This is my favorite time of the year. True, here in the states we are seeing the weather cool to a crisp and the leaves turn to orange, red, and brown, in some parts of the country, but there is another reason why I like to curl up at my office desk with the window cracked open. Predictions! It is the time of year where everyone is making grandiose predictions about what is to come in the next year—or the next five years.
Analysts, associations, industry, and academia are all getting out their crystal balls to predict what next great technology will take center stage. Now, to be fair, many of these predictions often fall flat on their face. We need to take what everyone is saying with a grain of salt. But the energy and excitement that comes with this time of year is palatable. Perhaps most importantly, nearly every company can take something away from these predictions and use it when creating goals for the 2024 year.
That is perhaps another reason I love this time of year so much. It is a time to predict and plan. It is a time to begin thinking about what will go on the calendars for 2024—and what will not. It is a time to reflect on what went well in 2023—and what did not.
With all this in mind, I want to use the next few weeks to really dig into some predictions in order to better plan for the year ahead. If not, now, then when?
Let’s start this week looking at one example released earlier this month: JLL’s Construction Trends & Midyear Update report. This research looks at how 2023 has unfolded, while also providing a set of projections for the end of the year. I like how the organization sums it up: the construction industry is between a boom, business as usual, and a sharp downturn.
There are four big takeaways in this report:
Overall health: The construction industry is in a period of heightened activity, but financing constraints have driven declines in the last quarter. A colder future is projected.
Workforce: The labor shortage is still a struggle, with high costs and lagging productivity. Looking to the future, there will be a greater focus on talent retention strategies.
Materials: The supply chain has stabilized somewhat. Future cost increases are expected to be more manageable than in the past.
Total costs: With an impending slowdown, construction companies must strategize their next steps and the potential recovery timeline for financing issues.
All in all, construction needs to prepare for a slowdown, as materials prices stabilize somewhat, but the labor shortage still remains a challenge. How will you put strategies, processes, and technologies in place to prepare for this future?