Two Big Challenges MEP Contractors Face
2 November 2022Construction, Digital Transformation, Fabrication, MEPconstruction technology, Data, data management
Despite the latest trends in construction technology designed to make companies function better, there are still things that can work against an MEP contractor being profitable. Every company will eventually face these challenges, if they haven’t already.
Something that can work against MEP contractors, as with all companies in the construction industry, is data overload. The size of the digital universe doubles every two years, and not all of it is relevant to what your company does. Working with information is definitely a challenge.
- People in the construction industry have operated on “gut” feelings for a long time, and some are satisfied to continue.
- Data collection is spotty.
- People are busy and don’t want to take time to change processes.
- Some people still prefer paper forms.
Indeed, the challenges of working with data can be a lengthy list.
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In episode 152 of Bridging the Gap Podcast, MEP industry sage Josh Bone talked about the latest research and trends affecting MEP contractors. He explained there is a lot of “low hanging fruit” when it comes to opportunities to gather data on a project. Companies simply need to ensure they are collecting good data.
When you have good data, one of the things your company can use it for is to build good bids. A good bid requires a solid foundation of information, project history and insights into trends. To build that foundation, Josh explained you have to sift through and prioritize information from your jobs, in other words mine your data. You need certainty when you’re developing a bid for a job, and that comes from collecting the appropriate information.
One way to collect usable data is to perform an overview of a project that has just been finished. Figure out what went well and what went poorly. Unfortunately, this type of study usually is not done consistently because busy teams need to move on to the next project when the current one wraps up.
Going hand in hand with data overload is the challenge of adopting construction technology. There are many technology options available that can help companies mine their data. However, if a company has had a negative experience with tech they adopted in the past, they are less interested in implementing tech in the future.
The technology adoption challenge is a stumbling block that must be climbed over if a company is to remain relevant and competitive.
Josh explained that MEP contractors still have a backlog of work. Demand is still high, and money is still available. This will keep the industry in a good place. There is still record-breaking demand and output. A surprising number of mega-projects are underway around the country. With the abundance of work and opportunity, the industry is being tested to meet the need.
That will require solving data overload issues, making sure to collect good data, and learning to mine that data. Companies need to embrace the benefits data brings to the table, whether it’s for developing better bids, improving efficiency, or increasing productivity and profits. Technology will assuredly be a part of those solutions.
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