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Dodge Construction Network Identifies Top Business Issues for Specialty Contractors in New Report

Dodge Construction Network Identifies Top Business Issues for Specialty Contractors in New Report

Dodge Construction Network, in partnership with Procore Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: PCOR), today released its most recent study on how economic, workforce and technology trends are transforming the global construction industry.

The report, “Top Business Issues for Specialty Contractors,” reveals that 99% of these companies experience erosion of their profit margin during construction, one third of which is tied to unplanned rework. In addition, about one third of their revenue is lost to unbillable changes, over 90% report negative impacts due to labor shortages, and 39% are still using spreadsheets, paper forms and other outdated methods to manage key activities, instead of construction-specific software.

This global research focuses on five types of specialty contractors: mechanical, electrical, plumbing, steel, and concrete in the US, UK, Canada and Australia/New Zealand. Key findings include:

Pending Retirements Will Worsen the Labor Shortage

Already struggling with workforce shortages, these companies say an average 33% of their current workforce is likely to retire in the next five years, threatening to dramatically worsen the situation. Stepping up technology adoption, offsite methods and jobsite automation are among the ways they are adapting.

Supply Chain Issues Will Continue to Afflict the Industry

Materials prices are highly volatile, and 31% of specialty contractors say they cannot pass cost increases on to owners on most of their projects. To deal with these challenges, nearly half are raising prices, especially concrete trades (56%).

Sharp Need for Better Financial Control and Payment Process

The report shows that only 27% of specialty contractors are paid within 30 days of invoicing for completed work and 29% report their typical period exceeds 60 days. They cite technology to automate the process as the most likely way to help their company get paid faster with less conflict.

Many Companies are Implementing Safety Technologies

Most companies are either actively considering, planning the adoption or already using technologies for improved safety, including site cameras and drones, sensors, wearables and artificial intelligence/machine learning for image analysis.

Construction Technology Can Help Address Many Issues Identified by Specialty Contractors

Despite the wide availability of construction-specific software solutions, many companies still rely on outdated methods to manage critical processes. The labor shortage underlies the top obstacles to adoption, which include resistance from field staff and time required to evaluate, implement and train for new solutions. The report includes best practices for technology implementation programs to help address these challenges.

“Specialty trade contractors are the lifeblood of the project delivery process,” says Steve Jones, senior director of Industry Insights Research, Dodge Construction Network. “Our hope is that this report will not only help them benchmark their own business dynamics among their peers but will also serve as an industry-wide call to action to help them address their challenges so that the global construction industry can advance and thrive as a high-performing collaborative network.”

To learn more, download the report here.