Duane Craig, writing for his own Construction Informer, brings some nice insight to FMI’s quarterly non-residential report for the second quarter of 2014. While the report indicates a slight increase in optimism among construction company executives, not all seems so rosy. Craig writes:
Lack of innovation, according to the report’s authors, is troubling, given respondents saw no improvement in the sector’s productivity compared to last quarter’s index, in a time when labor shortages loom large. Tied to that, panelists revealed that lack of training and not finding innovative personnel is a concern for more than half of them. Their confidence in a favorable cost of labor also slipped from Q1 to Q2, dropping more than six points.
Generally, panelists participating in the index thought innovation needs to focus on increasing productivity and solving the shortage of skilled labor. Reducing commoditization of construction and improving safety and quality were also top of the list.
In my humble opinion, the issue of skilled labor shortages goes hand-in-hand with quality issues. With decreasing insurance coverage, combined with increasing complexity to meet higher demands for building performance, there is a lot of risk on the table for non-residential construction and residential construction alike.