Why the New Bill is Important for the Construction Industry
By now, the construction industry is well aware of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. On August 10, 2021, 50 Democrats and 19 Republicans in the U.S. Senate passed the bill — sending it to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to undergo a revision process before being voted on. If passed, the Senate and House versions of the bill will be consolidated before heading to President Biden’s desk.
What the construction industry needs to know is that, as Moody’s Investors Service notes in its Sector In-Depth report on Building Materials in the U.S., the “passage of a multiyear federal infrastructure investment bill will have a profound effect on building materials and U.S. construction activity.”
The Impact of the Infrastructure Bill on Construction Spending
What exactly is a “profound effect”?
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocates $550 billion in new spending for roads and bridges, railroads, the power grid, broadband, water infrastructure, cybersecurity and climate, public transit, airports, the environment, and much more.
What contractors need to know about the infrastructure bill is that this potential spending—added, as Moody’s Investors Service reports, to growing demand for single family homes, low housing inventory, steady infrastructure spending, and low interest rates—could result in a 5% growth in 2022.
This good news is echoed by the White House Fact Sheet introducing the bill: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just.”
What About Higher Prices, Supply Shortages, and Labor Scarcities?
No doubt, the infrastructure bill’s potential impact on the construction industry is huge, but there are other factors to consider. For example, 2021 supply chain challenges due to the pandemic, natural disasters, a container ship grounding in the Suez Canal, cyberattacks, and a global chip shortage have resulted in higher material prices, supply chain challenges/shortages, and labor scarcities.
A Forbes article emphasizes the pandemic’s role:
“The lumber shortage is just part of the litany of insufficiencies in today’s market. The price of all building materials, as well as many resources we use every day, are in constant fluctuation. But the Covid-19 pandemic added increased emphasis on shortages due to factory closures, logistical issues and lack of labor force. With construction and real estate specifically, shortages can lead to delays in projects, which adds additional costs into the mix.”
There are ways to manage these admittedly difficult challenges. Passing the bill with its infusion of infrastructure funding is one industry-wide method, but, on an individual business level, the best way is to implement a cloud-based ERP solution with industry-specific software designed for the construction industry.
Volatility in the Construction Industry is No Problem with ERP
Cloud construction management software in a cloud ERP solution is exactly what it sounds like: software designed to meet the unique needs of the construction industry and able to flex with ever-changing circumstances.
Construction ERP software gives construction firms access to real-time data. The data syncs across programs and devices to form a centralized, single source of truth for employees in the front office, back office, and on job sites. Seamless integrations with essential third-party applications provide extended functionality. And mobile technology makes project information—such as budgets, billing, commitments, compliance, job costing, and change management—available whenever, from wherever, on any web-enabled device.
Construction firms’ decision makers, then, have the insights and visibility they need to manage the workflow and business process pain points caused by a fluctuating market. A future-proof platform will set them up for success, even in uncertain times.
Acumatica Cloud ERP Can Help
What the construction industry needs to know is that Acumatica Cloud ERP and, specifically, the Acumatica Construction Edition are tailored for construction businesses. They connect companies’ disparate systems—including sales, payroll, inventory, and project, service, and materials management (and more)—to ensure seamless communication and collaboration across the organization.
SWK Technologies, recipient of the Distribution Partner Acumatica Cloud ERP 2021 Award for Excellence, considers Acumatica a state-of-the-art solution that delivers value to contractors, subcontractors, developers, and more. The top features of the Acumatica Construction Edition include Financial Management, Project Accounting, Field Service Management, Inventory Management, Order Management, and Acumatica CRM. The video below provides an in-depth product tour of Acumatica’s Construction Edition:
Contact SWK to Learn More About Acumatica for Construction
As we wait for a decision on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, SWK Technologies is here to help your construction firm succeed. Contact us with any questions or to set up a demonstration tailored for your unique needs.
Contact SWK today to learn more about Acumatica or to see a customized demo for construction.
Contact SWK for an Acumatica Demo