The impact of COVID 19 Pandemic in Projects and Logistics

Introduction

The COVID-19 has almost torn apart the global market and the construction industry is also one of the major victims. The industry has been facing huge financial loss due to the interruption of the wider supply chain as the productivity as well as the amount of new order has almost been destroyed.

The construction industry is an important sector in the financial market of England. According to reports, it has contributed nearly 29.5 billion pounds in the first part of this year which is equivalent to 6 percent of total UK economic output. The statistics also have shown that more than 7 percent of the total jobs in the UK have been registered in the construction industry this year. The industry as it was moving in the early stage of this year the experts were having optimism about the growth of the business. The investors were gaining confidence as well as the contractors seemed to have been dreaming of more prosperity about the business. But the aggression of the Coronavirus forced the government to impose lockdown like the other countries in the world and the result was sheer frustrating. The investors and the contractors went for dormancy for an indefinite period. Throughout the country, both contractors and the investors had to face a huge loss against existing projects as well as the uncertainty about how to make the recovery in the future (Megahed and Ghoneim, 2020). The ongoing construction projects had to be stopped forcing investors and the contractors facing big financial loss. The government although in a bid to boost up the industry, had asked the construction industry to continue working the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (CECA) however did not follow considering the workers’ health and safety.

The importance of innovation in the construction industry and evaluation

The aggression of the Coronavirus has given a severe blow to more than 19 million people all over the world while 700 thousand people have already died. The number of death has touched nearly 50 thousand in the UK. The virus has also forced millions of people to be jobless and all the industries from small scale to big have suffered a huge financial setback due to the virus. The construction industry is one of the major victims all over the world. According to statistics, 13 percent of the global GDP is represented by the construction industry. Several construction sites have been shut down. The companies that are open have faced acute interruption in supply chain and limited operational activities. Since March, the attack of the virus was sharpened and the governments started imposing lockdowns, like all other industries, the construction industry also has been a major victim and UK is one of the major countries to have faced such a serious condition. Engineering, construction, lack of adequate building materials' availability as well as the scarcity of workers have caused a serious decline in financial manifestation. Amidst the disaster del Rio-Chanona et al. (2020) has clarified that in the post-lock down phase-only innovative ideas and efforts can bring the industry back to its normality. He has explained that the character of the construction business will change gradually. In that case, the people connected to the business will have to mold themselves according to the transformation. Livingston et al. (2020) has tried to explain through his observation that the engineers, designers, and contractors, all have to adopt and in due course depend on digitalization. For example, he has clarified that leading engineers and designers who generally utilize two separate duplicate ingredients for the planning of projects and enhancing schedules have now to introduce digital both way solutions that can be applied from the beginning of the project till the completion. According to Mahato et al. (2020) the companies now will have to alter the concept of working in remote ways. The contractors especially will have to rely on technology like apps to monitor the workers' activities, their overall state of health, safety, and other issues. The contractors will also have to bank on online channels to give orders of construction materials as well as to handle the shortage of other resources and also maintain the monitory transaction. Practically, the construction industry in the UK has begun to follow the innovative moves. Nadzir et al. (2020) in his study has explained how engineering, construction and building material leaders in the UK have set focus on five innovative policies that can help the industry to survive and thrive in the future. The five polices are resolution, spirit, return, reincarnation, and restructuring. The resolution consists of the spotting immediate obstructions in the institution's workforce, customers, technology, and business partners that have been beleaguered by the Coronavirus assault. The spirit wants to mean tracking monitory transaction and other sensitive issues and economic insufficiency halted by the shut down due to the virus. Von Gaudecker et al. (2020) has stated that the return segment is one of the key factors that will help any construction company to continue to exist as this practice will help the organization to chalk out detailed plans to resume business and generate a clear vision on innovation. Reincarnation is likely to guide the institutions to get a clear understanding of the ongoing adversity and also the suggestion that how the companies would rediscover themselves in terms of survival through inventive ideas. The last policy is reformation which teaches the institutions to have a comprehensible vision about the competitive atmosphere in the industry to shift its character of the business.

Application of theoretical ideas to practice via real scenario and live case studies

Due to the Coronavirus, like all other industries, the construction industry is also facing serious crises all over the world including the UK. Considering the survival deep economic uncertainty has come up from both external and internal parts. In the UK also most of the construction sites have still not resumed and due to lack of scarcity in getting employees, building materials so many projects have been shut down indefinitely. Amidst the situation, the construction industry needs the shelter of a theoretical framework that will ultimately guide the business to survival. Douglas et al. (2020) has explained that construction is only the sum of civil engineering and architecture. Rather it is dependant on a study, some theoretical concept that is earned through designing, financial need, and technical specializations in accordance with some specific and skilled labor. Construction also needs a project, to be made of detailed analysis. Like all other researches, the study for the construction industry also creates projects, and definite products of the project on building construction are pipelines and house materials. Laing (2020) has said that the construction ultimately comprises project output and different types of technical build-up and finally the application of the theoretical framework. The analysis also shows how the technical accumulation makes out repetitiveness as these projects require skilled laborers and there also, the contractors need to have analytical knowhow to bring the theory into practice for the ultimate survival.

The construction industry also has its own economics and it is in one sentence, the implementation of techniques and knowledge on the study of the economics of the construction industry, construction method, and the particular construction company. Gamil and Alhagar (2020) has asked to note a point that the construction industry needs to know about its own economics and the basic structure of construction. As the construction industry has big output it has got different importance in the field of the overall economy and theoretical study is the subject that guides the business to proper application. The gross productivity of the construction industry is the assessment of all buildings and other developments produced by the industry within a stipulated time. Naturally, it contributes a formidable amount of Gross National Product throughout the world.

 However Gereffi (2020) in his explanation has stated that there is a difference between the activities of the people associated with the construction industry and the theoretical lessons they are provided. He has pointed out the key reason behind this is that the contractors as well as the engineers and the designers are still facing difficulty in applying the theoretical gains into practice. Citing an example it can be noticed that the invention of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) has made the designers draw with proficiency but it has not been able to lessen errors and as a result, the same designing is being redrawn. That is why construction managers are also facing trouble in trying to reduce the overall construction expenses. The use of technology that has been acquired from the research work is not being able to make the industry effluent.

Implement and critically evaluate advancements in the construction industry

While talking about the advancement of an industry the people generally think of medicine or the electronic industries and obviously, the people define the advancement through the utilization of technology. The construction industry generally does not seem to be included in this area but it is called one of the most inventive businesses.

The construction industry has been facing challenges due to the Coronavirus and it is such an industry that has always adopted the way of improvisation whenever it has run into the obstacles. The adaptability has steered the industry to thriving like the present-day situation where the construction industry also has been going through stiff financial hurdles to survive. Due to the Coronavirus aggression, the business is having a major crisis in getting specialized labor that is highly needed. The question of sustainability has come up with stiff challenges. Still, the construction industry, with the help of a few technological means like software and advanced instruments, is changing and gradually surviving.

Livingston et al. (2020) in his study has described how the construction industry has started applying technology like robot workers to 3d printed houses to receive positive outcomes and those are occurring rapidly. He also has given an example of a few technological methods which soon guide the construction institutions in the UK as well as in the other countries to the quick survival from the miserable plight that struck following the COVID-19.

Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) is one of the key appliances which are attached with construction equipment and it can look into the contiguous worksite and present high-resolution images. At a time when the construction industry is planning to stop remote ways of working style, this technology will benefit the construction engineers to have a clear vision of the respective site from distance also, removing the chances of workers getting injured while trying to move within the location.

The construction industry is adopting another technological resource during these days, especially, when the organizations are facing a harsh crisis in getting skilled laborers due to the Corona virus-related lockdown phases all over the world. Livingston et al. (2020) has revealed that this is a humanoid robot manufactured by Japanese researchers and it is called HRP-5p. This humanoid robot instrument is able to perform basic physical works such as installing drywall independently. Then robot swarm has been introduced by a research group in the UK which can lay bricks. del Rio-Chanona et al. (2020) has termed this instrument very useful as it can also repair the primary foundation of a building in a flooded area or in a difficult place where it becomes too tough for the workers to reach. The equipment can even help to build a structure in a place, almost unfeasible like a deep sea. The advancement in the construction industry is also vivid with the launching of technological types of equipment like drones, hardhats, smart boots, wearable AR, artificial intelligence, BIM software, ultra-modern materials, and eco-friendly construction technology. With the advancement of know-how, the construction industry will also be able to come out of the present-day scenario and survive quickly according to the industry leaders.

Importance of integration in the construction industry

del Rio-Chanona et al. (2020) has defined the integration and collective working as the preferred method as it helps the business to earn sustainability. He has also shown that it brings a better outcome than traditional construction. Even the government in the UK has approved this method and advised private construction companies to adopt integrated team working. del Rio-Chanona et al. (2020) has explained about six important features on integrated working for the construction institutions that can benefit them to acquire sustainability and progress in their business. Those are involvement, focusing on the project and selecting it on the basis of value, common procedure and instruments, assessment of performance, building long term relationships, and improving up to date commercial planning. 

Evaluation of contemporary research in the Construction industry in the UK

The government in the UK has chalked out plans to build up new domestic and commercial buildings with zero carbon by the next five years. Although the aggression of the Coronavirus has given a jolt to this eco-friendly program the construction industry is not sitting idle with the concept. In a bid to establish sustainability in the industry efforts are also on to reprocess the huge amount of waste generated from the construction process in the country. Researches and discussions have taken place and according to Livingston et al. (2020) the key factor behind the inability so far to recycle the waste according to expectation is incapable leadership, old technology, and feeble coordination. Still, the industry has been in a process of implementing several technological practices that could help the institutions to adopt the modern method of construction. At the same time, research works are on to reinstate strategic and sustainable improvement considering the progress of the industry.

However Douglas et al. (2020) opposing the above explanation has explained that several studies have been made on the construction industry and those project reports have clearly mentioned that the value of Building Project Management (BPM) has not been properly given importance. According to Gereffi (2020) there have been doubts about whether BPM has been applied properly in the construction industry and whether it has been able to improve efficiency level.

Preparing students for further research and application in the Construction industry

The demand among the students in the UK to join the construction industry as an employee and for further research, the purpose has got an impressive boost in recent times, especially before the aggression of Coronavirus. A similar situation is in the USA as the students are also being noticed in formidable quantity to be curious about the construction industry and make it their future career. A popular organization in the USA organizes courses as well as a job opportunity for the school and college students and from their recent assessment, it has been noticed that several college students have joined a few top USA construction companies as interns. The students are educated and scientifically trained in those companies so that they cannot face any difficulties if wish to continue further research. Following a statistics shown by a survey organization, in the USA among other job vacancies like carpentry, electricians, ironworkers, solar panel installers, and the woodworkers, most of the students have taken the construction industry as their future profession and in the UK also the statistics have been more or less same. More than 250, 000 job opportunities in the construction industry in the UK are likely to be projected within the next five years as being calculated by the industry leaders. The key reasons behind the likely boom are the values taken by the companies for its employees. Even during the ongoing aggression of the Coronavirus and lockdown phases, the construction companies have set examples by looking after their respective workers with value. The construction industry in the UK encourages various workforces. That is why the traditional concept in the industry that the job is meant for men only is gradually fading away and as its reflection the female students are also coming up, preferring construction jobs on the long term basis.

 

 

Conclusion

Coronavirus has almost paralyzed human civilization. Billions of people have been beleaguered following the attack of viruses and lockdown imposed by countries all over the world. Many people have lost their respective jobs and the industries in all segments throughout the world have received a severe blow as after being forced to shut down and go on hibernation. Similarly, the construction industry that is one of the major contributors in the world economy had to face catastrophe all over the world. In the UK also, the situation was similar as several companies had to stop business. Even some of the big companies had tried to continue with their business sharp disruption in supply chains, shortage of skilled laborers, and the uncontrolled expenses forced them to struggle deeply. Many contractors as well as the investors fell in dire financial distress due to the disaster. Still, the industry has not succumbed fully to the virus and lockdown, rather it is in a process of recovering and for that, the industry has already taken the help of new technology, adopted from sustainable research work to thrive in near future.

 

 

References

del Rio-Chanona, R.M., Mealy, P., Pichler, A., Lafond, F. and Farmer, D., 2020. Supply and demand shocks in the COVID-19 pandemic: An industry and occupation perspective. arXiv preprint arXiv:2004.06759.

Douglas, M., Katikireddi, S.V., Taulbut, M., McKee, M. and McCartney, G., 2020. Mitigating the wider health effects of covid-19 pandemic response. Bmj369.

Gamil, Y. and Alhagar, A., 2020. The Impact of Pandemic Crisis on the Survival of Construction Industry: A Case of COVID-19. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences11(4), pp.122-122.

Gereffi, G., 2020. What does the COVID-19 pandemic teach us about global value chains? The case of medical supplies. Journal of International Business Policy, pp.1-15.

Laing, T., 2020. The economic impact of the Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-2019): Implications for the mining industry. The Extractive Industries and Society.

Livingston, E., Desai, A. and Berkwits, M., 2020. Sourcing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jama323(19), pp.1912-1914.

Mahato, S., Pal, S. and Ghosh, K.G., 2020. Effect of lockdown amid COVID-19 pandemic on air quality of the megacity Delhi, India. Science of the Total Environment, p.139086.

Megahed, N.A. and Ghoneim, E.M., 2020. Antivirus-built environment: Lessons learned from Covid-19 pandemic. Sustainable Cities and Society, p.102350.

Nadzir, M.S.M., Ooi, M.C.G., Alhasa, K.M., Bakar, M.A.A., Mohtar, A.A.A., Nor, M.F.F.M., Latif, M.T., Abd Hamid, H.H., Ali, S.H.M., Ariff, N.M. and Anuar, J., 2020. The Impact of Movement Control Order (MCO) during Pandemic COVID-19 on Local Air Quality in an Urban Area of Klang Valley, Malaysia. Aerosol and Air Quality Research20(6), pp.1237-1248.\

Von Gaudecker, H.M., Holler, R., Janys, L., Siflinger, B. and Zimpelmann, C., 2020. Labour supply in the early stages of the CoViD-19 Pandemic: Empirical Evidence on hours, home office, and expectations.

 

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