Construction projects take a lot of time, energy and work, which may be why many contractors look at making their project as efficient as possible. Efficiency in construction projects doesn’t take away from the safety standards the project should uphold, but it does help the project move along quickly and finish with fewer problems. But how does one make their construction project more efficient? Here are six ideas to help improve your construction project’s efficiency.
Invest in Training
One of the first things your company should do is invest in training for your employees. In fact, OSHA requires safety training. Training can instruct your employees on what hazards they should be aware of in their environment on the construction site. Training can also improve safety by teaching your employees the proper way to use equipment. While your employees may have completed training when they were initially hired, you may not have conducted regular training sessions and they may be using equipment incorrectly, posing as a potential hazard for themselves and for others around them. But regular training will help prevent that by enforcing the correct way to operate machinery. Regular training pays off as all your employees will be on the same page, which will enable them to work more efficiently.
Improve Company Communication
Another thing your company should practice to improve efficiency is improve company communication. Efficiency happens when everyone knows what to expect and all work on the same page, but poor communication prevents that. In order to improve communication, you should make sure to have a clear presence on site and conduct a meeting every day before your employees start on the project, explaining what progress you have made and what the scheduled goals for the day are.
These daily meetings can also be a place for your employees to air frustrations with the current project and concerns that they have. By knowing what concerns your employees have, you can address them and let your employees know that their safety is important to you. Trust with your employees also improves efficiency, so make sure you do everything you can to create clear communication between all layers of organization in your construction company.
Streamline Your Scrap Removal
Your construction project should also have a streamlined scrap removal process. If the scrap just stays on site until the end of the project, it can decrease efficiency and decrease the amount of space your crew will have to work in. Dumpsters can help put all the scrap in one place and can be removed on a biweekly if not daily basis to keep the site clear. Some dumpsters are better than others, however. In fact, self-dumping hoppers make scrap disposal more efficient. These are metal dumpsters that are loaded at the top but release their contents at the bottom when dumped into a garbage truck. Streamlining your scrap removal process will not only make it easier to remove scrap, it will make your project more efficient.
Consider Modular Construction
Modular construction is another method that can improve efficiency. Modular construction is where parts of the project are assembled in factories away from the site and then shipped on semi-trucks to the site where your crew would then assemble them. This saves time because your crew would be working with already completed blocks that just need to be hooked up to their proper places. While it may not be as creative as your crew is used to, it cuts down production time. While you do have to wait for the modular parts to arrive, once they have arrived, assembling the project will be straightforward and simple, saving your team time and energy.
Another perk of modular construction is that the sections are eco-friendly and produce less waste as they are assembled off-site. There are downsides to modular construction, such as the interior room size tends to be smaller, but there are also many benefits. Regardless, modular construction is one option to consider if your goal is to improve the efficiency of your project.
Another way to improve the efficiency of your project is to measure the performance of your employees. Accountability helps you to know where your employees are at currently and assess how they can improve. For example, you may have one employee who is slow on the machinery because they haven’t had the proper training, which affects the efficiency of the entire team. You can help that employee improve their performance by giving them the proper training to be able to drive the machinery with confidence. All your employees matter to the project, which is why it is important to establish clear communication and measure performance. It is difficult to improve if one doesn’t know the work they already do in the moment, but once one knows where they stand, they can improve. Holding your employees accountable to their performance by measuring performance helps increase efficiency for your entire construction project.
Use Construction Management Software
One frequently untapped technology that could greatly benefit your construction project is construction management software. This software puts many things that have been (and still frequently are) done by hand in one place digitally. These things include job scheduling, communication, and budget management. Instead of having to figure out everything by hand and keep a dozen files, you can do all that work digitally. The software can help alleviate stress for you by helping you keep track of the progress of the project and your costs going into the project. It improves efficiency by keeping many things in one place.
While it may be uncomfortable switching over to using a software, as there is always a learning curve when learning new technology, the benefits of the software far outweigh the discomfort of learning something new.
Construction projects may not initially seem efficient, but by using new software, measuring performance, considering alternative options such as modular construction, streamlining your scrap removal process, improving the communication of your company, and training your employees, you can increase your construction project’s efficiency.
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