Construction Industry Trends: Growth, Labor Shortage, and Automation

construction industry

2016 has brought a lot of optimism back to the construction industry. With Data & Analytics’ 2016 Construction Outlook report predicting 6% growth, many organizations are seeking ways to manage the increased demand. Automation is a growing trend because it helps to foster both efficiency and productivity. When you need to enhance operations within your construction business, it is important to learn how automation can be of benefit to you.

Various Departments Receive Assistance

The labor crisis continues at all levels of the construction business; Construction Dive predicts the talent deficit will take multiple years to fill. One of the primary reasons why the construction industry has turned to automation is that it will allow for support within multiple departments. Automating order processing ensures that nothing gets missed. Accounts payable departments gain visibility to the volume of payments to suppliers to ensure they are paid in a timely manner and the company is taking advantage of all the discounts available.

Any time that you can boost the productivity of the department, there is an opportunity to save costs and increase output. Once you figure out how to quit paper entirely, you can increase visibility and ensure that all departments have the data that they need to do their job more effectively.

Managing the Cycles of Growth and Decline

Automation provides a predictable solution for companies to manage the seasonal ebbs and flows. Increased order volumes and invoices can be handled without having to hire costly, hard-to-find personnel. Many companies have already learned that they can increase their volume by 10, 20, and even 30%, without adding staff. With predictable, maintainable costs during times of increased revenue, companies can reap the benefits on their bottom line.

The moment you choose to automate, you can simplify a significant number of processes. With solutions that can be customized to the needs of your business, many manual business processes can be replaced, eliminating errors and making real-time information available for actionable business decisions.

Simplify Life for Customers and Staff

Orders within the construction industry can be quite complicated. Customers need to coordinate the delivery of multiple items within a project schedule at a project site (not their bill-to location). Accuracy and timeliness are imperative; errors could cost more than just money, they can impact the relationship with the customer. Causing a production schedule to wait because their items didn’t arrive on time has a domino effect and substantial cost ramifications.

Automation takes the complexity out of the ordering process. Systems can ensure that purchasing addresses and shipping addresses are handled appropriately. With touchless processing and systems that learn customers’ patterns, orders can be entered quickly to make short lead times, and customers can have visibility to their progress.

Ultimately, it comes down to doing what is right for your business. There are a large number of manufacturers that supply the construction industry and have figured out why automation is beneficial; it can smooth out the ebbs and flows, provide visibility to the volume of transactions that occur, and reduce manual processing errors that could impact customer relationships. It is why the trend continues to grow, and will help this industry ride out the expected growth in the remainder of 2016 and beyond.

construction industry

Adrienne Wilson

With over 15 years of experience in business-to-business solution sales, Adrienne has worked with Fortune 1000 manufacturers and distributors across many industries. Guiding companies through the benefits of eCommerce and customer self-service, she understands the order-to-cash process and the value of efficiency and visibility on the customer experience.

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