The construction industry is one of the largest in the world in terms of spending, with global construction spending expected to reach a whopping $17.5 trillion by 2030. Despite these impressive figures, the domain struggles on the productivity front, which is a surprising fact. Projects run behind schedule, and cost overruns are more common than you may think, all because of low productivity.
Even as it remains a concern, the silver lining is that most productivity issues are avoidable. According to McKinsey, $1.63 trillion could be saved every year from infrastructure productivity changes. So driving this change makes sense for every company in this vertical. You can address them with basic measures to enhance labour efficiency and prevent human errors. Further, embracing technologies like a construction software solution can take your project a step ahead.
When it comes to being more productive, a little effort can take managers a long way. Here are some proven ways you can maximise construction productivity.
Start by getting better at planning
Your efforts to boost productivity should begin even before getting started with the job, right at the planning stage. The best way to begin is by splitting every task into sub-processes so that you have insights into the probable inefficiencies and have plans to address them. Picking the right people for different jobs is another effective measure to follow during planning. It is also the best time to implement project cost control software that helps you create accurate budgets and estimates. Going wrong with estimates is an issue most companies end up with, and wrong costing can hamper project productivity. Consider small steps in process-wise planning, and you will see a major difference in the overall productivity once the project kicks off.
Switch to digital technologies
This one is a no-brainer as there couldn’t be a better way to enhance productivity than switching to digital technologies. Unfortunately, construction is one of the least digitised industries, but you can be an early adopter of innovative solutions to get a step ahead. Thankfully, automating projects isn’t rocket science, as you only have to install a construction software solution to reduce dependence on people for routine processes. Innovative, cloud-based solutions facilitate complex tasks and make the entire information accessible to the users at a single, connected platform. It can bring a huge productivity boost for a disparate team that struggles with collaboration and communication issues.
Prioritise shorter contracts
Complex and detailed contracts could do more harm than good to your business, at least from the productivity perspective. When you try to cover too many eventualities in contracts, they often end up overstepping the mark. It gets harder for contractors and team members to engage directly, which results in the loss of productivity. You can pick a smarter approach by splitting agreements into smaller and simpler single contracts that are easier to understand and implement. Reduced complexity translates into lesser stress, better collaboration, and greater efficiency. These factors bring a measurable increase in project productivity.
Opt for prefabrication
Another smart move for construction companies that want to ace on the productivity front is to opt for prefabrication instead of conventional on-site processes. The method enhances construction quality and decreases the cost of projects. When you have a large project in progress, there are several repetitive elements that can be easily prefabricated in a factory. By having these all made off-site in one location, you get the advantage of lower cost and greater consistency. Additionally, human error is eliminated from the entire process. The labour can forget the repetitive elements and focus on the ones that require more precision and expertise. If you can implement proper planning for prefabrication into project design from the start, you can achieve a lot.
Focus on talent management
Productivity comes from people, so having top talent in your team can make all the difference. However, talent management requires a lot of work because you need to pick every single resource carefully. You need to prioritise trust and retention because people who stay with the company understand the expectations and processes better than ones you acquire over time. Apart from getting the right people on board, you also need to go the extra mile with training. It is all the more important in the construction domain because people who know their job well will contribute well in terms of productivity and efficiency. Moreover, you can also trust them to make job sites safe for themselves and everyone else around.
Managing construction productivity isn’t a major challenge, provided that you take the right approach. No matter how large and complex a project is, the adoption of a digital construction solution ensures that you do not lose out on efficiency. It helps managers to stay a step ahead of the problems and resolve them as soon as they happen. Having the right people on board is equally important because productivity is mostly about people.
Productivity is one of the key concerns for construction companies because most projects end up struggling with it. Here is a list of some simple and actionable steps that can help you handle productivity issues and keep the project on track.