By: Ed Williams on June 25th, 2021
5 Ways to Improve Productivity in Construction
Construction is one of the largest industries in the world’s economy that generates trillions of dollars every year. However, the industry faces many challenges like tough competition, low profit margins, cost overruns, and tight project delivery deadlines.
These challenges are some of the major concerns for contractors and construction businesses. Now, what shall be done to tackle these problems successfully? One way is to keep a check on your productivity. According to reports, the productivity in construction has grown by just 1% over the last 20 years. This is not just alarming but the biggest cause of many problems and challenges facing the construction industry today.
Even traditional industries like mining, warehousing, manufacturing, government, and oil have seen a considerable increase in productivity over this period of time. But, the construction industry is still lagging behind the others and the reasons are many. For example, innovation is never a priority, lack of technical expertise, and a stagnant habit of using traditional processes.
However, instead of finding excuses as to why the industry has always lagged in productivity, it would be nice if we consider moving forward and find ways to solve this problem. An increase in productivity is possible in the construction industry if businesses make small optimizations in their processes wherever possible. Let’s take a look, how.
Proper Planning Can Make All the Difference
Before you start a new project, it is essential to make sure everything is in place and you have a plan depending on which you are going to perform specific operations. Research about various aspects of a project and analyze risks. Make sure you have plans A, B, and C to tackle anything that the future may bring. Construction projects are unique and very uncertain, so make sure you have a plan for every situation to make sure the productivity never goes down in any situation.
Make a list of your resources, processes, materials, schedules, logistics, and plan everything in advance to align these as per the project's overall goals and timelines. You can make use of construction management software to plan and schedule everything efficiently and smoothly.
Construction management software lets you create an integrated work environment to make sure all of the project stakeholders stay on the same page. Basically, in the planning phase, you should be forming policies, procedures, and processes to ensure quality and project delivery on time and within the budget. The essential components of a construction project plan include baselines, baseline management plans, and documentation.
Embrace Technology and Design Better Workflows
If used strategically, construction technologies can help you collect data to make wise business decisions and improve productivity, revenue, and safety. However, unfortunately, the construction sector is not spending enough on technology advancements.
To improve productivity in the construction sector, businesses must embrace technology. Equipping construction workers with technology tools and software will help them build faster and better. For example, using technological solutions, businesses can get access to real-time data using which managers can make changes on job sites whenever something unpredictable happens. An increase in productivity is the ultimate outcome of acting fast on situations and making informed business decisions.
Similarly, by using project management software, construction businesses can track their work processes faster than ever. They can host important documents like change orders, plans, RFIs, work reports of workers in one centralized location. This will prevent workers from wasting time manually documenting things and procedures. Businesses can use this saved time in getting more things done and complete projects ahead of time.
Make Safety a Priority
With the ongoing pandemic haunting the construction industry, it is now more crucial than ever to increase safety on job sites. As per OSHA, one in ten construction workers come across a major injury every year. Now imagine the loss of productivity your business will face if any of your trained workers get injured and stop coming to work. Therefore, it is essential to invest in safety programs and provide your workers necessary training of tools and techniques being used on the worksite.
Providing training and ensuring safety will also result in increased trust of employees in your work ethics which in turn will boost their confidence and drive productivity levels even higher. Also, by maintaining low accident rates, you will be able to avoid delivery delays.
Organize Work Site and Invest in Material Planning
A well-organized construction site not just ensures safety but increases productivity and profits. Are you wondering, how? Let's shed some light on the benefits of having a well-designed and organized construction site:
- It shortens the distance for transporting machinery from one place to another
- Increases the effective and safe storage of material
- Ensure that required material moves around the sites quickly and easily
- Apply controls to limit material waste and breakage
Therefore, it is crucial to make continuous efforts towards organizing your construction sites to ensure productivity and safety. Also, there is nothing worse than running short of materials before you finish a project. It can cost you many hours and the result will be a loss of productivity. Therefore, you must check your inventory regularly to prevent it. You don’t want your entire project to come to a halt because you didn’t invest time in material planning.
Hire Trained Managers
Last but not the least, you need trained supervisors and managers to ensure the highest level of productivity. If you have leaders who know how to get things done, productivity won’t be a problem for you and you can easily accomplish all your project goals. They will make schedules and take care of timelines to ensure your project's delivery never gets late.
Concluding It All
There are several issues that can affect the productivity of a construction team and cause possible delays for an indefinite period. Along with following the above-mentioned methods, you must keep a check on factors like market conditions, government policies, and weather conditions to make sure you always meet the level of productivity your business needs and your projects never get late.
Productivity is a major factor to consider in the construction industry. And without paying proper attention to it, your project may get delayed and budgets may quickly become overwhelming. On the other hand, ensuring proper levels of productivity can provide you many benefits in terms of time as well as money.
Ed Williams is the Senior Team Lead at ProjectPro, an integrated construction accounting software. He holds massive industry experience and is a Microsoft Dynamics expert who is focused on successful implementations. He is a visionary leader and always aims to deliver the best to the construction and project-oriented industries.