Seven in 10 Canadian Firms Expect Backlog to Grow or Remain During Next 12 Months: Report

A report released by Procore Technologies and the Associated General Contractors of America, has revealed that 70 per cent of Canadian civil and infrastructure construction firms expect their project backlog to either increase or stay the same in the upcoming year.

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A recent report has revealed that 70 per cent of Canadian civil and infrastructure construction firms expect their project backlog to increase or remain the same over the next year as new federal infrastructure funding ramps up.

The report, called Top Civil & Infrastructure Trends: Today’s Industry Challenges and Opportunities, was released by Procore Technologies and the Associated General Contractors of America.

It highlights results from Canadian and U.S. respondents and revealed that the average percentage of civil and infrastructure projects in current portfolios funded by government bills in Canada is 28 per cent, compared to 40 per cent in the U.S. The report also takes a look at the current state of civil and infrastructure, challenges and solutions with labour, technology and data as business drivers.

The report, which is based on a survey of roughly 500 general and specialty contractors in Canada and the U.S., explores how civil and infrastructure organizations are building in present day, the challenges they face, and future opportunities. Procure and the construction association conducted the survey to measure the potential impacts of hundreds of billions in new federal infrastructure investments on the construction industry.

The report revealed that three in 10 civil and infrastructure projects fail to meet their specified budget, schedule and quality goals. It also noted that 45 per cent of respondents cited materials and labour costs as one of the factors most impactful on project success. According to the report, various firms are also worried that labour shortages and productivity challenges could undermine success with these projects.

When adopting new technology for civil and infrastructure projects, one-third of Canadian respondents or 33 per cent, noted the top barrier or challenge was the lack of integration across solutions, according to the report. The report also noted that in Canada, government funding is presented in the Investing in Canada Plan, which launched in 2016 and pledges an investment of $138 billion over 12 years.

Many Canadian civil construction firms also reported they were investing in software and technology to help overcome some of their key challenges. Fifty-one per cent indicated that they were implementing solutions that help identify, track, predict and correct quality and safety issues while fifty per cent reported they were using data and analytics tools to better predict risks.

A total of forty-six per cent reported they were using planning and estimating software to ensure greater accuracy in their project pricing. Additionally, 45 per cent said they were adopting technology solutions that help to improve financial visibility and cost control on projects.

“With increased backlogs prompted by once-in-a-generation government investment in the U.S. and Canada, civil and infrastructure organizations are on the cusp of seeing a tremendous growth in projects,” said Nolan Frazier, regional sales director, Canada at Procore. “Canadian firms need to implement innovative solutions in order to prepare for these massive undertakings, while also navigating challenges such as the ongoing labour shortage and the cost of materials.”

 

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