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10 tips to improve productivity in construction.

As firms operate in these challenging economic and political times, it is essential that construction projects are carried out efficiently, to exacting quality standards and to budget. There is significant scrutiny on planning approvals and outcomes are being rigorously tested to ensure that they represent value for money.

Improving productivity is key to efficiency in construction, and we believe that by following these ten smart tips, any business operating within the construction industry will see a marked improvement in their deliverables statistics.

1. Use of a shared data environment.

Embracing cloud computing technology allows all stakeholders involved in a construction project to share operating data and to maintain version control. This is essential to ensure that everybody involved in the delivery of the project has the same source of truth, regardless as to where they are situated or what their particular role entails. Ensuring that all parties involved have access to the same information improves confidence, reduces the likelihood of errors, and increases productivity.

2. Link your inventory requirements and delivery schedule.

By creating links within your delivery schedule to your inventory requirements, it is possible to generate lists of which supplies and materials are required for any particular element of a build. By planning in this way, it is possible to streamline deliveries, ensuring that the right supplies are on-site when they are needed. Planning in this way helps to keep work flowing.

3. Learn From Experience.

Taking the time at the end of each build to record the lessons learned is important. Project managers should make it a priority to debrief with their team, recording what went well and what didn't. This is important to implement effective strategies for future use. By reviewing the lessons learned ahead of starting a new build, plans can be put in place to deliver a cycle of continuous improvement.

4. Attractive Employee Reward Package.

In a competitive marketplace that is under significant external scrutiny, sourcing talented individuals within the construction industry is no longer just a matter of offering a good financial package. Today, specialist staff expect a more rounded rewards package. This may include the option for flexible working, health insurance or gym membership. To increase productivity on site, you need a healthy, motivated and keen team and every business should consider what they can offer to attract the right people.

5. Outcome Focused Job Specs.

In hiring construction personnel, it is essential that a team is selected that understands the importance of delivering a high quality build to time and budget. Workers who cannot embrace a culture of successful delivery will hinder the effectiveness of the build, so focus job specs on the importance of success to attract the right candidates to your roles.

6. Real Time Collaboration.

It is important to communicate any changes to the plan to the delivery team as quickly as possible. Storing project data in the cloud and accessing it via mobile phones allows everyone involved in a construction project to see that data and to be contacted at any time, wherever they are in the world. This real time collaboration is essential to productivity. 

7. Empower and Train Your Team.

In order to be productive, your team need to understand their roles, how they interlink with each other and what their outcomes and deliverables are. Providing a package of training to each team member will empower them to deliver against their responsibilities confidently and equip them to handle any difficulties that they encounter. Training also improves safety on site and protects the team, the build and the reputation of the business.

8. Embrace Modular Builds.

Traditional brick and mortar buildings are time consuming, messy and a source of frustration to the general public, who associate them with traffic delays, environmental damage and noise pollution. Modular builds benefit from individual components that are constructed and quality assured off-site and delivered to site once ready for assembly. They can then be constructed far more quickly, which reduces the impact on local residents as well as improving profitability and quality control. 

9. Time Is Money.

Understanding the cost of time can help project managers to make more effective decisions. Many software solutions are suitable for use by the construction industry and support decision making by providing the cost benefit balance of different options. Known as Cost Value Reconciliation, the software compares costs to budgets or values and provides a real time view of the profitability of a project at any point in time up to completion.

10. Software Is King. 

By embracing construction management software tools, it is possible to streamline all of the data associated with construction projects, recording estimates, accounting, HR and even asset management data. Many software tools are mobile compatible, meaning that they can be updated on the job, capturing real-time data and providing figures for analysis. Embracing technology in this way allows project managers to identify any shortcomings and rectify them, driving true improvements in productivity.

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