7 Problems Faced by Concrete Contractors - and How to Fix Them

Letha Wicker
March 28, 2024
5 min read

Concrete is tricky. You know this all too well. If it’s not a labor shortage, it’s fluctuating material costs. Sometimes, you’re a few rainy days away from missing your deadlines. 

It might seem like there’s nothing you can do to mitigate the many factors that can directly impact your business. Who can fight a labor shortage or Mother Nature? The good news is that, while you can’t directly affect factors out of your control, you can definitely make your concrete business thrive. 

Let’s look at your major challenges and what you can do about them.

Labor shortages in the concrete industry

A persistent issue in the construction industry, including concrete work, is the shortage of skilled labor. Finding experienced and reliable workers can be difficult, affecting the ability to meet project timelines and maintain quality work.

Thankfully, you have options:

  • Use construction industry software (like ArcSite) to meticulously plan and execute so that you can confidently work to streamline your crews.
  • Make your worksite the place to be for skilled labor - offer a smoother experience on the job site and avoid churn. Workers are looking for the best place to work, so make it your business. It’s not just about money at the end of the day for workers, and everyone wants to be respected.

Material costs and availability

The cost of materials such as cement, aggregates, and reinforcing steel can fluctuate significantly, impacting project budgets. Additionally, availability issues can delay project timelines. Global supply chain issues have exacerbated these challenges in recent times.

You can’t control the costs, but you can budget accurately for the pricing landscape:

  • ArcSite takeoff and material list software for the concrete industry produces an accurate list of every single thing you need to complete the job, down to the last piece of rebar.
  • Eliminate wasteful under or over budgeting by avoiding having to order more materials or having tons of waste at the end.
  • Spot bonuses for great performance don’t have to break the bank, but they can mean a lot to workers. $25 or $50 would be about right, or buy a collection of gift cards to hand out.


Project management and scheduling

Efficiently managing multiple projects, scheduling work, and coordinating with other contractors and suppliers can be complex and time-consuming. Delays in one project can have a domino effect, impacting other projects.

There is a better way to manage projects:

  • Reduce churn and eliminate miscommunication by using ArcSite to collaborate on an ongoing basis with office administrators, estimators, and managers employing a simple cloud-based collaboration solution.
  • Always keep your suppliers updated with the latest site information, including any weather delays that might affect materials.

Environmental and regulatory compliance

As we as a whole start examining the impact of concrete construction and its effects on the environment and our health, a new wave of regulations are rolling out. It can be a challenge to keep up with them all, especially when you are trying to complete a project. Compliance with regulations regarding dust control, noise, and waste management requires careful planning and can increase project costs.

You can mitigate your regulatory risk in a couple of ways:

  • Create and maintain a hyper-accurate project plan, list of materials, and a log of changes to your designs so you can defend your project if necessary.
  • Ensure that your estimators in the field are aware of applicable regulations so they can factor those into their cost calculations.

Maintaining quality control

 Ensuring consistent quality in concrete construction involves challenges like managing the concrete mix, curing conditions, and workmanship. Variability in these factors can lead to defects requiring costly repairs.

Your reputation is priceless, and it’s crucial that you preserve it at all costs. Turning out a shoddy job can seriously damage your credibility in your community, leading to fewer jobs and thus less money.

This is not outside of your control:

  • What we said earlier about creating a first class work environment helps here too - if you can hire the best, you’ve gone a long way toward solving for quality.
  • Provide incentives to your crews, including spot bonuses for exceptional work.

Adopting technology

While technology can streamline many aspects of construction, integrating new tools and software into existing workflows can be tough if you are accustomed to traditional methods. You probably know this already - it’s hard to turn out a professional proposal and an accurate project estimate relying on pen and paper drawings, but you’re running at top speed and don’t have the bandwidth to learn something new.

Fortunately, there is construction industry software that is incredibly easy to use and roll out across your business - ArcSite. Our customers across every industry report that ArcSite is extremely easy to use, and that it takes just a few hours of use to learn everything you need to:

  • Draw the job site using your finger on any mobile device.
  • Watch as ArcSite prices the job based on your inventory and margins as you draw.
  • Resize or modify projects with ease.
  • Generate hyper-accurate takeoffs automatically
  • Collaborate with your team through a secure cloud connection that makes your drawings and other product information instantly available.
  • Integrate with any other tech tools you use, from laser measures to accounting software.

Client expectations and communication

Managing client expectations, especially in terms of project timelines, budgets, and final outcomes, requires clear communication and can be stressful, particularly when unexpected issues arise. It’s also paramount that your customers fully understand the estimate and proposal you present to them to avoid any misunderstandings.

We mentioned previously that pen and paper estimates aren’t terribly reliable, and nowhere is that more true than when you’re turning that estimate into a proposal. Plus, it’s a labor intensive process where you need to put in the work after hours in the office or at home.

There are several things you can do to manage customer expectations:

  • Create a polished, customized proposal. Let ArcSite turn your accurate drawing into an accurate proposal - automatically generated at the tap of a button right there at the job site. This helps you close more often and for a higher amount.
  • Form an open and honest relationship with your customers so they know that the lines of communication run both ways.
  • Fully communicate every bump in the road to the customer immediately along with a solution.



While concrete may be challenging, at ArcSite we have your back. Check out these great resources:


Get ArcSite Now

Create precise and accurate drawings on the go in minutes, from anywhere on your mobile or desktop device

No items found.