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Hard Hats, Harder Challenges: The Hurdles Faced by Construction Consultancy Firms in the Philippines

Updated: Apr 27


construction worker suspended in air through a construction crane

Construction management firms in the country face many challenges as hard as the hats they wear inside the job sites. It is predicted that as economic activity in the country picks up, the Philippine construction sector is bound to face more challenges, especially in terms of manpower, as previously mentioned by Engr. Jason Valderamma in 2022. A couple more hurdles challenge the sector these days, but despite these, there's a resilient spirit and a relentless drive for solutions within the industry.


Let’s take a look at some of the major challenges faced by construction consultancy firms in the Philippines and how they overcome them.


Labor Shortage

This issue arises from a lack of skilled workers across construction project management firms in the Philippines, creating difficulties for contractors in hiring and retaining talent. The industry's diverse needs, requiring professionals ranging from architects and engineers to construction workers and equipment operators, only add to the complexity of this problem.


Two primary factors contribute to this labor shortage. Firstly, there's a growing skills gap. The construction sector urgently needs skilled labor, with projections indicating the need to recruit over two million workers by 2025 to meet demand. This gap is attributed to limited training and educational opportunities, coupled with an aging workforce and Filipinos looking for better opportunities abroad. One solution is investing in training and education programs to bridge the skills gap, particularly focusing on younger, tech-savvy generations.


Modernizing recruitment methods and offering competitive benefits can make the construction industry attractive to potential employees. Furthermore, embracing technological advancements, such as automation and digital tools, can compensate for the workforce deficit and enhance productivity.


Slow Technology Adaptation

Incorporating construction technology may help in fixing the issue of labor shortage in the construction consultancy firms of the Philippines, but the country is also slow when it comes to adapting to new technology. Advanced digital tools, such as Building Information Modeling and 3D Printing, have the potential to simplify tasks for construction professionals.


Additionally, adopting these emerging technologies can enhance workers' and contractors' safety on construction sites. However, even when construction firms recognize the advantages of these technological solutions from design to execution, securing the necessary funding often presents a significant obstacle.


Cost Overruns

Cost overrun represents a significant challenge in today's construction industry. It occurs when a project exceeds its original budget due to unexpected expenses, delays, and other unforeseen factors, impacting project management, construction firms, and the industry at large.


Two key factors contribute to these overruns. Firstly, the fluctuating cost of construction materials, including raw materials, challenges firms to forecast future expenses, affecting project profitability accurately. Secondly, poor productivity, lagging behind technological advancements, leads to delays and increased costs. To mitigate this, construction managers must focus on meticulously planning the project with detailed timelines, resource allocation, and budgeting before the project begins. The plan should also include unexpected changes in labor costs, material shortages, or alterations in project specifications.


Construction Delays

Delays pose a major challenge in the construction industry, significantly affecting the construction management firms and the entire supply chain. Given the complex nature of construction projects, which involve numerous stakeholders like subcontractors, suppliers, and project managers, delays are not uncommon.


Supply chain disruptions are a leading cause of these delays. The construction sector depends on the prompt delivery of materials and equipment, and any interruption in the supply chain can lead to significant project setbacks. Factors such as natural disasters, transportation difficulties, or sudden regulatory changes can all disrupt material delivery.


To minimize delays, robust project management is essential. Utilizing project management software like JCVA’s AGILE can greatly assist in optimizing operations. This software enables real-time tracking of project progress and monitoring for potential delays. It provides project managers with tools to identify and address bottlenecks promptly, ensuring that projects stay on course.


Lack of Communication

Various parties and stakeholders work together in a construction project, making effective coordination and communication crucial for success. However, a common issue in many projects is the lack of adequate communication between these parties, leading to gaps.


These gaps are particularly prevalent between on-site workers and office personnel, contributing significantly to construction challenges. Misunderstandings can lead to unrealistic expectations and missed tasks, as planners might not fully grasp on-site conditions or the time required for certain tasks.


To bridge these communication barriers, it's vital for construction consultancy firms to set clear communication guidelines and ensure that everyone is consistently updated. Providing daily summaries of the project's progress and any challenges encountered can keep all stakeholders aligned. Additionally, keeping a record of all communications is valuable for resolving potential conflicts and maintaining a clear understanding among all involved parties.


Constructing Solutions For The Road Ahead

The Philippine construction industry faces many challenges, from labor shortages and technological adaptation to cost overruns, delays, and communication barriers. While daunting, each of these hurdles presents an opportunity for growth and innovation. By investing in training and modern recruitment strategies, construction consultancy firms in the Philippines can bridge the labor gap, bringing in fresh talent and new perspectives.


Leveraging cutting-edge technologies like BIM and 3D Printing enhances efficiency and safety and positions the country at the forefront of construction innovation. Furthermore, tackling cost overruns and delays through meticulous project management and planning and robust communication strategies will streamline operations and foster collaboration.


In essence, these challenges can also stand as catalysts for change, pushing the sector towards a more innovative future. Ready to build your business with confidence? Email us at technical@jcvassociates.ph or visit www.jcvassociates.ph/construction-project-management to learn more about how you can work with the best construction management firm in the Philippines.


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