How to position your business for success in 2024
08 February 2024
Not to say that 2023 was a walk in the park for the business landscape but, despite hiring challenges and inflationary pressures plaguing the construction industry around the world, many business owners made great strides by simply keeping their focus off the headlines and on their growth plans.
Often enough, operating a successful business means identifying trends and positioning yourself ahead of them before your competitors have a chance to catch up. Looking ahead these are some of the construction industry trends that will almost certainly impact 2024.
According to international real estate management firm JLL, the construction industry in North America is positioned for success in 2024, thanks to strong demand and continued normalisation of supply chains and materials prices. Supply chains improved in 2023, with the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index hitting a historical low in October and almost all material divisions seeing stable or improving lead times.
On the labour-shortage front, limited labour availability is expected to persist for the long term. Due to ongoing global labour shortages and an increase in people leaving the industry, overall growth of the construction labour force will slow from its current, already inadequate, pace in 2024. While advances in technologies can ease some of these pressure points caused by the labour market, it cannot fully replace the need for labour.
And thus, as the industry faces skilled labour shortages and falling productivity, competency and efficiency will be increasingly valuable among the workforce. Retention, upskilling and trust-building are critical for the next year and beyond.
That said, almost every construction company has dealt with an open position that remained unoccupied for far longer than they anticipated. Challenges surrounding finding and retaining quality talent will continue into 2024 but businesses are starting to get creative instead of frustrated over the wording of their job descriptions. Additional training, apprenticeships and certifications will continue to help construction companies build the workforce they need to succeed.
On the tech side, from 3D printing to robotics, construction technology has undoubtedly changed the industry forever. It does, however, stand as the second-least digitised industry but it won’t stay that way for long. On average, two out of five construction companies have indicated plans to purchase and-or upgrade their construction management software in the next year. Both numbers are expected to grow immensely in 2024.
On the equipment side, from wearables to mining dump trucks, technology will undoubtedly shift how the industry approaches each project. We can only expect this facet of the industry to evolve steadily this year, and beyond. Education and awareness will forever remain our greatest approach when managing the influx and application of technology into our construction businesses.
Green building and the shift away from traditional materials and toward sustainable building dominated 2023. Expect that to continue to evolve into 2024.
And, while it experienced a noticeable drop off post-Covid, in exchange for higher productivity and efficiency, worker safety is fast becoming a priority in 2024.
From more frequent inspections to better safety guidelines and equipment, expect jobsites to become much safer in 2024. Technology, certifications and hiring the right people will drive this trend. And it likely won’t be cheap. But doing it the right way will yield positive ripple effects across the industry, which in turn will save time, money and lives.