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How Mobile Apps Can Solve the Construction Labor Shortage

Read about the ways mobile apps can help solve the construction industry labor shortage.Learn how to combat the construction labor shortage and keep their businesses running smoothly.

What’s the biggest problem facing the construction industry? It’s not a drooping stock market, potential recession or an ongoing trade war, at least according to the industry itself. Instead, it’s a potentially catastrophic labor shortage. That, according to just-released survey of construction executives from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) and Sage Construction and Real Estate.

The survey found that although 79 percent of construction firms plan to expand their headcount in 2019, 78 percent of them can’t fill important positions. The labor shortage was the top concern cited by construction executives.

The construction labor shortage was the top concern cited by construction executives.
The survey found that although 79% of construction firms plan to expand their headcount in 2019, 78% of them can’t fill important positions.

AGCA Chief Executive Officer Stephen E. Sandherr warned, “Even as they are optimistic about growing demand, contractors are concerned about finding qualified workers to execute projects.”

To hire qualified workers for construction jobs, construction firms are increasing their pay — almost six in 10 respondents to the survey increased base-pay rates, and 29 percent offered incentives and/or bonuses.

But, raising pay isn’t the only option. The industry is rife with inefficiency. Raising productivity will help the industry do more with less manpower. How inefficient is it? Consider just these few statistics. A survey from PlanGrid and FMI found that more than 35 percent of the time of construction professionals (more than 14 hours per week) is spent on non-productive activities including looking for project information, and dealing with mistakes and rework.

Another survey, by the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) found that problems with construction logistics have a 50 percent or more impact on productivity.  And, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index survey found that a bare 11 percent of contractors say worksites are very efficient.

Construction industry players realize there is a productivity problem and a labor shortage for skilled workers. Investing in the right mobile app development technology to solve it. The AGCA survey found that 42 percent of respondents will increase their investments in IT in 2019. The survey didn’t delve into where those IT investments will be made. But mobile technology should be top of the list because it can dramatically increase productivity.

Labor Help for Construction Companies 

TransForm Home InspectionAlpha TransForm can help construction companies increase productivity and attract skilled labor in multiple ways. By tying construction sites directly to back office operations, it can improve logistics, make sure that construction documents are always within reach, and cut down on mistakes and rework. It can streamline inspections and dramatically improve data capture.

And, it can leverage mobile technology to attract craft workers because, typically, the savviest and most profitable construction companies are the ones that innovate and use the latest technology. Younger workers are also attracted to companies making the best use of technology, such as modern construction apps..

For a practical example of how Alpha TransForm can help, read how Building Engineering Company increased inspection throughput, improved data accuracy and made field data available to the company’s systems immediately.

You can try Alpha TransForm yourself, with free access to a pre-built building inspection app you can customize for own company.

For further reading visit: Industrial Safety Apps - The Future Of Worker Safety

Keep your construction workers safer with our Workplace Wellness app and Toolbox Talk app.


Alpha can help you meet your construction needs. We offer pre-built punch list, non-conformance and home inspection apps or can build the app you need. Learn about Alpha Software Construction Apps.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

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