The current construction market is showing signs of growth–new housing starts have been increasing steadily for more than a decade and commercial and multi-family construction saw a healthy jump last year. They provide a good opportunity to start developing the skills and resources needed to foresee potential downturns in the market and act proactively to protect your interests.
In collecting my thoughts after MEP Force two weeks ago in San Antonio, a few things are apparent. Everyone is busier than they’ve ever been, and the labor shortage is not going away. Despite the daily grind, the better companies are committed to continuous progress. There was an obvious feel about it this year at MEP Force. A movement is definitely underway for collaboration inside and outside of MEP companies.
While a little different in each industry, the movement propelling the MEP trades forward is common among electrical and mechanical contractors. There are three aspects of this movement worth mentioning:
- Off-site construction is no longer a topic of debate. The era of prefabrication has arrived. The discussions we heard were no longer about why. They are now more about how. Both union and non-union shops are fully committed to off-site construction. Members of both groups discussed how they are incorporating junior employees into their prefabrication shops. The shop has become a great place to train the next wave of field personnel.
- Both electrical and mechanical contractors are looking for seamless workflows, better tools and new ideas. Attendees from both disciplines were hungry to learn more from industry instructors and, more importantly, their peers. In many breakout sessions, we enjoyed watching the “lights come on” as contractors learned from one another. Some conversations involved deep technology discussions, scripting, program hacks, customization, and project setup. Others were more practical, like project templates, field management, and how to better label parts in the shop to make sure they get to the right place on the jobsite.
- Company cultures are changing. Installers and detailers are beginning to understand their interdependence and realize that they all benefit from reduced rework in the office and field. The “pretty” model has finally morphed into the construction plan as forward-thinking companies are breaking down their informational silos – their closely held portions of the project. Technology products will have to keep up with the new requirements that fully integrated design, shop and field workflows demand.
The eVolve MEP staff are humbled to be a part of this collaborative movement and look forward to playing our part. The eVolve MEP development team is fully committed to listening to what the electrical and mechanical industries need and delivering more than they ask for.
We at eVolve MEP were honored to be a sponsor of MEP Force 2019, and MEP Force 2020 is already in the planning stages. It will be held August 31 to September 2 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. Just a heads up, the registration link is active now, and the registration fee is half-off through September 30, 2019.
If you’d like to learn more about how eVolve Mechanical or eVolve Electrical can transform your firm’s part in the collaborative MEP movement, contact eVolve MEP today for a quick discovery call or a demo by one of the industry-trained eVolve MEP experts. Your firm can rise above the daily grind and be part of this movement that promises continuous progress and a new day dawning for the MEP trades.
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