PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
plumbing subcontractors ebook

How Plumbing Subcontractors Can Manage the Labor Shortage [ebook]

How Construction Productivity Software Can Help Plumbing Subcontractors Alleviate the Labor Crisis

Itā€™s not news to anyone in the plumbing trade (or across the construction industry) that thereā€™s a significant labor shortage thatā€™s occurring on a global scale. In New Zealand, 60,000 tradespeople (especially skilled plumbers) will be needed over the next five years to address the labor shortage. In Auckland alone, the workforce will need to grow 40% by 2021 to keep up with demand projects.

Across the world, the struggle remains more or less the same. Jobs for plumbers, electricians, masons and other trades are posted with salaries ranging from $55,000 to $75,000 a year, yet there arenā€™t nearly enough applicants. Across the United States, there are over 200,000 construction jobs posted, which means every contractor big or small is feeling the labor squeeze to some extent.

Plumbing Pays, But Nobody Knows It

With such a shortage, the opportunity for people interested in learning a trade in every corner of the world is substantial. With such high demand, a skilled plumber will enjoy high wages and job security not afforded to many other industries or professions.

One necessary step to get more people to pursue trades is removing the stigma associated with what is often referred to as ā€˜blue collarā€™ work. Many people today still think that trade work and other blue collar jobs do not pay well, but it couldnā€™t be farther from the truth. Of all construction jobs in the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters to have the fastest employment growth between 2016 and 2026. Additionally, the median wage for a plumber is $52,000.

Aside from somehow manifesting more employees out of thin air, plumbing subcontractors still need to find ways to meet the needs of their customers while the industry attempts to attract new talent. Enter construction productivity software to the rescue.

Bridging the Productivity Gap for Plumbing Subcontractors

Construction productivity software streamlines document control and distribution, provides construction teams with easy access to all relevant information from any device and enables seamless collaboration across teams. With modern mobile devices, empowering field teams through software has never been easier. Our ebook evaluates how plumbing subcontractors can embrace the right construction software tool to:

  • Meet project schedules and deadlines
  • Collaborate with GCs and other trades
  • Manage sheets, blueprints and versions
  • Prevent costly errors and rework
  • Complete effective project closeouts
  • Attract talent as the workforce ages
  • Scale as an organization grows

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Further Reading:  An Essential Guide to Lean Construction [ebook]

A Case Study in Plumbing – VEC, Inc.

Founded in 1968, VEC, Inc. is a total solutions provider that specializes in industrial, oil and gas, and low voltage work in the midwestern U.S. For years technology has played a foundational role in how VEC does business. It helps the company bring projects to completion faster and has become a major selling point and differentiator when bidding on new work.

For example, documentation and inspections can be particularly challenging for oil and gas projects due to the precision and level of detail that must be captured. For VEC, documenting everything efficiently and correctly is important from a time savings perspective. It also strengthens their relationship with project owners, who will need access to precise as-built information for quality control and emergencies in the future.

ā€œPlanGrid empowers our projects to become digital and connected, resulting in increased efficiency, collaboration, and profitability on the jobsite. It keeps our project team on the same page, moving in the same direction.ā€

-Dominic R. Spelich, Executive Vice President, VEC Inc.

Itā€™s Time for Plumbing Subcontractors to Overcome the Productivity Crisis

Plumbing subcontractors have an opportunity to leverage todayā€™s technology to get ahead of their competitors and beat the productivity crisis. While embracing the right tools will not necessarily scale field teams (although it can help attract younger tech-inspired talent), it will make companies and projects more efficient with the resources available.

Download our ebook now to get started.

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Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas is a Content Marketing Manager at PlanGrid. He develops PlanGridā€™s content strategy and creates assets to educate their customers based on his experience working at Gilbane Building Co. and Truebeck Construction. He has more than six years of marketing experience and a Bachelor's Degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University.