Matt Fairhurst is the cofounder and CEO of Skedulo, a leading mobile workforce management platform. Matt’s background is in user experience and user interface design, and, from this, he has a passion for building great products. He spends his time working between the global headquarters in San Francisco and the engineering/product development headquarters in Brisbane, Australia.
When Biden signed the infrastructure bill into law, questions remained about the current state of construction industry, including the labor shortage. In this Q&A with Matt, some of those questions are answered.
How is the labor shortage impacting the manufacturing and construction industry?
FAIRHURST: During the pandemic, the power has shifted from consumers and businesses to employees. As a result, construction and manufacturing employees have more options today than ever had before. They’re likely making more money, and have multiple opportunities to change employers or up-level roles altogether. While this is great for workers, it has wreaked havoc on businesses. The shift in power has ultimately made businesses reevaluate the importance of their laborers.
What challenges do industries with a high volume of deskless workers, including the construction and manufacturing industry, face? How have those challenges been exacerbated by the ongoing shortage of skilled labor?
FAIRHURST: Some of the biggest challenges deskless workers face because they don’t sit in a traditional office setting include aging technology, a lack of autonomy, and inefficiencies that plague their workday. Simply put, being remote and on the go each day is hard. The challenges have become even harder during the pandemic as remote workers have faced security and health concerns. One advantage of the pandemic and the great resignation is how companies have been FORCED to change and transform their operations. Digital transformation projects once stuck in skunkworks labs have been prioritized and accelerated, and the breakthrough of these projects have been a silver lining.
How will President Biden’s passed infrastructure bill impact construction and manufacturing workforces? What will deskless workforces need in order to make the most of the massive spending plan?
FAIRHURST: The infrastructure bill will add hundreds of new projects in every major city and region nationwide. Labor is at the center of every infrastructure effort, and getting the work done will require the coordination of thousands of deskless workers in the field. Projects large and small will inevitably need help given the labor shortage. A common adage is that the success of any project comes down to people, process, and technology. Ensuring deskless workers complete infrastructure projects successfully is no different. A key priority will be ensuring the right information is available to deskless workers whenever they need it, in the palm of their hand. Having a reliable, flexible application that can adapt the unique requirements of individual workers is key.
How can construction and manufacturing companies ensure they are making the most of their workers? How can manufacturing and construction companies best operate and manage their deskless workforce to get these projects complete?
FAIRHURST: Empowerment and autonomy are very popular themes in today’s field service and remote worker companies. To compete, companies are prioritizing the needs of their workers, from flex time and benefits to wellness programs and time off. The best companies put employees at the center of the business, ensuring their needs are met and responding to their evolving needs. The days of an unlimited supply of workers has ended.
What role can technology play in boosting productivity, efficiency and employee wellness? How can technology be part of the solution to the workforce shortage?
FAIRHURST: Deployed effectively, technology can allow organizations to do more with less. Many companies can see a 20-50% increase in productivity with the right tools. Optimizing driving routes or digitizing payments in the field can allow businesses to book more appointments and realize revenues faster. Technology also provides the promise of immediacy. For example, caring for employees and responding to their needs can be nearly instantaneous. Either way, the promise of technology can help companies make money or save money.
As the construction industry edges closer to embracing technology, centrally managing your mobile workforce may be the solution to handling business now and growing in the future.
For More Information:
Founded in 2013, Skedulo is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Australia, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. Skedulo’s leading Deskless Productivity Cloud solution powered by AI and machine learning empowers organizations to manage, engage, and analyze their deskless workforce, supporting the 80% of global workers who don’t work in a traditional office setting. Skedulo’s platform helps enterprises intelligently manage, schedule, dispatch, and support deskless workers on the go, whether they are in fixed location facilities or mobile field workers on the frontline. Skedulo has enabled hundreds of organizations, including The American Red Cross, DHL and Sunrun, to seamlessly schedule and service over 35 million appointments worldwide. For more, visit www.skedulo.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, April 2022
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.