Manufacturing businesses are doing some amazing things to step up and serve during the past few months. In the AEC industry, it’s widely recognized that manufacturing companies can teach construction companies some lessons about making things. And with the creativity that has emerged during this “work from home” interval we’re all experiencing, we can see the lines blurring even more between construction and manufacturing.

Aside from prefabrication, which merges construction and manufacturing, there has been a fairly rapid mindset shift to address the needs of healthcare workers and the general public. There are pockets of revitalization in manufacturing. For instance, companies in the “rust belt” are shifting manufacturing processes to produce facemasks, face shields and healthcare worker gowns. It’s a sign of these times that manufacturing businesses are changing direction to produce things that help people – a great example of innovating what matters most at this moment and making sacrifices for the greater good. People and companies are stepping up to address problems and serving where needed. American businesses are coming alongside people in a way that highlights the fact that we’re all in this together. Demand to invest in facilities and talent and be prepared to make things here that cannot be imported. 

Construction is a resilient workforce. We’ve seen teams pull together to repurpose spaces within mere days for healthcare. Efficiency driven processes are becoming even more lean. Prefabrication, planning and scheduling are becoming very focused. What that means for the future, now that everyone’s been through this drill, will be increased safety, better site logistics and more sustainable processes.

In technology, face to face interactions are being replaced by social media posts. When people are feeling drained and uncertain about challenges, it’s good to hear positive stories from others. Working from home can be a blessing, but it requires a different perspective. This is a human experience that we are experiencing at the same time as people overseas.

As such, people are deciding on key priorities. They’re catching up on projects, adding some learning to their resume. Teams are recalibrating and huddling remotely about purpose – keeping the channels of communication open. Fortunately, technology has made all of this easier. Can we continue the energy and ingenuity after this pandemic is over?

In episode 24 of the Bridging the Gap Podcast, I talked with Bianca Coury, Construction Manager for Eagle Point Software. Bianca is a builder, connector, change agent, LEED Green Associate, and strategist. She believes that anything is possible. In our conversation, we unpacked the above ideas, how manufacturing is inspiring others to action and the fun habits and challenges of remote work. Listen here for the full conversation.


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