The Prefab Logic team just got back from a weekend conference at World of Modular, one of the modular construction industry’s largest annual events. The conference attracts thousands of industry professionals, including manufacturers, architects, developers, and general contractors. Many have been using modular construction for some time, but some are new to the process and looking for help. Prefab Logic attends in part to find those who need our services and assist them in any way we can.
This trip, that meant meeting with a number of commercial modular builders who have experience building office buildings, and teaming up to help them make the necessary adjustments and connections to begin building multifamily and hospitality projects. It also meant meeting with a new breed of general contractors in multifamily and hospitality now ready to make the switch. From our conversations with these folks, it felt like the industry has now reached a tipping point, with the majority of contractors now unable to complete their projects at all. So after getting by the past few years, they told us they were now committed to changing the way they build going forward.
The conference theme this year focused on the importance of teamwork and featured retired Air Force pilot Lieutenant Colonel Rob Waldman. His keynote focused on how in a fight, you need a “wing man,” and how we can all be wing men for each other in the modular industry. It’s not enough to have high demand for your product if the supply can’t keep up, and the housing shortage affects every other industry as well. In California alone last year, the housing industry was 20,000 units short. Without sufficient housing, our economy will struggle to grow, and if those of us in the modular industry don’t work together to ensure manufacturing capacity and demand are in balance, all sectors of the economy will falter.
Another conclusion we drew from WoM2018 was that the capacity issue in the modular industry stems from a lack of knowledge: the factories that could be building volumetric modular units to meet increasing demand are able, but fear the work required and lack the expertise to make the necessary workflow and equipment conversions. It’s no longer a situation where our team needs to convince manufacturers to make the move–they see it themselves. Instead, now we are convinced that we have a role to play in making manufacturers more able to fill the modular pipeline.
Does this resonate with your experience? If so, we can be your wing man! If you’re considering getting into modular building or manufacturing, our experienced team is available to assist you. Give us a call or get in touch at our contact page.