Construction is an ever-growing industry with challenges to overcome. During every project, there are a number of problems affecting contractors, but a new one has been presented in the form of a worldwide pandemic. Countries around the world have instated lockdowns and social distancing, slowing down supply chains and hampering on-site working.
How contractors deal with issues can make or break a project, and everyone has had to adapt to survive in the face of COVID-19. EasyBuild, for example, has used the time to realign its business operating processes so that it can still provide support to existing and new clients.
As 2020 continues to throw new obstacles at the construction industry, EasyBuild discusses how it’s aiming to make life easier for companies in the sector.
No construction project would get anywhere without its employees, but the workforce is actually declining. The CIOB has said that 157,000 new workers need to be found by 2021 to keep up with demand, but Brexit and coronavirus are making this target more and more unachievable. Moreover, the younger generations aren’t being sold the benefits of the construction industry, so as the majority of workers retire over the next ten years, there won’t be enough new recruits to replace them.
When hiring skilled builders or unskilled labourers, often at short notice, how do I ensure all my bases are covered?
EasyBuild Mobile is built to help. Besides setting up and maintaining accurate records of everyone employed on-site, EasyBuild facilitates checks on a prospective employee’s qualifications and credentials before they are taken on. This works both ways. As subcontractors are typically the biggest cost on a project, EasyBuild allows site managers to update, in real-time, what their costs and liabilities are during each monthly reporting period.
Alternatively, the cost value reconciliation process allows the commercial manager to check every subcontractor for variations to his costs incurred by a variable workforce, and, of course, any other work required.
When you’re not getting paid until the end of a project, money can very quickly become an issue. To continue and complete work, contractors must have a regular cash flow. A way to ensure your tasks run smoothly is to have an open business line of credit to see you through any unexpected bills that may arise. However, always make sure you’re getting the best deals and not being overcharged.
My subcontractors are directly responsible for purchasing and arranging the delivery of materials and other resources they need. How can I ensure that I am not being overcharged?
Spot checks, sad as they may appear and however sensitive they may be, are difficult to pursue when the relevant paperwork has been delivered late or mislaid. Using EasyBuild’s field-based data capture, requisitions and goods received are accurately placed and recorded. As the information is picked up in real-time, it can easily be reconciled against material on-site and the construction status of the project. This ensures that final accounts can be confidently produced without the surprise of additional cost being recorded against the project following submission to the client.
To this day, the construction industry leads in the total number of workplace deaths. There have always been safety protocols and measures put in place in any project to ensure every worker is safe, and they are altered given the circumstances. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, sites are to maintain social distancing whenever possible, with very few exceptions, and equipment is to be sanitised between uses.
However, sometimes this isn’t enough, and this is where the problem lies. It’s impossible for a contractor to keep an eye on every worker, so there must be a level of trust.
Training is the number one priority to help with this issue. Safety training should happen regularly throughout a worker’s career as it helps them understand the benefits of the rules and understand any changes to the project and safety protocols.
Another safety issue lies in the security of your plans and building infrastructure. Always make sure your important files and employee records are safe and protected. Using EasyBuild will give you peace of mind in this.
How secure is EasyBuild, and what are the benefits?
There are different levels of access for each user, with the EasyBuild Cloud providing access to each of the applications for each customer using secured logins, depending on status and access requirements. In addition to this, the dedicated secured platform that hosts the EasyBuild ERP software includes day-to-day management of the hosted environment with daily backups, security updates, operating system upgrades and patch releases.
EasyBuild Cloud allows businesses of all sizes to set their IT infrastructure budget knowing that all areas of backup and disaster recovery are taken care of in one place. The fact that EasyBuild can be accessed wherever there is internet reduces time and costs of additional hardware.
It’s a fact that contractors will face a number of problems on any project. 2020 certainly brings a unique set of challenges and could change the industry entirely, but with help on hand from services like EasyBuild and contractors software, they can be resolved.