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5 Ways to Maintain Efficiency On & Off Your Construction Site

May 21, 2021

Filed Under: Project ManagementTechnology

The construction industry is known for many things, however, efficiency often isn’t one of them. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, only 11% of contractors consider their job sites to be efficient.  A lack of efficiency on the construction site can lead to a lower quality of work, over-budget projects, and projects that take much longer than anticipated. 

Adopting practices to increase your efficiency on the construction site can help to set you apart from the competition and save resources. Below are five tips for construction professionals to create a more efficient job site. 

Train Employees Thoroughly

While making sure that employees are trained properly seems like a no-brainer, taking the time to ensure that employees know how to perform duties efficiently and safely can save both time and money. 

According to the National Institute of Health, the injury rate in the construction industry is 71% higher than average injury rates. With this increased risk, it is important to make sure that employees are taking the time to follow safety protocols. Statistics show that the construction industry accounts for 8.5% of all injuries that result in lost days of work. These injury-related days off can cause projects to drag on beyond the original timeline. 

Taking the time to train your employees can pay off in the long run, both in keeping workers safe and making sure that projects can be completed on time. 

Plan Ahead 

Before a project even breaks ground, you can set yourself up for success with proper planning. 

Utilizing a tool such as a Project Initiation Document, or a PID, can help you and your team organize three important elements: people, resources, and budget. Outlining these elements beforehand will help you, your crew, and your stakeholders know what to expect from the project. 

It’s important to plan properly to avoid wasting resources or having to put the project on hold to obtain more resources. 

Utilize Technology 

Just like everything around us, the construction industry has become modernized, with several innovations aimed at increasing efficiency. 

There are software and mobile solutions to help manage almost all aspects of a construction project, including scheduling, project management, and field reporting. 

Most of these software solutions are cloud based, meaning that they update in real time. This allows for things like timecards, expense reports, requests for information, work records, and other files to be submitted instantaneously, potentially eliminating hundreds of hours per year in data entry. 

Streamline Communication 

In all workplaces, communication among employees is essential. Construction is no different. 35% of construction professionals time (over 14 hours a week) is spent on non-productive activities including looking for project information, conflict resolution, and dealing with mistakes and rework. 

One way to improve communication is to establish a communication chain of command. Usually spelled out in a contract, each entity working on a project should have a point of contact. Ensuring that these points of contact are aware of any major changes, delays, or issues can allow for changes to be made sooner rather than later, and will increase efficiency on the job site. 

It’s also important that these points of contact are responsive. 30.9% of all construction industry professionals say that the top reason for miscommunication is unresponsiveness to questions or requests.  Scheduling time to touch base with all parties involved in the project can help to cut down on mistakes and increase efficiency. 

Evaluate Performance

It’s important to evaluate performance throughout a project, not just at the end. An average of 35% of all construction projects will have a major change before their completion. These changes will impact the resources needed, including money, time, and labor. 

Looking at key performance indicators, or KPI’s, throughout a project will help give a read on performance. Important KPI’s on a job site include safety/incident rate, number of defects, customer satisfaction, total cost of rework, percentage of equipment downtime, and percentage of labor downtime. These KPI’s help to measure safety, quality, and efficiency. 

By checking KPI’s periodically throughout, you and your team can adequately gauge where resources need to be focused. You will also be able to spot problems as they arise, ensuring that the quality of work stays strong throughout.

At Gray & Son, we strive to run efficient and innovative construction sites. We have adopted a team approach, utilizing weekly meetings to communicate across cross-functional teams. Our equipment is always in working condition, ensuring that no delays will be caused waiting for a machine. We have built our business on a strong work ethic that delivers projects completed reliably and efficiently. We’d love for you to see for yourself- contact Gray & Son today.