Every industry has experienced challenges and implemented shifts in how business is conducted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years later, these effects are still being felt and businesses have had to adapt to this changing landscape. One of the largest problems faced by electric construction companies is the rising costs of materials as a result of a supply shortage nationwide.
Prices for raw materials, such as steel and copper, doubled from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, all major transportation methods have experienced delays in shipping due to a combination of increased demand and a loss of labor. To keep business running, electric construction companies, such as ours, have been forced to get creative in the materials that we use in order to keep projects running smoothly and on a timeline.
As the rising costs and supply chain issues are projected to continue, our commitment to providing solutions and strategic partnerships have been tested. While there are many things that we cannot control, here are three ways we have found to create a positive impact:
Solution #1: Consider substituting materials. With the of the rising prices of steel conduit and lengthy delivery timelines, aluminum conduit was more affordable and allowed us to complete the installation much faster, while still meeting the needs of the customer.
Solution #2: Adapt to stay operational. Early in 2020 and at key points of change in protocols, we adjusted (and continue to adjust) our onsite safety policies to ensure that our teams could keep working. Flexing hours; creating smaller, specialized teams; and instituting health protocols all contributed to a maintained workflow.
Solution #3: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. This cannot be emphasized enough. Staying in communication with all project stakeholders has been critical during this time of uncertainty. From delivery dates to deadlines and changes in scope to contingencies, we were able to direct resources and teams to the places where they were most needed and help avoid disruption to project timelines.
We hope this serves as an encouragement to other electric construction companies currently facing the same challenges in the industry and as an assurance to clients that we are still able to complete projects with excellence.