How Business Model Innovation Overcomes Obstacles in Construction

Juan Baldo
Florian André

Understanding the Current Crisis in Construction

As we step into 2024, the construction industry is facing an extraordinary crisis with multiple dimensions. This crisis includes rising costs for materials and land, a severe shortage of skilled workers, and stricter environmental and safety regulations. Each of these challenges is significant on its own, but together, they test the industry's ability to adapt and persevere.

Facing the Triple Threat

1. Financial Pressures:

  • Rising Material Costs: The industry is still feeling the effects of last year's spike in prices for essential materials, which affects budgets and project timelines.
  • Higher Land Costs: The increasing value of land makes acquiring space for new projects more expensive, complicating financial planning.
  • Growing Borrowing Costs: Tighter monetary policies have led to higher interest rates, making it more costly and difficult to finance new projects.

2. Labor Shortage

The industry is dealing with a significant shortage of skilled labor, worsened by demographic changes and the long-term impacts of the pandemic. This issue is made worse by an aging workforce and the challenge of attracting young people to skilled trades.

3. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Regulations

The industry must navigate a landscape of stricter regulations. While these rules are essential for sustainability and safety, they add complexity to construction projects by requiring extra expertise, resources, and time. This puts additional strain on companies already dealing with tight margins and schedules.

These three major challenges intensify the crisis in construction. They not only affect the feasibility and cost of projects but also hinder the industry's ability to innovate and respond to market changes. For construction firms looking forward, overcoming these obstacles will be crucial for their survival and growth. This will require strategic investments in workforce development, technology, and improving processes.

Looking Ahead to 2025: Embracing Change and Opportunity

As we look towards 2025, the construction industry needs to prepare for ongoing challenges but also explore new opportunities for growth and adaptation.

  • Economic Adjustments: Although we might see some stability in material costs as the global supply chains improve, prices are unlikely to drop back to what they were before the crisis. Companies could find some relief through smarter sourcing and making deals to buy in bulk.
  • Technological Innovations: Embracing cutting-edge construction technologies, like 3D printing, building with modules, and using AI for managing projects, could lead to better efficiency and cost savings. These tech solutions can also lessen the blow of labor shortages by making processes smoother and enabling more work with fewer people.
  • Emphasizing Sustainability: With more regulations coming and a shift in market demand towards sustainable building practices, companies will have to put money into eco-friendly technologies and methods. Though it might be expensive to start, this shift could save money in the long run and open doors to new business opportunities.

Making Strategic Changes

To successfully deal with its complex challenges, the construction industry needs to transform quickly through a comprehensive strategy:

  • Becoming More Flexible in Cost Management: Companies should aim for agility in their cost management, using techniques like dynamic budgeting and forecasting to stay ahead of market changes.
  • Boosting Operational Efficiency: Using new technology and innovative ways to manage projects can help companies do more with less, cutting down on waste and improving productivity.
  • Looking for New Sources of Income: By expanding into areas like building upgrades, facility management, and eco-friendly consulting, companies can create new revenue streams that help balance out the stresses on traditional construction work.
  • Strengthening Resilience: It's crucial to develop a business model that can endure ups and downs in the market. This means keeping a strong financial foundation, investing in training and keeping staff, and building solid connections with suppliers and partners.

Navigating the Crisis with Subscription Models

Subscription models present a strategic way to address the current challenges in the construction industry, offering greater flexibility in cost management and boosting operational efficiency. These models, ranging from Equipment as a Service (EaaS) to technology subscriptions, align costs more closely with project needs and encourage innovation and resilience.

Adapting Cost Management with Subscriptions

Subscription models bring a new level of cost flexibility. By opting for subscriptions for equipment, companies can shift from fixed to variable expenses, a critical advantage in a time of fluctuating material costs and borrowing rates.

  • Construction as a Service (CaaS): Instead of making large upfront investments in equipment that depreciates and ties up capital, companies can use an EaaS model. This offers access to the latest machinery with maintenance and updates included, ensuring costs align with project needs and timelines.

Example: Caterpillar's Equipment and Fleet Management Subscription Service offers construction and mining operations access to a modern fleet on a subscription basis, cutting down the need for significant capital investments.

Boosting Operational Efficiency

Subscription models significantly enhance operational efficiency. Through technology subscriptions for project management software and services that provide modular construction, companies can streamline operations, cut waste, and counter labor shortages.

  • Technology and Software Subscriptions: By subscribing to the latest software for project management and design, workflows can be optimized, planning accuracy improved, and team communication enhanced.
  • Modular Construction Subscriptions: Some firms offer modular construction components through a subscription, which can drastically reduce construction time, labor costs, and waste.

Exploring New Revenue Streams

Current market conditions challenge the traditional revenue models of the construction industry. Subscription models open doors to new revenue opportunities such as retrofitting, renovations, facility management, and green construction consultancy, all available through flexible subscription plans.

  • Home and Facility Management as a Service: Companies like Hassle Free Home Services offer monthly home management subscriptions, including a 100-point inspection ensuring everything from smoke alarms to heating systems works correctly.
  • Modular Construction for Commercial Clients: Specializing in modular techniques, some construction firms offer commercial clients a subscription model for office buildings. This service includes the construction of modular offices with the option to modify or expand based on changing business needs, covering routine maintenance and offering additional modules for space reconfiguration. This model is particularly attractive to startups and businesses in growth phases looking for flexible, scalable office solutions.

Strengthening Resilience in Construction

In the face of market fluctuations, building resilience in the construction industry means being ready to handle changes without putting growth or sustainability at risk. Subscription models play a key role in boosting this resilience by evening out income streams, making expenses more predictable, and strengthening relationships with suppliers and clients.

  • Building Strong Supplier Ties: Committing to long-term subscription contracts with suppliers can help secure better prices and guarantee access to essential materials and equipment when needed.
  • Fostering Customer Loyalty: The ongoing nature of subscription models encourages lasting customer relationships, leading to steady revenue and chances to offer more services.


Looking ahead to 2025, it's crucial for the construction industry to adapt strategically to survive and thrive amidst ongoing challenges. The shift towards subscription models offers the adaptability, operational efficiency, and resilience necessary to address current obstacles and leverage new opportunities. By being open to innovation and adjusting to the evolving market, the construction sector can pave the way for a sustainable and successful future.

P2S Management Consulting: Paving Your Path to CaaS Success

P2S Management Consulting specializes in guiding companies through the intricacies of shifting towards Subscription, Pay-per-Use, or As-a-Service models. Our unique Subscription Action Plan™ covers the entire process from identifying opportunities to launching your service, focusing on defining your target market, sizing opportunities, setting prices, building IT systems, and crafting strategies to reach the market. With the support of our Subscription Experts Ecosystem™, which includes over 30 partners in finance, legal matters, IT, and more, we provide a comprehensive network to back your move to subscription-based models. For a closer look at how we can assist you, consider scheduling a discovery call (insert link) with us.

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Juan Baldo
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Florian André
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