The construction industry faces mounting productivity headwinds: razor-thin margins, skilled labor shortages, regulatory red tape, and ever-climbing insurance premiums, just to name a few.

Despite these challenges, your customers continue to demand higher and higher rates of productivity.

In order to compete, you’ve got to have a plan as well as a set of technology tools that offer the ability to measure construction labor productivity. The importance of this measurement was highlighted in a 2016 study in which a total of 24 factors were identified as having an influence on construction labor productivity.

The study emphasized that efficient management of construction resources can lead to higher productivity — and in turn, savings in cost and time.

Let’s take a look at the study’s measurement techniques and results as an example that shows how effective measurement can bring substantial savings.

In general terms, productivity is the ratio between input and output.

Productivity = total output/total input (labor, materials, equipment, etc.)

The study used the task of erecting and reinforcement binding of a column, considering the two factors of skilled labor and change in site layout when calculating variables to productivity.

Regarding site layout, the study found that steel bars and stirrups were stacked away from the construction site, as well as not properly placed.

When steel bars and stirrups are placed separately, according to their diameter and size, the time required to find the correct bar can be minimized, resulting in the following time savings: 

  • Average time taken for erecting and reinforcement binding of a column without changes = 200 min./column 
  • Average time taken for erecting and reinforcement binding of a column with changes in site layout = 190 min./column 
  • Time savings = 10 min./column  

Regarding changing semi-skilled labor with skilled labor, the study found a time and cost savings is possible, in addition to higher quality of work.

The following calculations assume the replacement of two semi-skilled workers with two skilled workers:

  • Average time taken for erecting and reinforcement binding of a column without changes = 200 min./column
  • Average time taken for erecting and reinforcement binding of a column with change to skilled laborers = 155 min./column
  • Time savings = 45 min./column  

Applying changes in site layout along with changing semi-skilled labor with skilled labor combines for a considerable time and cost savings — something that easily can be seen with proper measurement of construction labor productivity. 

A total savings of 55 minutes per column becomes exponential over the course of an entire project.

Before applying any changes in our example, two columns were completed per day.

After applying the above changes, three columns can be completed per day.

This shows a 50% increase in labor productivity.

Measuring labor productivity and optimizing your jobsite based on those results is key to competing in today’s highly competitive market. To efficiently carry out this critical task, you need a strong toolset for capturing and analyzing labor data in the field — STRUXI is here to help.

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