As it is with all forms of business, profit is dependent in part on productivity. The more productive you are -- it goes without saying, the more you stand to gain. Now that the start of the busy season in the construction industry is upon us, of course it's important that you are productive. But what does it take to be productive or, rather, what does it take to optimize your productivity?
Here are five important tips to consider in order to optimize your construction job site productivity.
1. Invest in Your People
Hire the right people, not just the cheapest people with little or no experience. This point is especially true for your foremen and supervisors since they will be the ones who oversee, train, guide, and manage the operations and workers.
Talented employees who are treated well also perform well. Your productivity benefits when operations are safer, projects are completed better and on time, and the whole process is more efficient.
What happens when you don’t invest in good people? You may luck out and hire someone who turns out to be great. However, the likelihood of that transpiring is minimal. What could happen if you don’t pay attention and hire the right people is more like this:
- High turnover
- Inefficient processes
- More downtime
- Failure to meet deadlines
- Unsatisfactory performance
- Expend more funds on hiring new people for each turnover
- Expend more time for each delayed project
- Lose time and pay more for each employee or contractor
Invest in the right people from the beginning is an investment in your company, and the returns on that investment will be well worth it.
2. Analyze Productivity
Even if you have the right people, you still have to pay attention to what’s happening so you can improve processes and optimize even the things that are well. Analyzing each job for performance is critical. You want to identify when productivity is high and when it declines. You may notice a pattern develop:
- A particular piece of machinery that has issues
- Certain times of the day or week when workers begin to slow down
- Or other issues may pop up that can be identified and clarified for better performance
By having a means to analyze and measure performance, it shouldn't be surprising when something does happen. In fact, you’ll likely be prepared for it and/or have a contingency plan in place.
3. Keep Employees and the Job Site Safe
Safety first. That’s what they say. And that’s what’s true, too. Safety is vital to any construction job, whether it’s the safety of the workers or safety of persons who may be walking in or around the site at any given time. When an accident happens, it can be costly. So, again: safety first.
You may want to consider supplementing your workers' standard equipment and safety training with additional safety training that is geared toward performance. If everything is safe and performs optimally, the job site will be all around more productive.
To breakdown how safety translates to productivity, consider:
- When workers feel safe, absenteeism drops.
- Absenteeism drops because workers feel happier, because they feel like they matter.
- When employees or workers are happier, they perform better.
- When safety is a priority, it follows that the workplace is kept to a higher standard of order.
- When the work environment is in order, it is easier to do the job.
4. Embrace Technology
Technology is everything today, and so it is also in the construction industry. The right software and other technological advances have increased performance and productivity multi-fold on construction sites. For example, remote monitoring systems can alert you when a piece of machinery needs maintenance or breaks down. The latter helps you repair in a timely fashion so that downtime is reduced.
Technology also makes things like record keeping more efficient and easier to maintain. The more control you have through technology, the more you can proactively manage and improve operations. The smoother things run, the more productive the processes are. So, you want to make sure you are using technology smartly. It can be an initial expense, like so many things, but it can also be one of those expenses, like investing in the right people, can create higher returns for you..
5. Utilize On-Site Storage and Mobile Offices
For a construction site, on-site portable storage and the use of mobile office can help improve productivity in many ways. Here are just a few:
There is a lot of equipment, from construction equipment, computers, and even your standard personal collection of tools. A mobile storage unit comes in different sizes -- from an 8' x 10' to an 8' x 40' cargo box -- and can help keep your equipment organized and safely secured on off-hours (or even during work hours, if necessary). It is convenient because it is right there on the site to access when you need it.
So, if someone on the team needs something, there’s no downtime waiting for the tool or equipment to arrive because it is already there. Portable storage units are also preferable because they can safely store items away from thieves and/or weather.
Some companies that sell or lease container or portable storage, also have a great selection of mobile offices. (Or even storage and office combo units.) They can even be temperature-controlled. The doors can be locked when needed for safety and security purposes. They are roomy. They can have amenities like lighting, windows, built-in desktop areas, HVAC systems, and additional storage areas. They are great for supervisors onsite who do not need to go back and forth to an office. They are also great as temperature-controlled break areas, so that workers have a cool place during hot months to go to for rest. The latter benefit is just one more means to optimizing productivity because workers who are refreshed will perform better.
At SiteBox Storage, we understand the want and need for optimal performance that translates into optimal productivity. Storage is key to that performance. A mobile office provides the space for your employees to work safely and to rest comfortably; portable container storage provides the space for you to store your technology and equipment. Then, when the project completes on time, it can be picked up easily or even be moved to your next job site.