Construction projects serve as a critical stabilizing force in many communities, especially during the pandemic. The incoming administration has indicated that an infrastructure bill is high on its list of early priorities, and it is highly likely the economic focus will turn to construction projects and their capacity to serve as a catalyst for economic growth. It's also likely there will be an expectation to communicate the benefit of projects in terms of their engagement of diverse, local businesses and workers in their communities. One of the many challenges facing General Contractors is to identify tools to simplify capturing and reporting this data, use the data to improve outcomes and focus on the construction of your project.
Rebuilding the Economy, Growing Businesses and Hiring Workers
As infrastructure and construction projects can have an immediate impact on their surrounding community, we can expect they will be essential in the wake of the pandemic. This presents a unique opportunity to address the persistent challenges facing our industry. First – workforce. The construction industry struggles to recruit a young, diverse workforce to undergird one of the country's most vital industries. These new investments provide an opportunity to build a pipeline of skilled, diverse local workers who might otherwise be unemployed because of the impact of the pandemic on the industries in which they previously worked. Similarly, there will be a unique opportunity to increase the participation of local, small and diverse businesses to support these new projects.
Given the resources that federal, state, and local governments will endeavor to invest in these new activities, there will be interest – in fact, a need – to demonstrate that real outcomes are achieved where these investments are being made. This places a burden on new projects to have a plan to capture key information from everyone working on the project. However, as General Contractors you're busy bidding out contracts, and managing all facets of the job – when and how do you have time to focus on showing that your project is having the desired effect? Too often, this results in increasing liability exposure, expensive staff to track and manage the process or losing out on potential business by choosing simply not to bid on projects with such reporting needs.
Recent trends show these reporting expectations are only growing. Therefore, avoiding projects that have these requirements may no longer be a sustainable strategy. Instead, there are enhanced software technologies that will turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth.
Telling The Story – Simplifying Tracking and Reporting So You Can Focus on Construction
Every project you're working on has the potential to generate positive economic benefits to a community, so why not position your organization and your projects with tools to show precisely what that benefit is? This used to require a very manual, labor-intensive process to collect disparate information from all of the subcontractors and vendors, and often created more questions than answers. SkillSmart's cloud-based software technology allows you to:
- Identify the story that your organization wants to tell
- Identify the data you want to capture that supports that story
- Provide a single location for your subs and vendors to submit their specific business and workforce data in the form that you require
By providing a single dashboard to view one or many projects, you can see real-time data, receive flags for any potential issues and generate the specific reports you need – to be provided to the stakeholders of your choosing – demonstrating the positive impact that you're having. Resulting in the following:
- Elimination of the security issues of subcontractors emailing personal worker data
- Reducing errors of inputting that data into spreadsheets
- Reducing liability because you can run specific checks on data to ensure compliance with project goals
- Providing data in real-time so that you always know where you stand
Technology can simplify your processes by making it easier for you to capture business and workforce data for all your projects to demonstrate overall economic impact, local participation, and diversity and inclusion. This will increase your competitive advantage when bidding on projects because you can readily demonstrate how you're making the community stronger on every project you build.
As we look to increasing investment in infrastructure and in ensuring that such investments reflect the long-term needs of the communities they are meant to serve, this is an opportunity to demonstrate how your projects bring opportunity and positively shape communities for generations to come.