Recent surveys and studies highlighted the pain-points mechanical contractors face in their businesses. These issues will continue to affect their firms unless they decide to take action. These top 5 issues mechanical contractors face come with solutions to help improve their operation. The time is now.
1. Use and Implementation of Technology
One of the top issues mechanical contractors say they face is using mobile and online technology to benefit their business. Mechanical contractors recognize the benefits of mobile and online technology but haven’t found the time or policy to use it to their advantage. Two of the biggest issues with technology is implementation and adoption. Businesses often can’t find the time to set up the new software and train on it. They also have trouble convincing and motivating their employees to use it.
Several articles in the Harvard Business Review and MIT’s Sloan Management Review highlight several ways to improve technology adoption. They recommend highlighting all benefits of the software, whether it’s spending less time on paperwork or ways to increase efficiency. Using that plus Micro-Learning and a small test team makes adopting technology much easier. This helps mechanical contractors and their teams leverage technology to benefit their business.
2. Employee Hiring and Retention
With a 4.1% unemployment rate, there is a labor shortage hitting the construction industry especially hard. Since skilled construction laborers are in demand, some mechanical contractors are finding it difficult to retain employees seeking higher wages. The other issue mechanical contractors face is in hiring qualified workers for open positions. Most of the problem lies with the unemployment rate. Lower unemployment rates give workers the pick of available jobs and forces companies to compete.
One of the easiest ways to increase employee retention is to ensure competitive benefits, hours, and pay for your employees. This assures them that you are listening to them, and it easily helps keep valuable employees. Mechanical contractors that are interested in attracting new laborers should consider adding on-the-job training or partnering with an apprenticeship program. This gives your company choice of the best students and assures that you have a well-trained labor force.
3. Growing Your Business
Mechanical contractors know that growing your business while maintaining a profit can be difficult. Unplanned and uncontrolled growth causes customer dissatisfaction, employee-employer relationship issues, a decrease in profits, and a decrease in your job satisfaction.
Fortunately, there are many software options to help mechanical contractors with the various hats they need to wear to grow their business. Creating a business plan to grow is the first step in any successful growth strategy. This helps you understand what needs to happen and ensures you have the equipment and labor force necessary to complete any planned work. Using customer data, you can figure out where you’re most successful and what needs more work. This also helps you define and redefine your business growth strategy.
4. Timing and Budgeting
Mechanical contractors recognize that projects coming in on time and on budget can be an issue. But this is an issue within the construction industry as a whole. When projects go over budget, mechanical contractors are on the hook for the rest of the cost, and it can be detrimental to their reputation.
By ensuring that any and all job costing or estimating software is up to date, mechanical contractors know they’ll get the best estimate. Visiting the site, checking the numbers on any construction plan, and even calling to confirm can also increase estimate accuracy. This, in turn, will decrease budget and time issues and allow your company to function at its best.
Probably the greatest factor that impacts mechanical contractors is lack of payment. This is a common problem throughout the construction industry and makes business difficult for every subcontractor. Problems generally stem from issues with poor documentation, and accurate and easily accessible records.
Mechanical contractors that keep accurate and easily accessible records have a better chance of getting paid. Because they have well-documented records of approved change orders, purchase orders, and field notes backing up their claim. Using document control software with mobile-cloud capabilities assures that all documents are backed up and available. It also means that you can access the documents from any device and anywhere. This way if something happens to your computer or phone, you don’t have to worry about losing the documents. You get paid for the work you do.