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Labor Shortage Tips: How to do More With Fewer People

There’s no doubt about it. The labor shortage is real! While everyone has a few theories about what’s behind the chronic lack of qualified applicants, most experts agree that a few mega-trends are affecting the ability to find and hire good people.

  • Record Number of Retirements: During the pandemic, boomers retired in record numbers, reducing the workforce by millions. Some left based on health or pandemic-related concerns, while others decided it was time to live on savings.
  • Overtaxed Parents: Parents with school-aged kids struggled during the pandemic. After all, they had to deal with remote learning, unexpected school closings, weeks of sick days to manage quarantines, and daycare shortages. It’s no wonder so many streamlined their lifestyles and decided to cope with one full-time breadwinner.
  • Side Businesses: When jobs became less reliable, more people turned to side businesses. A 2021 Harris Poll conducted for Zapier reported that a third of Americans 18+ years old now have a side hustle, and 33% of those businesses were started in 2020. With more side gigs providing income, people can afford to be pickier about full-time employment.

No matter what’s behind this labor shortage, anyone who works in the construction industry in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut is feeling the pinch. How can work still get done with fewer laborers?

It’s Time to Find Efficiencies

While the world is becoming more automated, some things simply can’t be done with an app. Contractors, developers, and facility managers need skilled employees to get things done. If you must make do with fewer workers, you may be able to increase efficiencies to compensate.

First off, it’s more important than ever to keep your skilled teams working at full capacity. While downtime was never desirable, today’s limited access to labor means that mistakes in timing can cost you more than ever. Therefore, it pays to spend additional time upfront planning schedules and adjusting them continually to make the labor onsite as productive as possible.

Secondly, you must keep the pipeline flowing. In other words, you must make it easy for teams to complete work quickly. To do that, your worksite must be organized. Your people must be able to quickly access materials and get to work. Zoned storage, clear pathways, lighter materials, and smaller packets will ensure employees spend less time hauling and more time building.

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Next, make it easier for your skilled workers to focus on their specialized contributions. This may mean hiring unskilled assistant laborers to fetch tools, move materials, support experienced team members, or clean up.

Good Partners Increase Reliability

Let’s say you have a worksite that is fully optimized for efficiency. Your team knows what to do and how to do it. You have all the materials you need, and you’re ready to go at it.

And then the delivery of the materials is three hours late.

Suddenly, your well-oiled machine comes to a grinding halt, and you’ve lost hours of valuable time. That’s why reliable suppliers and partners are so vital to any efficient worksite. Metro understands how important it is to be reliable, trustworthy, and dependable. It’s why we’re so committed to on-time delivery and why we work so hard to create relationships with our customers.

When you find a good supplier who understands what you need, helps you source materials and makes proactive recommendations for substitutions or value engineering, it’s smart to stick with them. When you create a relationship with your suppliers, you get preference. You can call in favors. You have a give and take relationship that allows you to gain control over your worksite and increase your company’s efficiency.

Metro is Committed to Creating Relationships

At Metro, we take our customers’ needs very seriously. We want to help our contractors, developers, and facility managers find the materials they need right now. In addition, we work hard to help our customers avoid supply chain issues, delays, and delivery challenges.

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Our experienced team of customer service reps is deeply experienced in the construction industry and has an exceptional knowledge of our products and services. At Metro, you deal only with people committed to making your experience the best it can be.

If you’re ready to start the kind of reliable supplier relationship that gives you an edge over your competitors, shoot us an email, and let’s get started today.