Australia and New Zealand have both experienced labour shortages in the past, but the current crisis is the worst on record, with the pandemic pushing many industries to their breaking point. Over a quarter of Australian businesses are having difficulty finding suitable staff to fill job vacancies, while across the Tasman, the number of vacancies is 33% higher than in 2019.
Businesses employing tradesmen and field workers, in particular, are doing the same amount of work, if not more, but with fewer skilled workers, according to Ricky Sevta, global chief revenue officer of simPRO, a leading provider of business management software for the trades and services industry. “The results are an overstretched skilled workforce, project delays and increased costs,” he warns. “Some companies are unable to accept new work because the labour simply isn’t available to them, so it's a double whammy.”
Many business owners and office workers are forced to roll up their sleeves and get on the tools themselves to keep their companies afloat, but this creates another significant set of issues. “Putting an experienced workforce out on site is not only a danger in terms of safety, it can create costly delays, a notable decrease in work quality and an unruly competitor market,” explains Sevta.
He also notes the domino effect on other sectors of society. “Big buildings and infrastructure projects get delayed and that disrupts the whole economy,” he says. “There are also a lot of burnouts because people are overstretched.”
Adopting cloud technology
While there aren’t any quick fixes, Sevta believes businesses can mitigate the issue by adopting end-to-end field service management software.
“It’s no longer just a good idea, it’s a necessity,” he says firmly. “Investing in technology can help trades and services businesses attract and retain staff and reduce burnout. It also frees up managers’ time and gives them an overview of who’s doing what. There’s a great deal of transparency, which leads to increased efficiency and productivity.”
Pictured: Ricky Sevta, simPRO
“Investing in technology can help trades and services businesses attract and retain staff.”
While introducing a new platform can seem like an enormous mountain to climb for a time-poor business, he believes it’s short-term pain for exponential long-term gain. “You can do it in phases, starting with things like GPS tracking, introducing Internet of Things, remote monitoring and timesheeting. The information going back and forth becomes seamless, and you can handle your inventory and supply chain issues better. It makes everyone’s lives a lot easier and allows you to grow your business.”
Sevta has seen for himself the effects such a system can have. “Our customers’ happiness has grown and their businesses have grown as well,” he says. “They can take on bigger and more high-risk projects because they can monitor them end- to- end. Most can't even imagine how they used to do everything on spreadsheets!”
Find out more:
Visit simprogroup.com or call 1300 139 467 to find out more about how simPRO’s end-to-end field management software can help your business grow and thrive.