Productivity is a vital thing to both maintain and track within any business. While it is not singly indicative of the success or standing of a business from a fiscal, logistical, or even sociological perspective, it does provide valuable insight into the inner workings of an organization.
From a wider economic perspective, productivity is low – leading to foreshortened growth and stagnant labor. Conversely, achieving high productivity both individually and nationally can spur expansion, longevity, and equitable working conditions.
Labor productivity can be a difficult metric to track within the construction industry. Where other industries can easier attribute tangible value to the output of a given employee – whether through sales data, manufacture rates, or other KPIs – construction workers are collaborating on the completion of discrete projects, the value of which can be defined in terms of initial budget or eventual market price.
Ultimately, the purpose of tracking labor productivity is not to micromanage individual workers, but rather, is a critical tool through which to track the efficiency of projects, and in so doing ensure streamlined processes minimize unnecessary costs.
With all this in mind, then, what can be done to address labor productivity metrics in your own construction business?
Inventory and Equipment
In many cases, productivity is stymied largely by logistical inefficiencies – inefficiencies that can be solved with relative ease. One of the first places a construction outfit might look for such deficits is its inventory, and the management of both materials and equipment for each project or build.
Any kinks in the construction material supply chain will naturally lead to delays; while this obviously leads to the extension of a project’s timeline, it can also have a knock-on effect on your labor force, creating uncertainty, frustration, and stress that can all lead to the reducing of productivity.
Likewise, Poor-quality tools (or limited access to the necessary high-end equipment) can further contribute to slowed work and delays. In the latter case, re-investing in a cohesive range of new equipment can ensure workers are able to meet their full potential.
Committing to a brand can also improve things; for example, Milwaukee power tools make repairs and replacements a much quicker and simpler exercise. Strategically streamlining your inventory this way can increase productivity tenfold.
Rigid employment terms can also play their own part in limiting productivity. Indeed, certain pressures can build on-site, especially if a project has tight deadlines. Other factors that contribute to this can include poor weather conditions, long commutes to job sites for employees, as well as potential delays in supplies.
Consequently, some employees might feel compelled to forego breaks and downtime in service of the work at hand. Not only can this lead to fatigue, but it also increases the risk of injury.
Meanwhile, prospective and highly skilled workers may at once be dissuaded from joining your company due to such inflexible working conditions. Introducing core working hours alongside encouraging and enforcing mandated breaks can together ensure existing employees are rested, and attract new workers to the force.
Today, there are technological tools available to project managers that revolutionize the way builds are overseen, and which can dramatically improve productivity in the process. One major intervention in this regard is Cost Value Reconciliation (CVR).
Also Read: 8 Ways Technology Can Help A Construction Company Succeed
CVR platforms enable construction project managers to track the profitability of a project in situ, eliminating a key blind spot in calculating labor productivity within teams or contractor outfits.
Using this effect, you can more accurately react to costly delays or mistakes – and in some cases predict them. This in turn will enable you and your workers to more accurately predict the costs of future projects, as well as implement effective contingencies and safeguards to counter a range of potentialities.
Through this, not only can you manage your cash and financial matters more efficiently, but it also allows your company’s teams and individuals to be more effectively managed so as to improve the productivity of a specific project.