Preparing For A Construction Slow Down

Is there a construction slow down approaching? 

 You’ve likely read that some economists predict the US economy will see a downturn over the next 12 months, but there are also those that disagree with this outlook. So what can we do in a time of uncertainty? This one thing remains true – proper prior planning prepares peak performance. So just ask yourself: is your company prepared to do more with less? 

If your answer is no, consider these 3 tactical moves to build resilience in your organization

1. Embrace Technology

We still hear from companies who are using paper files and excel spreadsheets to track bids and projects. The construction technology landscape is vast and can be overwhelming, but know this: your competitors are embracing technology and incorporating process improvements. So while your spreadsheets and paper files may be adequate today, companies relying on manual processes for every day tasks will not weather a construction slow down as well as those who have automation built in to their work flow. Bid tracking is a great place to start. Thunderbolt users have reported an increase in margins as high as 10% after transferring over from spreadsheets. 

2. Prioritize Profitability

During a construction slow down your organization will likely bid the same, or MORE jobs than you do today. It’s the number of jobs that convert to close-won that will slow. What can you do in preparation for this ‘busy work’? Identify the clients who have awarded you the most profitable jobs and the project types that you’re most likely to win so you can easily prioritize which bids to work on when/if the time comes.

In times of growth your company has probably expanded its geographic service area and work scope capabilities, but there is no harm in targeting where the sweet spot is for your organization in case you’re forced to tighten the belt.  If you are not currently tracking your bids to understand hit ratio by client and by project type, you have some work to do to crunch the numbers. Thunderbolt users can easily access this information in their dashboard reports. How would accessing reports in one press of a button free up your team?

3. Use Historical Data as an Indicator of Future Performance.

Using historical data to make decisions about a new opportunity is not groundbreaking. It is a common logical instinct to review old jobs with similar attributes to decide how you will approach a new job. CTRL + C…CTRL + V,  right? Technology has moved way beyond simple copy and paste commands however. Today, Thunderbolt users have predictive analytics to crunch their historical data in a matter of seconds to help them make more informed judgements for upcoming bids. How would your bid process change if you had the ability to review all previous similar jobs in mere seconds? 


While there are some signals pointing to an economic and construction slow down over the next 12 months and no one can predict the future with 100% certainty, keep in mind the Boy Scouts motto “Be Prepared”.

By | 2019-12-19T16:46:48+00:00 December 19th, 2019|Thunderbolt University|