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By David Cartwright on Oct 1, 2019 10:23:00 AM

It’s Never Too Late To Improve Project Productivity

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Productivity has been an achilles heel in the construction sector. With global investments expected to double by 2030, improving productivity will be the key to success within this field. The unfortunate reality is that many projects still go over budget and experience delays. If you want your company to remain competitive and win more customers, you’ll need to find ways to cut costs, communicate more effectively, hire top talent, and harness the power of technology. 

The good news is that it’s never too late to improve the productivity of your company. Regardless of where you are on the productivity scale, you can still take actionable steps towards closing the productivity gap.


The state of productivity in construction 

Many capital-intensive projects often face delays, high costs, material wastage, and personnel conflicts. These challenges can potentially limit your company’s access to growth opportunities and profits. Managing a large team, collaborating with subcontractors, and navigating legal guidelines can make productivity more challenging. 

In recent years, there have been significant improvements in the productivity sector. Technology, performance tracking, and risk management have played a critical role in making construction companies more effective while on the job. 

However, more work still needs to be done. The rate of investment in construction is higher than the rate of productivity increase. Other sectors such as manufacturing have almost doubled their productivity rates, while builders have remained virtually stagnant over the years. 

Some of the primary causes of poor productivity in construction include:


Inadequate planning and communication 

Large capital projects require proper planning. If teams aren’t on the same page about expectations, goals, and timelines, your project is likely to go over budget while experiencing delays. Furthermore, you need effective channels for providing feedback, sharing challenges, and tracking progress. 


Not embracing technology 

Perhaps the most common inhibitor to productivity is using outdated technologies. Builders are notorious for taking time to adopt new systems and workflows that they may not be familiar with. For example, if you’re used to spreadsheets, paper receipts, and physical notes, you may take more time (and spend more money) to collaborate in real-time. Construction estimating software can help you integrate workflows and cut the amount of time it takes to complete tasks. 


Working with unqualified talent 

The reality in most industries is that people only hire who they like. While this may reduce workplace discomfort, it also results in unqualified persons occupying various positions. You’d be surprised by just how much growth you can attain when you hire the best-qualified person for the job. Making better hiring decisions is directly tied to your productivity levels. 


Failing to manage risks

Every construction project comes with risk. Safety, planning, delays, and inclement weather are all types of risk that may affect your company. While risk management will require resource allocation, it can also help you avoid costly damages down the road. 

Don’t take shortcuts by failing to analyse your risk environment. Instead, develop a long-term risk management plan that involves risk identification, analysis, mitigation, and management.  

Practical ways of improving productivity

If you’re looking to improve productivity in your building business, you may be wondering where to start. Is it too late to consider productivity adjustments? Should you wait for a new financial year to implement these changes? Are there steps you can carry out immediately to make a difference? 

The good news is that it’s never too late to get started. The sooner you implement change, the more likely you are to save on costs while achieving growth. There are practical steps you can take to shorten the productivity gap. These include:


Turn your data into valuable insights

When builders, estimators, and engineers hear of data analytics, they may think that it costs too much (or it’s too complicated). However, your business is already collecting large amounts of data daily. From previous budgets to customer feedback, you can use what you already have to uncover valuable insights about your company. 


Develop open communication channels

Having everyone on the same page is a critical step towards improved productivity. You can begin to develop open communication channels by encouraging feedback, holding regular progress meetings, and encouraging workers to achieve a common goal.


Plan your projects 

Proper planning is also essential for any project. Even before preparing a quote or laying bricks, you should plan your entire project and have a framework you can follow. 


Invest in your workforce

Finally, train your workforce so they can have the skills necessary to deliver tangible results. 

Improve your workplace productivity by giving your workers the tools and training they need to do so. Estimating software can save you time and money today. Start your 14-day free trial and discover the benefits.


Embrace technology

Taking advantage of new technologies is the fastest path towards increased productivity. You can make a gradual shift towards going digital by starting with estimating software, smart budgeting tools, and contractor management platforms. Adopting this technology will relieve workers from mundane tasks while increasing accuracy. 


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