We are weeks into this COVID-19 lockdown, and yet most of us are still trying to come to terms with what has become our new normal. While this lockdown places restrictions on most businesses, construction workers have been the exception to most stay-at-home regulations in place by local governments. However, with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and stricter workforce regulations in place, many construction companies are on standby mode and projects have shutdown.
COVID-19 Lockdown is Putting Project Businesses on Standby
According to an ENR article, a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America revealed 28 percent of 909 respondents said they have had an owner, government agency or official tell them to stop or delay work on active projects or on jobs expected to start within a month.
The pandemic has also had a major impact on pipelines and other energy projects that have been put on hold or cancelled because of workforce shortages and new operational challenges.
“As a black swan event, the pandemic is a true test of leadership in American business, especially for the nation’s electric and gas utilities,” said Mike Beehler, a consulting engineer, in the ENR article.
Based on a survey of about 1,150 American Society of Civil Engineers members among 2,762 respondents, 39 percent had “mild concerns” about the long-term post-COVID-19 company viability. Approximately, 20 percent of companies with less than four employees “question whether they can remain in operation after the crisis.”
Looking Ahead Post-COVID-19
The fact is, while businesses are trying to cope with the impact of this pandemic, it is also critical to look ahead to the future. And while we are so focused on the present, we must acknowledge the way we do business will never be the same post-lockdown.
Unfortunately, Project Businesses (e.g. construction and engineering) have been behind the technological curve for decades, putting them at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to automating and accelerating production. Project Businesses do not have standardized business processes or a way to integrate and structure their data in a way that gives them greater control and better visibility over their projects.
The problem is Project Businesses operate in multiple point solutions to run their business (e.g. project management, project accounting, ERP, CRM, time & expense, and spreadsheets). Sound familiar? This setup means all the project functionality is managed in different applications that don’t communicate with each other. As a result, it’s almost impossible to recognize any changing conditions and make important decisions based on reliable data.
Download the Project Business Automation Blueprint to learn more about PBA and how it works.
There’s no need to be doing more of the same, if what you’re doing isn’t producing the results you want. Project Businesses need to look towards a new type of solution called Project Business Automation (PBA) to run their company with real-time visibility and control. PBA allows you to eliminate multiple applications and tools and integrate all the project functionality into one, end-to-end system.
This “downtime” is an opportunity to think about next steps. Normally, a switch to a new system can be difficult, disruptive and challenging. And let’s face it, you don’t want to make big changes when things are moving along swimmingly. But the lockdown gives us a chance to make a bold move and do things better. Now is the time to look at how you can restructure your organization and data in a way that will set you up for success when the time comes to hit the ground running.