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Rising material costs, the scarcity of skilled construction workers, and material lead delays are the top concerns among general contractors and subcontractors, according to the 2022 PlanHub Construction Industry Report. Despite concern, the majority of respondents expressed optimism about the growth opportunities available for their businesses.

The inaugural report conducted by PlanHub, a cloud-based SaaS preconstruction platform, reviewed platform activity data of 26,000 general contractors and 270,000 subcontractors and generated responses from a special survey of 465 respondents.

“The pandemic hit the construction industry hard,” says PlanHub CEO Ro Bhatia. “Rising material and other costs severely impacted the bottom line of contractors and subcontractors. Continued construction material inflation, the scarcity of skilled labor, and material lead delays remain significant roadblocks to success. Yet, despite these challenges, construction professionals see great opportunity ahead and are turning to technology to help drive their businesses forward.”

More than 80% of both general contractor and subcontractor respondents reported plans to grow their business in 2023, according to PlanHub. Since the beginning of 2021, a 324% increase was seen in the number of general contractors posting their first projects online, and projects with strong online activity increased by 231% in the same time period, according to the report. General contractors reported increasing their invitations to bid by 35%.

To increase opportunity, subcontractor respondents reported they expanded their reach by listing up to 20% more trades in which they work and expanded their service area by nearly 50%.

Bhatia says general contractors and subcontractors reported relying on digital solutions to streamline efficiencies, increase collaboration, and improve margins through greater productivity.