AN INTERPRETATION OF HOW TO THINK ABOUT LABOR IN THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

5 minute read

Insights from Leger Stecker, The Brewer Companies

During our recent discussion on Rethinking Labor, we talked about the importance of re-branding/communicating the benefits of choosing the trades as a career and not just a job, of attracting new and diverse talent, of various mentorship opportunities and the transfer of knowledge, as well as new opportunities in tech and off-site construction… Our panelists provided a few key examples and ideas to help propel the future of our industry forward. Watch the recording.

This article, via Bloomberg.com, also does a good job of summarizing what’s happening right now (Jan. 2021) in the construction industry.

We’ve found that if we think about it differently, we can accelerate innovation more effectively. 

One of our panelists and working group members, Leger Stecker, Executive Vice President of Operations at The Brewer Companies, shared his thoughts below. He is rethinking the way his trade business operates and responds to today’s customers and home delivery solution mix.
 

At Brewer, they’re working on:

  • Reconfiguring work to be divided and more specialized; master plumber roles become underground installer, rough-in installer, gas system installer or trim installer roles
     
  • Standardizing and systematizing the construction processes, so they can be documented and trained
     
  • Building training and education operations to build the new human capital within their organization (their Craftsman’s Academy)
     
  • Developing technology to augment and improve overall labor functions, open new job opportunities for people, and improve the productivity of labor
     

SO, WHAT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY? IT’S NOT MAGIC.

Sometimes people think about new technology as the device, the app, or they talk about it very abstractly – almost like it’s magic.

“I see technology fundamentally as ‘human practice.’ With every device or thing invented, there are always two technologies invented:

  1. There is the human practice of making the device, app or thing,
     
  2. And then there is the human practice of using it.

The ‘things’ do nothing if humans don’t use them to produce new outcomes.  Every time I talk about technology at Brewer, I am always looking at modifying human practice to improve capabilities – to produce new and better outcomes.” Leger explains.  
 

What do you think?

Contact us to get involved in the Rethinking Labor Working Group or join the conversation on LinkedIn. Interested in other housing innovation topics? Join us for an upcoming 3rd Tuesday event.

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