The construction sector is a massive global industry. It is a major part of the UK economy, representing some 6% of gross domestic product according to The Guardian. Yet a report by the McKinsey Global Institute states that the construction sector is lagging in growth and productivity: “In a sample of countries analysed, less than 25% of construction firms matched the productivity growth achieved in the overall economies where they work over the past decade.”
The construction sector has three long-standing pillars of excellence: delivering jobs on time, to the scope and within budget. Without proper risk management and lagging productivity, your bottom line can suffer. The good news is that it is possible to improve operational efficiency, which will ultimately improve your construction business.
The Importance of Improving Productivity in the Construction Industry
Despite your best planning, many things can occur on-site that can lead to inefficiencies. Changes to the scope of work or a slip in the schedule can reduce your productivity rates and lead to cost overruns. Hiring the wrong team or lack of communication can also prove very costly. When you’re able to increase productivity, you improve operational efficiency so that projects finish on time and are more cost-efficient.
6 Tips for Improving Productivity
Even a small increase in productivity has the potential to make a big impact on the bottom line of construction companies.
1. Use innovative technology
One of the best ways to improve productivity is to use construction management software. This type of technology can help project managers automate workflows, keep track of materials and control costs throughout the project’s lifecycle. Project management software also hosts important construction documents like plans, change orders, requests for information (RFIs) and daily reports. Construction management software allows for time-saving efficiencies that can boost your bottom line and productivity.
2. Communicate well
Poor communication causes a lack of productivity in nearly all industries. And miscommunication can cost you big time. According to a study, “The cost of poor communication has hit an overwhelming $37 billion. Also, 400 surveyed corporations (with 100,000 plus employees in the U.S. and U.K.) estimated that communication barriers cost the average organisation $62.4 million per year in lost productivity.”
On a positive note, the same study found that over a five-year period, companies with leaders who effectively communicated produced a 47% higher return to shareholders. Another benefit of RedSky’s construction management software is that it can help improve communication across teams.
3. Plan ahead
Planning by developing a detailed scope and budget is important not only for controlling costs but also for improving overall productivity. When your scope of work is well-defined and change orders limited, you can monitor the productivity of your construction project more accurately. Planning includes staying on top of materials, budgets and schedules, which can all be accomplished with the right construction management software.
4. Train your team
A company’s most valuable asset is its employees. When you provide a training programme, you arm your employees with the knowledge, tools and skills they need to be more efficiently on-site. Inadequate training not only poses safety issues but can negatively affect productivity as well. When your employees are properly trained, the site runs more efficiently. Proper training reduces the chances of injuries on a job in turn increasing productivity.
5. Reward your employees
Your employees are working hard, day in and day out. Help boost their morale, build loyalty and show that their work is not going unnoticed by giving them adequate time off as well as other forms of rewards. The Employee Experience Index from Workhuman and IBM found that when employees receive recognition for doing good work, 83% report a more positive employee experience. When your employees are happier, they’re going to be more productive.
6. Organise the site
Let’s face it, sites are messy. While they don’t have to be spic and span, they should be well-organised. Construction sites littered with debris and extra materials can lead to accidents as well as equipment damage. When tools and materials aren’t organised, employees can end up wasting valuable time searching for what they need to do their job. Maintaining an up-to-date site inventory will enable you to know when it’s time to order additional materials as well as help you forecast purchases. RedSky’s construction procurement software can help you keep up with your orders and inventory needs.
You already know that the construction industry is one of the most competitive sectors. That makes it even more important to increase your construction project productivity rates to stay competitive and grow your construction business. From implementing new technology to building the right team, your organisation’s operational and site productivity will improve.
To find out more about how RedSky’s project management software can help you to regain control over your projects and improve productivity, request a demo, get in touch through our contact form or give us a call at +44 020 3002 8600.