Any given construction job could benefit from increased productivity. Apart from equipment costs and the expense of labor, inefficiency in the execution of a project can eat into your profit margins like nothing else. But the solutions to increase and maintain productive work can be relatively simple to employ too.
#1 Spend Enough Time Planning
It’s an easy thing to start into a project without much planning to go ahead of it. This is especially true as your experience grows in certain project types. But regardless of your experience, a well-thought-out plan can help you limit your costs and improve your construction productivity. There are enumerable examples that could be cited to support this case, but here’s a simple one to think about.
Suppose you’re pouring concrete for a sidewalk outside of a private community college in your hometown. You have plenty of space to bring the trucks in close enough for the pour, but what you didn’t anticipate, until you started, was the rain clouds gathering overhead. Perhaps this is an overly simplistic scenario, but it can help you think about what sort of matters can throw a wrench into productivity. Taking a few moments to check into the weather forecast could save you a lot of time and headache in such a case as this.
#2 Train Staff on the Project
The ideal situation would be to have a crew that is directly experienced in every job you undertake. This may not always be the case, however. So you should keep in mind the need for training and planning with your crews regarding the tasks that need to be accomplished and the most efficient way to go about accomplishing those tasks. A little bit of game planning with your team can go a long way in preventing the need for reworking misunderstood initiatives or subpar results.
#3 Use Good Equipment
Another way to ensure that you limit your losses when executing your construction projects it to keep the necessary equipment on hand, and not only the necessities per se, but equipment that is high in quality too. It goes without saying in most cases, but it’s worth mentioning here that lower-quality equipment can end up costing you a lot more money in the long run should it fail.
Not only does quality play a main role in making use of productive equipment, but efficiency is equally important. Obviously, if you’re still framing with hammers, then you’re missing out on the massive increase in efficiency offered by a pneumatic nail gun. Along with apparent examples like this one, there are other tools that you may not be using that could help you with your planning and execution. Consider the many communication tools that help keep your crew on the same tight schedule, which can inform them of changes to a plan at a moment’s notice. Think also of the many options in management software that can help you with your supply, inventory, and assignment protocols.
#4 Use Good Vendors
When it comes to supplying your crew with the building materials needed, having vendors and manufacturers you can count on is an essential element to the equation of productivity. If you’re constantly having to deal with slow turnaround times, backorders, or costly delivery charges, it’s going to eat into your profit margin really fast.
Just because one particular supplier has the cheapest price for a certain material doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best value. If they can’t provide timely and consistent deliver of supplies, then they’ll be costing you money in downtime, and downtime adds up a lot faster than product prices that are slightly higher.
#5 Communicate Goals
And finally, perhaps the most important step to take in increasing productivity on the job site is to communicate the goals and expectations to everyone involved. Getting everyone on the same page is paramount when it comes to maintaining a productive workflow. This concept should be first applied in the planning and training phases of the process, but should also be reaffirmed many times throughout the project.
Help everyone understand that completing the project in a timely and efficient manner creates positive results for everyone. Incentivize good work and prompt completion of tasks from your crew. Keep your people a closely knit team and success will certainly follow.