When I think about the future of the electrical construction industry, one thing is clear: change has come, and more is on the way.
The National Electrical Contractors Association’s annual convention and trade show, held last month in Las Vegas, proved this to be true. Everywhere you looked, technologies of every imaginable kind were on display. The discussion in Las Vegas centered on new leaps in technology and how contractors can become more efficient, effective and better positioned to compete for tomorrow’s work. NECA must get ahead of what is unfolding by remaining proactive and making smart moves going forward.
Technology is reshaping our industry, and we need to stay on top of this. Successful and innovative electrical contractors know they cannot afford to get complacent when it comes to construction practices and policies. Change is happening at a fast pace, and it is about time. Investors have put significant money into enhancing productivity through technology. That can be disruptive, but also it’s the impetus of substantial new opportunity in the electrical world. Look no further than building information modeling, which I expect will continue to scale up in the coming years, packing in everything from estimating and budgeting to billing and scheduling. Having that in a model will benefit contractors who are disciplined to invest in the necessary resources to use it.
Similarly, robotics is making waves in construction. Robots are being tested performing tasks such as hanging drywall. Although it will not always be easy, investment in these areas will lead to success.
I know I am not the first to say that things are continually evolving. Our $171 billion-dollar industry is changing at a breathtaking pace. Contractors need to choose the technology systems and strategies that work for them and apply them to remain competitive. Disruption does not have to mean distraction. Do not be afraid to think differently and embrace change. NECA will continue to serve as our industry’s steady voice, building on a tradition of protecting the public, keeping workers safe and making innovation possible.