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Critical among challenges facing the construction industry, are shortages of everything, starting with materials and labour. They will largely impact the sector and underly the prevailing trends that will shape up for 2022.

Supply Chain Challenges Persist

Between the pandemic-driven shutdowns and the impact of severe weather conditions in 2021, builders have been seriously affected by a shortage of materials needed to take on a surplus of projects. They should be ready for the same in 2022.

Cash flow cycles will continue to be interrupted, affecting costs, timing and project budgets. Delays due to materials shortages are leaving companies under further pressure to extend expiring builders’ risk policies.

To mitigate the risks, supplier relationships, especially with local and regional resources, must be supported through regular engagement and use of backups. If possible, materials reserves should be built, while reliance on foreign-made supplies and just-in-time sourcing should be reconsidered.

The Labor Shortage Remains a Long-Term Pain

Over the long term, the continual shortage of construction workers may cause more stress than shortages of materials. The aging of the workforce makes the issue even more urgent.

Making construction more relevant to tech-savvy younger generations is also key given the way technology increasingly influences the industry. The growing deployment of technology with drones, robotics, AI solutions requires bringing in millennials and Gen Z who are comfortable using technology. Some companies are responding with cross-training programs, where older workers with manual skills and tech-savvy apprentices trade their knowledge.

The Profound and Continuing Impact of Technology (and its Risks)

Technology is having a transformative effect on every aspect of the construction business, a growing trend that will only continue in 2022 and beyond.

Drone use is skyrocketing, and more contractors are using automated construction robots and self-driving vehicles. Smart project management tools make scheduling and budgeting more efficient. Robots and wearable sensors improve efficiency and safety.

Keeping up may pose a challenge to some given the financial burden of the pandemic. Moreover, guarding against technology’s risks becomes increasingly critical, as cyber-attacks continue to grow and cost the industry.

Based on materials from