SimPRO’s Voice of the Trades report highlights impacts of skills and supply shortages

New Zealand Security Magazine - June-July 2023


New multi-country report details how digital transformation can help grow trade business, but help needed in administration, hiring and managing supply chains.

SimPRO’s Voice of the Trades report, released 23 May, provides insights from trade professionals highlighting global issues and indicating that digital transformation of the on-the-ground trade business is nowhere near complete.

The report gleaned feedback from 840 respondents from a geographic pool that includes the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The aim of the research was to capture trade opinions on their priorities, challenges, technology usage, plans for innovation, and outlook for 2023.

2022 was a challenging year for trade industry professionals. Supply chain issues, an economic downturn and a skilled labour shortage meant companies were stretched thin, and customer satisfaction took a hit.

According to the research, a stunning 94% of respondents feel that there is a lack of skilled candidates in the market, naming hiring and retention as the number one issue they’re facing in 2023.

With trades are facing a skilled labour shortage, few respondents indicated a positive outlook for hiring in 2023. Nearly three out of four respondents (73%) anticipate hiring to be more challenging this year than last, due to a lack of skilled workers and economic uncertainty.

Supply chain disruption has also hit the trade industries hard, with 94% of respondents having to delay progress on a job due to missing equipment or stock and 90% having to reschedule a job due to missing equipment or stock.

The Voice of the Trades research indicates that 72% of trade professionals (HVAC, security, plumbers, contractors, electricians and others) believe that new software and technology must be adopted to remain competitive, while 60% feel that administrative burdens have a negative impact on their ability to service customers.

One of the report’s key findings is the significant amount of time, effort and money trade businesses spend on administrative tasks. Trade professionals estimate they spend over 18 hours a week on tasks such as scheduling, inventory, invoicing and overall workflow management.

49% of respondents believed that time on admin has directly contributed to customer frustration.

“The Voice of the Trades findings confirm the need for trade businesses worldwide to implement technology solutions to lessen the burden of business management in any economy,” said Gary Specter, CEO of SimPRO.

“This research provides a clear roadmap for improving operational efficiency so trade organisations can better serve their customers. Simpro is committed to helping trade professionals working on job sites and in homes be more efficient and successful.”