Time really is money, but it's also so much more than that. Wasting time can be a sign of a poor company morale, it will delay a project's progress – which can negatively affect your reputation in the industry – as well as your company's brand. Uncovering new ways to a more streamlined jobsite increases profits and helps to keep your projects on track.
Four Ways to Save Time On Your Construction Jobsites
Saving time can happen in small and large ways. Encouraging crew to work more efficiently is a simple tweak that gains exponential hours of labor time. Implementing construction management software and other high-tech systems is a larger change that leads to more work in less time.
Here are the four tips we've found most effective when it comes to saving time on a jobsite while simultaneously improving overall work quality.
1. Focus on time-saving materials and techniques. While you don't want to take shortcuts, there are certain advantages to selecting products and materials that are already designed to save money. Steel and metal building products are a prime example. Since they are engineered and pre-fabricated before they're delivered, they slash labor time considerably. Choosing longer runs of conduit for larger buildings will cut down on the time it takes to cover the required distance and requires fewer connections, which reduces labor time and cost.
Another way to save time is to make sure you hire the right architect and contractor for the job. If you skimp in this arena, and hire the cheapest professionals, odds are you'll be dealing with inefficiencies, poor workmanship that has to be re-done, or change orders that add both time and money to the job. From pre-planning and materials selection to the professionals you hire, keep efficiency at the forefront of your project decision making.
2. Capitalize on construction-based technology. The construction industry isn't immune to rapid technological growth, but the industry is known for being reluctant to make the switch. It can be difficult to learn a "new way of being," but the benefits of time and cost-savings make it well worth taking the plunge. There are several ways to use construction-based technology to keep a punctual project timeline. These include:
- Using construction management software. These programs are like an all-in-one fix to a whole bunch of loose ends. Programs will track employee time, streamline budgeting and bookkeeping and enhance communication between owners-managers, clients-project managers, project managers-employees, and so on. GPS technology will allow you to see who is where and when. Change orders, plan changes and red flags are documented in real-time and alerts are sent to appropriate parties for immediate review. This is just a hint of how construction management software benefits you.
- Upgrade your tools. Modern construction tools and equipment often come with GPS and/or laser enhancements, which are much more precise than the human eye. These will cut down on time spent surveying, grading, and defining building perimeters and corners among other tasks.
- Smart gadgets. Do you provide phones or tablets to your key personnel? It's probably worth the investment. Using construction management software paired with tablets out in the field will cut down considerably on the amount of time your crew is walking back and forth to consult paper plans or wait for answers from the office. Instead, they can verify what they need to without leaving the immediate job vicinity.
3. Analyze worker productivity. Worker productivity should be analyzed on a regular basis. Contrary to what you might think, higher wages do not necessarily make for harder-working or more efficient employees. In fact, studies have found poor worker productivity is linked to:
- Poor planning
- Unsafe working conditions
- Accident rates
- A lack of proper tools/equipment
- Poor company morale
If any of these factors resonate with you, make the appropriate changes and re-review productivity on your jobsites. Then continue to monitor worker productivity throughout each project to correct any issues that delay progress.
4. Be involved in every aspect of a project's planning. Project managers and key personnel should be present at every stage of planning. If the planning process is too segmented between departments, subcontractors, inside/outside personnel, etc., your project will be more disjointed. Planning collaboratively from beginning to end can uncover potential hang-ups, delays, or challenges ahead of time so Plan Bs and Plan Cs can be prepared for. If a project manager is involved in every aspect of project planning, things will move more smoothly and consistently forward.
The bottom line of all this time-saving effort really is the bottom line. The less time you waste, the more profitable your projects will be, and those profits will increase exponentially with each project you complete on-time or ahead of schedule.