The five major challenges in the construction industry

How to overcome them

construction management challenges

Do you struggle with construction management? You’re not alone.

According to a recent global construction survey, only 25% of construction executives have confidence in the industry’s ability to deliver projects on time and on budget.

As a construction business owner or site manager, project management is one of your many hats. We understand that you’re in the ring every day, controlling and mitigating the impact of any obstacles that could prevent successful project completion.

Here we round-up the most common challenges in construction and how you can overcome them.

top 5 challenges within construction

Aging workforce and skills shortage

Many construction companies are facing a shortage of skilled workers. 22% of the UK’s construction workforce are aged between 50-60. Many will soon retire and attracting new and younger workers to the industry has historically been difficult.

Another big challenge within the sector is the lack of trained and skilled employees, resulting in significant impact on productivity levels.

While fixing the labour shortage in the construction industry is no easy task, your workers cannot be more productive without the right type of skills to do so. Therefore it’s becoming more and more important to improve the productivity of the team you already have.

Health and Safety

According to HSE statistics, construction is the sector leading with the highest number of health and safety related accidents within the UK. This is due to lack of equipment compliance, training and safety processes and procedures.

There are many areas of health and safety compliance that need to be kept on top of and not having a digitalised system to manage these means your business will be vulnerable to costly errors.

For example, if you accidentally fail to renew a mandatory Health & Safety accreditation, you could be slapped with heavy fines by regulatory authorities.

Or what if your system lets inspection and maintenance intervals slip through the net? If your workers end up using unsafe equipment and have an accident while using it, you could face major legal penalties.

Project delays

There are a number of common obstacles to project completion that the project manager is expected to work out in order to keep construction on track. The most common reason for construction projects to be delayed is down to scope creep - the extension of the scope beyond the original objectives.

Since the changes are not planned, they typically cause delays and cost money that isn’t in the budget. The project manager should evaluate change requests and decide whether or how to implement them. The impact of any changes on the schedule and / or budget then needs to be communicated to all stakeholders.

However, this is not always done efficiently and keeping track of timescales and allocations can be an administrative nightmare.

Technology adoption

While technological innovation is quickly moving forward, the construction sector is falling behind - with productivity levels lagging behind every other industry sector in the country.

The government is already recognising this with a number of initiatives launched last year aiming to help the sector adopt technology and increase productivity levels. 

However, many construction businesses struggle to invest or implement new technology so it’s not surprising that a recent global report recognised construction as the second least digitalised sector in the world.

Staying within budget

As well as scope creep mentioned above, there are many challenges that cause projects to go over budget, specifically hidden costs.

Do you know how much your tools are really costing you? As well as considering the purchase price of a tool, there are many indirect or ‘hidden’ costs to consider too, such as repair costs, battery replacement and theft.

Think about how much time is spent looking for tools on your construction site. Have you ever wasted money buying new tools to replace ones that are lost or stolen? All these things can soon add up and cost your business thousands!

How can construction companies overcome challenges

The challenges addressed above can all have a dramatic impact on the productivity levels of your construction business.

Thankfully there are some easy steps you can take to keep your construction projects on track and on budget, as well as increase overall productivity on your construction site.

If any of these challenges ring true for your business, we can help you quickly and easily get on top of how you could tackle them in our free