Construction technology is on the rise. According to McKinsey and Company, investment in construction technology has doubled in the last ten years. Technology adoption has exponentially increased in recent years as more industry specific software has been developed. While mechanical subcontractors are ahead of the curve and more likely to increase their investment in technology, there are still gaps when it comes to accurate forecasting.
Then came the global pandemic.
The disruption to the industry from the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to accurately forecast labor availability in relation to projects. While mechanical contracting has traditionally been project-driven, the decrease in available skilled workers has presented an opportunity to take a different approach to construction planning – by focusing on the people first.
The people are the lifeblood of every industry, but this is especially true in construction. The availability of your team members inform nearly every process. Sales and marketing can use labor availability to make informed decisions about which bids to pursue more aggressively. Human resources can create training and development programs based on team availability and experience. Operations also need accurate labor availability to optimize resource utilization and project schedules.
Forecasting helps mechanical subcontractors take resource optimization to the next level. Accurate forecasting is like taking a time machine to any point in your company’s future to get a better understanding of project demand and your supply of available workers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the key benefits of accurate forecasting for mechanical subcontractors.
The benefits of labor forecasting software in mechanical construction
OPTIMIZED CAPACITY PLANNING
The main benefit of optimized capacity planning is reduced risk to your organization by understanding and developing a workforce management strategy that can handle the ebbs and flows of your project pipeline. This helps with time management, reducing operational costs, and improves the planning process to deliver customer satisfaction.
Optimizing your capacity planning is also crucial to success through a skilled labor shortage. Insight into your team’s utilization over time helps to ensure you’re always operating at a high level and getting the most out of your team. For more information about capacity planning, read out this blog.
IDENTIFY AND CLOSE SKILL GAPS
Accurate forecasting provides insight into your workforce utilization rates over time. By leveraging this information, mechanical subcontractors are able to identify teams that may potentially be spread too thin. If a particular team is spread too thin for too long, that’s likely an indicator that there’s a skills gap that needs to be addressed. Whether it’s bringing in outside help or providing job training internally, accurate forecasting can help create strategies to stay ahead of potential skill gaps.
It’s important to remember that a skills gap for mechanical contractors isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A relatively small gap in the demand and supply is a good indicator of a growing company and allows your team to further their careers.
INFORMED RECRUITMENT STRATEGIES
Recruiting new team members can be very expensive. Especially when hiring is a reactive process. The best thing you can do for your HR team is provide an accurate labor forecast that helps them keep the recruitment process proactive. This gives your HR team more time to find the best-fit candidates and reduces the likelihood of a new hire not working out.
The cost of recruitment efforts, onboarding, and training can quickly add up. According to Glassdoor, the average company in the United States will spend around $4,000 to hire a new employee and take upwards of 50+ days to fill a position. Accurate forecasting gives your team the time they need to hire the right people at the right time. For more information about forecasting, read our guide.
LESSEN THE IMPACT OF CHANGE
Construction is a fluid industry. Dates are constantly shifting, projects get pushed back, full on lockdowns are apparently now a thing. Accurate forecasting allows you to understand the impact of those changes in relation to the larger workforce strategy. Using forecasting tools like Bridgit Bench allows mechanical subcontractors to update project data and see the impact in real time.
Using tools like Bridgit Bench helps to paint a clearer picture of what to expect when project dates slip. You can then easily identify where scheduling conflicts have been created, and be proactive with resolving them.
Forecasting helps mechanical subcontractors be right sized at the right time by providing an accurate lens into their future project demand and labor supply. As mentioned earlier, while having your team spread too thin may not be great for the workers it can be a good indicator that your business is growing. Having this insight allows you to manage that growth and ensures you’re able to meet labor requirements.
Accurate forecasting helps mechanical subcontractors analyze and better predict expected costs into the coming months and years. This allows for more accurate resource quotas and budgets to be developed. Not to mention the impact an optimized workforce and informed recruitment strategy can have on your bottom line.
Bridgit is the leader in workforce intelligence. Our flagship software solution, Bridgit Bench, provides actionable insights and forecasting to ensure mechanical subcontractors and general contractors get the most out of their team and drive efficiency across the organization. Bridgit Bench is updated in real time and also has a mobile app. For more useful tips and information, visit our blog.