While the modular construction industry is growing and the stakes are getting higher, you must take the time to face the company's challenges. It would be a pity if you hadn't used your opportunity to grow because of some unresolved issues - and that's when we come in! Check out how Archdesk can help your modular construction company in reaching its full potential!
The Modular Construction industry is in the spotlight recently. Thanks to its many benefits, it’s one of the most discussed new methods of construction. Although the UK is lagging behind other countries a little bit in terms of applying this new way of building - in 2021, only 7.5% of new houses were built using modular construction - its popularity is only going to grow in the upcoming years.
Let’s talk about the biggest challenges of the industry and how to solve them with the right tools!
Researchers forecast that the global modular construction CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) will have grown over 12% by 2026! In the UK, the need to implement faster using more reliable and sustainable solutions will be vital to tackle the affordable housing crisis.
Things are looking good, but no industry is free of challenges. If you want to seize the opportunity of the growing demand for modular building, you will need to prepare yourself to scale up. This means finding the right tools that will support you in addressing the biggest challenges and that will increase your business resilience!
Today, we want to discuss some of the most common challenges in the industry and show you how the Archdesk construction management platform can help your company overcome them, making your business future-ready!
Transporting modules on-site
We can all intuitively agree that transporting bricks is easier than transporting a whole wall. When an entire premise of modular construction builds ready-made building parts off-site, it logically involves some special needs concerning transporting them on-site.
Weather is not your friend
Unlike in a traditional construction, when putting together a modular building, there is an amount of time when you are exposing the interior to the outside conditions, and the rain is an absolute no-go. An unexpected rainy day can ruin the whole schedule of work, making machinery on-site useless when they could be used somewhere else, and the same goes with workers that showed up. Which brings us to...
Labor shortage is a challenge for the whole construction industry, but it is hitting modular construction particularly hard because you need skilled specialists who know how to work with modules on-site. Yet, these people might be difficult to find and there may still be some vacancies, which means you would have to juggle teams between different sites.
While building in the factory means the whole process can be controlled better, most companies haven’t been around for long and they still need to work out the best process for them in terms of safety, efficiency and being standards-compliant. The factories also face more inspections than the processes on-site, so you always have to be sure that you operate in the best way possible.
There are often different teams operating in the factory and on-site, including sub-contractors. So, in case of any damage, it might be hard to determine who is responsible for it due to diffusion of responsibility. This may not only cause friction between the teams, but also slow down the process and make the issue bigger than it really is.
Modular construction in the UK is still young, which means that it’s more vulnerable to some roadblocks and setbacks. Firstly, you need to solve your existing problems and make sure you have the whole process planned out and reliable before thinking about scaling up and taking on more demanding projects.
Of course, every company faces its own specific challenges, but having worked with modular construction companies before, these were the main patterns we observed and were able to offer solutions to.
All of the challenges mentioned above can be divided into two bigger categories with some underlying needs that must be taken care of in order to consider the issue resolved, and not just temporarily fixed.
Better management of the on-site part of the process
This comes under the umbrella of the issues with transport, addressing the limited number of skilled on-site workers and the weather. In case you are thinking - Well, I wonder how they propose to fight the weather - we don’t. What you can do to deal with the unprecedented weather conditions and other disruptions to the process on-site is be proactive rather than reactive in the face of adversity.
And that’s where Archdesk’s Asset Management Solution and Scheduling come in!
With Asset Management, you can easily plan and schedule any vehicles and machinery to always be exactly at the time and place you need them. What’s even more important is the fact that you can easily reschedule and move all your assets if necessary.
Let’s say you check the weather forecast for tomorrow and you see that there is a high chance of rain on-site. You can proactively move your assets from this location and transport them on the other site, which will speed up the process.
->Check out our article on why asset management is a game changer!
Scheduling - The same goes with managing your teams. If you don’t have enough specialists for all your projects, it’s essential to use their working time as effectively as possible. Therefore, an easy access to all of their schedules enables you to assign and reassign tasks depending on the changing situations.
Gaining full control over the processes
No one can deny that having control over your processes is the basis of delivering your projects successfully. A better view and control over the processes in your modular company can spare you the challenges like: responsibility issues and standards compliance. It will altogether help the company run smoothly and disruption-freely, which means you will be sure it’s ready to take on bigger projects!
And that’s where Archdesk’s Asset Management Solution and Scheduling come in!
Workflow management - once you establish the process that works for you, it has to be repeatable. Especially in the factory, the process of building modules is quite repeatable, so when you find what is good for your company, you will get massive benefits from standardising and automating as much as you can. With our solution, you can map out all the processes you need from project management, through operations and finances, to resource management.
Programme of Works - As modular construction is a complex process that is happening at more than one place at a time and with different teams participating at different stages of the project, you have to make sure that you have a neat plan at the start of new jobs. This way you gain better control of your project and you can rest assured that you actually thought and took care of everything. There won’t be a situation where modules arrive on-site only to be taken back because the crane or the team that was needed hasn’t arrived. Additionally the gantt charts give you and your team a view of the current stage of the process and tells you what actions still need to be finished to proceed to the next stage, so that everyone always knows what they are doing!
Forms - if you have ever had a problem with communication in your company, and let’s be honest - who hasn’t? - forms will be a life saver. You get all the information you need, from any employee you want, which saves a lot of time and paperwork. Not to mention, when it comes to taking responsibility we talked about before - with forms, you can collect detailed information about the state of modules so that at every stage, it becomes easier to find the answer where something went wrong! You can add forms to the workflows you create in the system so that for every process you establish, the information between the parties flows smoothly, while giving or getting approval is the easiest thing ever!
Reporting - it’s kind of no brainer to say that reporting gives you a better view of how your company’s doing, isn’t it? But, at the same time, you might think “Ough, the reports are such a pain”... and we would totally agree with you if you are still using spreadsheets to run your projects. With Archdesk you get access to highly configurable reporting dashboards that can give you any information you need from the system, in the form of widgets and charts - whichever works best for you. This way you can always stay on top of what is happening in your projects and in the whole company, which enables you to make more informed decisions. This gets us back to being proactive rather than reactive when running your business.
Of course, every company faces different challenges that might differ from the ones listed above. Luckily, Archdesk offers a wide range of solutions we haven’t even touched upon! With us, you can find a better way to manage your teams, schedules, finances and tasks - check out our solutions to see what could be best for your company!
And remember, Archdesk is not an off-shelf solution - our specialists will listen to your problems and help you implement our software so that it mirrors your process.Archdesk is tailored to the specific needs of your business!
The future looks bright for the modular construction industry. However, if you want your company to be fully prepared to take on more demanding projects and grow, this is the time to start your preparations. And we’ll be there supporting you, every step of the way!
January 27, 2022 • 5 min read
January 25, 2022 • 5 min read
January 20, 2022 • 7 min read
January 18, 2022 • 6 min read