Can You Improve Your Construction Company's Labor Productivity? Yes!

Eric Grillaert 3/22/22 2:11 PM

a-woman-engineer-with-tablet-standing-on-construct-2021-08-27-17-59-09-utc (1)Measuring construction productivity, as you know, involves calculating how much work is being done in any time frame versus how much you expect to be done. The more your crews and their equipment can accomplish in an hour, the more productive and profitable every job is.

So, you need to get that critical data every day, calculate it, look for the variables among crews and job sites and then address them. That’s a big job! How should you tackle it?

One of the biggest challenges a lot of companies face in the construction industry is getting all the data being produced in the field to be collected by the workers themselves. The technology is there, the workers are present. There’s simply a disconnect between the two that’s prevent the construction productivity data from flowing freely.

How can your company bridge that gap and start making that data transfer happen?

First, you need a plan.

It’s not the tools that stop construction companies like yours from improving productivity. It’s all about culture, commitment and training.

Set the Team Up for Success

Your executive team needs to make sure that your crew leaders and supervisors understand just how important it is to collect the data you need, when you need it. Plan for every workday to include time to collect data at the beginning and end: hours worked, materials used and any hiccups, such as late deliveries or equipment breakdowns.

Investing time upfront can save you hundreds of thousands of hours and millions of dollars down the road, but your people need to know that it’s both important and okay to do it.

Additionally, make sure that your entire crew understands why tracking productivity is important and why it’s not only valuable to the company but to them as an individual. This makes it easier to get buy in from some of your bigger digital critics on the job site.

When it comes to getting that precious data on the job, here are some best practices to consider in the field:

  • Encourage and foster a learning culture in your company.
  • Incorporate opportunities for your trades to be included in formal training sessions.
  • Provide programs that award incentives that recognize digital adoption.
  • Offer periodic tech refresher sessions.
  • Ensure vendor materials include readily available up to date manuals, documentation and videos.
  • Elect digital champions to encourage these practices.
  • Hold daily or weekly onsite digital adoption stand ups perhaps after morning safety. meetings. Make attendance engaging and practical.
  • Pay for data usage absorbed by the app or provide devices.
  • Include at least one dissenter in your new tech investment sourcing.
  • Ensure applications mirror as closely as possible the current project workflow practices or they need to change.

Once you have the right training and workflows in place, you need the right tools to achieve it. You know that the right tools make every job easier to do and do well. How do you know you have what you need to improve construction productivity?

What to Look for in Construction Productivity Tools

Paper and pencil on a clipboard aren’t going to cut it anymore. The jobs you want are too big and complex for that. You need software that tracks more than just time. It should be easy to use, mobile-friendly and work anywhere.

Ask yourself these questions when looking at time-tracking software:

  • Does the timekeeping element work for non-English speakers?
  • Does it update hourly to give you the results you need to be productive?
  • Does it track materials down to the cost code?
  • Can you track info by crew or by person?
  • Does it work on pricey proprietary hardware or inexpensive tablets?
  • Can it help you see that a job’s a loser before it’s too late?
  • Does it let you track time and info even if you’re not online?
  • Does it generate reports to let you forecast and plan for upcoming jobs better than you do now?
  • Can your project managers use it to build any custom report you need?

Why Isn’t a Time-Tracking App Enough?

Software that tracks time has been around for a while – you can find lots of great options for tracking your crews’ time and calculating payroll, taxes, etc. Tracking time alone isn’t enough – it’s only one of the metrics that goes into productivity. To be truly competitive, you need a solution that goes beyond time tracking to improve the productivity of your job sites. It should calculate the work done in that time as well as keeping time. And it should do it in real time, so you can spot small problems before they become huge ones.

You need business intelligence and the reporting needed by your executive team, project managers, accounting and payroll and tech team, when they need it.

STRUXI Is the Right Solution for How to Improve Construction Productivity

STRUXI provides all the tools you need to measure jobsite labor productivity accurately and quickly. Cloud-based, with an iPad app, the software works anywhere your teams need it to work. It updates hourly, giving you needed insights into project costs in real time.

What’s the advantage of hourly updates and fast reporting? You can see that a project is at risk of going over budget or falling behind schedule and pivot quickly to address the issues, whether that means replacing an inexperienced crew or shifting to a supplier with faster delivery options.

Because STRUXI runs in the cloud and on tablets, your supervisors and crew leaders don’t have to drive paperwork back to the office – there’s no paper! Eliminating manual data entry – whether direct or copied from paper reports – also minimizes the chances of accidental errors in payroll and taxes. Stop wasting time and money – thousands of dollars a year per job – with manual data entry and paper pushing.

No internet access at the job site? No worries! Your supervisors can still enter data and track time (via QR code stickers on hard hats!) without it. BTW: that QR code saves every fieldworker time each day that adds up to save you money. And because you can monitor labor costs in real time, you get unparalleled insight into project costs and inefficiencies.

Still need some help identifying the right tools to improve your construction productivity? No problem. Download our STRUXI infographic for more detailed information on how STRUXI helps construction companies be more productive.