The supply chain is a vital part of the construction industry. It involves all the aspects related to getting materials and supplies for a project, which can be complicated and lengthy with multiple players involved. In fact, there are more than 100 million workers in the U.S. alone who work directly in or indirectly through supply chains, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This blog will discuss how COVID-19 affected this crucial aspect of commercial construction projects—and how commercial construction adapted as a result.
What is the supply chain and how did COVID-19 impact it?
The supply chain is the process of getting materials, parts, and components from the point of origin to the end user. It includes all the processes and resources involved in producing, delivering, and selling a product or service. The supply chain includes all your suppliers—the people who produce your materials for you—as well as manufacturers that make those materials into products for you; distributors who get them to your customers; retailers who sell them directly to consumers. Sometimes, even other companies that use your products themselves for their own purposes are included in the supply chain as well.
COVID-19 had deep and long-lasting impacts on the supply chain in countless industries. Global trade was disrupted due to border closures and travel restrictions. Material production faced delays due to limited workforce and resources. Certain materials that were vital to working under COVID regulations, like sanitary and personal protective equipment, were increasingly hard to acquire. Even the logistics of getting supplies from Point A to Point B were challenging.
How did the supply chain issues impact the commercial construction industry?
One of the most significant impacts that COVID-19 has had on the supply chain is the construction industry. In 2020, commercial building and infrastructure projects stood at a standstill because of all these new regulations put into place by COVID-19. These regulations certainly had a lasting impact on construction bidding and job site activity. This means that contractors don’t have jobs and materials sat around or were redirected elsewhere instead.
Many commercial construction adapted to these changes by reduce their workforce due to the cost of materials. This resulted in decreased demand for commercial construction workers as well. This also led to a decrease in demand for raw materials and intermediate goods from suppliers. Because of the increased cost per square foot, many projects that would have been built with glass or steel could not be completed under these conditions. Many buildings have been postponed until prices come down again so that they are able to be built properly with adequate materials at reasonable prices.
In addition, many large projects were canceled altogether because they were unable to find enough skilled workers or builders who could handle such complex tasks within budget constraints while working within extreme time constraints.
Souder Brothers Construction Inc., Adapting in the Post-COVID Era
Commercial construction has seen many changes over the years, but none more so than in recent years. COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of the commercial construction industry, from project managers all the way down to subcontractors and suppliers. Suppliers and subcontractor now face new challenges when accounting for their finances and supplies. The supply chain is a crucial element when it comes to completing any project on time and within budget. Though commercial construction adapted to new supply chain issues well, it is clear that these adaptations will continue.
While the supply chain is not without its issues now, construction companies like Souder Brothers have adapted. We’ve taken part in creative commercial renovations in the new normal, and continually worked to meet the needs of our customers. With commercial and residential construction on the rise, we have found new methods to ensure materials arrive on time, keeping construction schedules on schedule.