Communication is more important than ever. With the challenges companies in the construction industry face, communication is one of the easier ones to address. It is also one of the easiest ways to eliminate problems.
Problems with communication happen mostly because people don’t take time to communicate; in the long run, however, it ends up taking more time to fix problems caused by poor communication.
Poor communication is sometimes borne out of fear, many times a fear of looking incompetent or sounding foolish.
Many will admit there is a lot of pride within the construction industry; there are a lot of big egos. No one wants to feel or look stupid, so sometimes it seems better to keep quiet when you think something needs to be addressed or changed. However, honesty indicates that a person is trustworthy and loyal. Honesty is appreciated, particularly by managers and owners. If we make mistakes, we need to own our failures.
When you are part of a team, it is important to be forthcoming about not knowing something or understanding how to do something. When you are trustworthy in the little things, that bodes well for what people can expect from you in the big things. Communication is especially important in a transition from traditional to prefab construction processes.
Prefabrication in construction – along with the technology driving it – is perhaps the biggest change the industry has seen since computer-aided drafting (CAD) entered the scene in the 1960s. Industry watchers are predicting that prefab will eventually become a “do or die” transition. Considering the challenges companies face, from labor shortages and supply chain issues to production pressure and shorter schedules, it is likely that it will become nearly impossible for construction companies to survive without embracing it.
Companies are learning as they go, and one of the things they are having to deal with is the variety of technology and software tools they need to wade through, some of it characterized as “half-baked ideas.” The technology is changing with the industry, and most companies are eager to find a complete solution to get them where they’re going with prefab processes. It is a situation that definitely calls for a good partner to help wade through what exists in the marketplace and find the best solution for a company’s specific needs.
Advice for these companies is to understand your craft and what you need for your unique situation. Avoid the “shiny object” syndrome, which can cause people to gravitate toward the latest thing everyone else is talking about. On the other hand, don’t get so caught up in your day-to-day operations that you’re too busy to research what’s working for others in your position.
When the challenges of skilled labor and talent availability, short schedules, tight budgets, and demand for increased production are weighing on you, prefab just might be what you need to move into so you can keep your company relevant and prosperous.
Tune in to episode 190 of Bridging the Gap Podcast to hear more about prefabrication from Sam Hamilton, recorded during Advancing Prefab 2023.