10 Tips for Increasing Construction Efficiency on Job Sites
A few months ago, McKinsey & Company released a very interesting research regarding the issue of productivity in construction. The report demonstrated that the construction efficiency rates in the industry don’t surpass 30%. At the same time, the rework rates for the building sector are also enormous (7-15%). On top of that, 80% of the running projects around the world are currently experiencing some serious budget overruns.
Under these circumstances, it becomes evident that construction is at the moment bleeding money and that many things have to change in order for the present and the future of the industry to be preserved.
The need for a more efficient building sector becomes even more imminent if we take into account the fact that, the perplexity of construction efficiency projects is constantly increasing. How could we improve construction efficiency on site, though?
No need to worry. We did our due diligence and we present to you below some of the best ways in which you could increase efficiency on site and boost your project performance:
1. Real-time communication
Regardless of your role and responsibilities, well-established communication is fundamental for the progress of your construction project. That’s why, real-time communication can solve numerous on site problems before they even emerge. In other words, this unhindered flow of information can make sure that every crucial issue is addressed on time and that everyone is properly informed regarding the ongoing and future tasks on site. Like that, you can always be sure that your project is avoiding costly delays and that there is transparency during the building process.
Of course, in order to connect the office with the worksite you will need some reliable digital tools. As we will analyze below, finding the right digital solution can play a decisive role in your effort to improve communication on site.
2. Insightful data management
The Economist referred recently to data as “the oil of the digital era”. Data is great power in the hands of anyone who knows how to manage and read it. Construction projects are no exemption to it, as well. At the moment, the construction industry is throwing away 95% of the produced data. This means that valuable knowledge is daily thrown out of the window and many mistakes will inevitably be repeated. For that reason, it’s indispensable to learn how we can read the collected data and provide helpful feedback to the workers on site. What is more, a strong data management process will allow you in long term to acquire a better understanding of the construction process and to design your future projects with less costly mistakes. Again, a trustworthy digital platform is essential for keeping track of your project.
3. Construction efficiency software
In the beginning of our article, we mentioned the fact that the construction projects are continuously becoming more and more perplexed. That being said, construction software is no longer considered as a luxury but as a necessity. It can help you put the different tasks in order and tirelessly keep track of everything that takes place on site. More importantly, it can gather experience on your behalf and save you from miscommunication and project delays. Lastly, it can be a great ally to your endeavor for project transparency and accountability as you will be easily able to detect who is in charge of every task.
4. Regular check-ins
If you want to be sure that everything is progressing as it should, you should always make sure that you maintain a discreet yet frequent present on site. For that reason, you want to discuss regularly with the people who work there, so you can easily detect any unsolved problems or troublesome situations. This personal approach will motivate the members of your team and will help you build strong trust relationships with them. In that way, you can take full control over your project and easily monitor anything that happens on and off site.
5. Solid training
Providing good and frequent training to your laborers is one of the best things that you can do for them. First of all, you can feel confident that they know what they are doing and that they are taking proper care of your project. Additionally, it’s a serious investment in the safety of the workers. The more they know about the equipment they are using the better they can protect themselves and their colleagues from severe or even fatal accidents. Lastly, it’s a smart and simple way to detect and retain talent. During the training period, you have all the time to observe their progress and focus your attention on those who seem to have a great potential.
6. Invest in experience
Training is an extremely important parameter, but experience is probably the most decisive. By hiring experienced workers, you know that your job will be done right and on time. No need for excessive guidance or unnecessary delays. Finding well-trained laborers can, of course, be very tough. That’s why, you need to do a very careful research before you proceed with hiring a particular candidate. Word of mouth is probably you biggest ally in this endeavor. The only thing you want to be cautious of when you are working with experienced people is that they are not treating their tasks with complacency and that they have actually an eye for detail.
7. Gamification of the construction process
Gamification might be another smart technique in your effort to keep your workers productive and strongly motivated. By introducing the element of competition in the daily life on site, you can offer an extra incentive to the laborers to perform well and efficiently. Establish goals, offer prizes and even create an unofficial score system in order to make the work on site more fun. These games can help the individuals to come closer and it can boost the feeling that this is a team environment. Mobile apps can be a great way to keep track of such competitions and make sure that every employee is included.
8. Push for digitization
The construction industry is investing less than 1% of its total revenue in IT. From this, it becomes obvious that we are talking for a traditional industry with a lot of wasted potential. Digital tools can truly boost the on site performance of your team and can easily connect the administration to the field. In that manner, the roles in the project are clear and there are enough data for the project to progress and flourish. The investment in digital solutions might look like an expensive option now but in the long term it’s a money saver and a way to optimize the building process.
9. Accountability is key
As a natural continuation of the previous remark, the digitization of the construction industry can contribute to the increase of accountability. This is a key factor when we are referring to construction workers and their performance on site. By establishing an open and transparent communication flow between the numerous project agents, you can be sure that everyone is well updated in regards to the tasks that they are responsible for and the importance of their contribution to the team. On top of that, you can effortlessly see who is accountable for any costly mistakes or dysfunctional situations that may emerge in the course of the project.
10. Modular construction
Last but certainly not least, modular construction! It is one of the hottest construction trends for 2018 and we can see why. The idea behind modular construction is that the building structure is produced off-site in a factory environment. As soon as it’s ready, it is transferred on site where it is incorporated to the building that is under construction. Modular construction isn’t always the best option but in many cases it can save great time and money to your project. The on site workers can complete their tasks faster while the environmental conditions can have a smaller impact on the completion of the project. Modular construction is a very common and popular choice for the offshore building sector.
To sum up, it’s clear that boosting construction efficiency on site is very challenging. However, with the right plan and persistent effort you can take your construction efficiency management game to the next level. Digital tools can provide remarkable help with that and by trusting you can make sure that your work will be done on a timely and more precise manner.
About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is the Content Marketing Manager of GenieBelt, a Real-time project management software and mobile app.
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