The construction industry faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, but with a new year comes new opportunities and an expected recovery. MPC is working at the forefront of the recovery by taking a proactive stance and using forward-thinking strategies for our clients and trade partners as commercial construction roars back to life in cities across the nation.
Our team is focusing on three key areas for recovery throughout 2021.
1. Material shortages and delays
2. Price fluctuations
3. Limited resources
Material Shortages and Delays
Increased demand for lumber is by far the most widespread and costly to overcome. Wood product materials have quadrupled since 2019. To avoid this, carefully tracking material shortages and price increases with a strategic buyout process in place will help mitigate budget changes and project delays. With this approach, companies can accurately price out jobs and stay within the budget while providing transparency and solutions to any potential material shortages.
Staying up to date on essential materials is critical to keeping projects moving. At MPC we anticipate any potential constraints and have several well-established supply lines to be able to procure the materials for each of our projects. Additionally, we are providing the project team with updated cost projections at each stage of the buyout process.
“We are diligent in following the market. Wood products fluctuate the most in availability and pricing, so we get weekly updates from all major lumber suppliers in the United States and Canada to help foreshadow expenses and mitigate cost increases whenever possible.” Ian Brasciszewski, Pre-construction Manager
A critical driver of project success is knowing the market you are working in by staying apprised of local government decisions, such as sales tax increases, and the overall costs of doing business.
For instance, when the city of Denver put a measure on the ballot to increase sales tax from 8.31% to 8.81%, MPC immediately went to work to determine how that would affect current projects and those in the budgeting and planning phase. Ultimately, the tax increase was passed. Anticipating these kinds of budgetary changes and incorporating proactive solutions helps offset increased expenses and keeps projects on schedule and moving forward.
“Given the demand for projects, along with many firms trying to hire workers whenever jobs are finally released in 2021, contractors may experience labor challenges all over again.” ~ Constructiondive.com
The commercial construction industry is expected to surge in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. This will surely bring with it a shortage of skilled labor resources. To mitigate and avoid any impact on project schedules, MPC has incorporated these projections into our project planning phase for any active and future projects.
To address this forecasted labor shortage our team utilizes a scheduling process that looks four, eight and twelve weeks out, which establishes milestones for when materials will be available, when trade partners are needed on site and when permits will be necessary to begin work.
The relationships we build with our trade partners is an important part of our business model. We appreciate and understand the challenges we both face in the industry and work together to come up with creative solutions to successfully deliver projects.
The Outlook For 2021
Many industry experts and economists agree we are on the road to recovery for the U.S. economy, albeit a long one. We foresee material shortages starting to ease, new projects starting and the job market rebounding strongly.
“The baseline expectation is that by the spring, the U.S. economy will blossom,” said Basu. “With many households sitting on mounds of savings and sustaining pent-up demand for many goods and services, the U.S. economy is set for rapid growth as it reopens more fully during mid to late 2021. While it will take time for that to fully translate into new construction projects, some that were postponed earlier during the pandemic are likely to come back to life over the next several months. That should help many contractors begin to rebuild backlog, and to eagerly await 2022.” Chief Economist Anirban Basu, Building Design & Construction
MPC has faced big challenges before, some completely unpredictable. Through it all, our resilient and innovative spirit has continued to serve our client’s best interest.