled and driving events. You can set up geofences and get alerts when your equipment or drivers leave a specified area. This information helps you lower the instances and costs of replacing assets and may even be able to save you money on insurance premiums.

Increasing Cost of Materials

The rising cost of construction materials is a continual challenge for the construction industry. The price of raw materials and land is always in flux, and these fluctuations can be an issue for smaller companies. Construction companies run on a tight margin, and unexpected volatility can take a toll on your bottom line. In addition, natural disasters can also affect supply chains and cause a higher demand for the materials you need, making the prices soar.

Tariffs and Your Budget

Tariffs against China have caused the cost of goods needed in the construction industry to rise. The higher cost of goods caused by the tariffs will add significantly to the cost of construction projects. Every company throughout the construction supply chain will be searching for ways to reduce this impact. If they cannot be passed on to the customer, they will go directly to your bottom line.

Since the government is in control of the tariff policy, they can change at any time. They could be increased or removed altogether. This affects your ability to predict the pricing of your materials and can have a negative impact on your budget, especially if a tariff is raised when a project is underway.

Tariffs often cause delays in your materials getting to you since the processing times at ports of entry can be longer. When your materials are delayed, it can also cause your projects may be completed late. And there is always the change that tariffs may cause your vendor's prices to increase so much that you cannot afford them. You may have to shop around for a better price. Working with a new vendor can lead to a cascade of issues, such as decreased reliability, late delivery of materials, and having to pay more. Your choices may be limited since there may be less selection of materials in your price range.

Asset Underutilization and Preventative Maintenance

The importance of your equipment to your business cannot be overstated. Fleet management telematics can help you track run and idle time for all your equipment, helping you make informed decisions about when to buy or rent a piece of equipment you need or sell one that you are no longer using. This way, all your assets are used to their fullest, and you won't have equipment sitting idle. By having accurate data on the overutilization and underutilization of your assets, you can allocate them in a way that improves the efficiency of your business.

Telematics can also help you find maintenance issues before they occur. Rather than guessing when it is time for maintenance and risking an asset or vehicle breaking down unexpectedly, you can set up alerts that tell you when it is time to service your equipment. You can also use engine data to get real-time information on the health of your equipment and vehicles' health.

Based on these insights, you can schedule proactive and preventative maintenance for your equipment. You can avoid excessive wear and tear on engine parts and replace them before they cause other parts to fail. You'll also know which piece of equipment is scheduled for repairs or service, so you can plan around it without affecting your project's schedule.

Competitive Need to Deliver Exceptional Service

When you own or manage a construction company, the word "busy" has a whole new meaning. You're often juggling multiple projects, workers, teams, supplies, vehicles, equipment, budgets, and customers who require on-time, high-quality service.

Mismanaged workers or schedules can lead to lower quality work, and each delay can lead to a loss of revenue. In the long run, this all adds up to unhappy and dissatisfied customers who can quickly find another company ready that is waiting to grab their business.

Telematics solutions will help you monitor journeys from start to finish as well as communicate with drivers about tasks that need to be completed. Features of a telematics solution may include:

  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • GPS vehicle tracking
  • Notifications (such as route deviations and progress)
  • Location of and assignment of the employee or team nearest to a job
  • Completed task tracking
  • Two-way messaging
  • Paperless job dispatching
  • Remote data capturing

They can help keep your projects on time, your overtime to a minimum, and your payroll more accurate. Streamlined and transparent journey management increases productivity, saving you time, and improving your service levels.

Technological Advances Benefit the Construction Industry

Advances in technology have had a significant impact on all industries, but the construction industry has been slow to adopt them. Adopting new technology, such as fleet management telematics, can give you a variety of benefits. Things like GPS tracking, geofencing, and monitoring worker hours can help keep your employees safe and your projects running smoothly. Automated reporting, aggregated data, and access to run and idle time are just some of the numerous benefits available with telematics solutions. To track and manage their assets more efficiently, construction companies must lean on telematic and GPS tracking to solve pain points and conquer the challenges facing the construction industry that are in the way of efficient and profitable fleet management.

Challenges such as the housing affordability crisis, labor shortages, increased project complexity, and an unknown tariff landscape threaten to derail the industry's growth. Some of these challenges are out of your control, but you can offset them by creating efficiencies in other areas. As the construction industry prepares for the future, it will need to make changes now. Staying stagnant and not adopting new technologies will lead to a bigger worker shortage and put the industry behind the eight ball.

Construction companies that are evolving and implementing telematics solutions will have a competitive edge over those who are not operating at the same speed. The construction industry has reached a point where adopting new technology is the only way forward.

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