5 Ways to Boost Construction Site Productivity

Posted by Paul Gross on January 13, 2022

The construction industry is a relatively recession-proof one, as there is always a need for construction. However, the high cost of materials and the growing number of thefts are affecting the bottom line. Additionally, the industry also faces cost overruns, challenging delivery deadlines, and competition.

How can a construction site overcome these challenges and ensure they maximize profits? A McKinsey and Company report reinforces the need for the construction industry to change. McKinsey states large projects take 20 percent longer to finish than the original plan. They often end up 80 percent over budget.

Since the 1990s, many industries have seen productivity climb thanks to technology adoption. The lack of investing in technology for boosting construction site productivity is hurting the industry. The report shows the construction industry has seen a dip in its productivity. Besides the absence of construction technologies, construction sites don't prioritize innovation and tend to continue relying on outdated processes.

This is a great time to make a change with scores of baby boomers retiring and tech-savvy generations to enter the workforce.

Here are five ways to increase construction site productivity.

1. Organize the Construction Site

An organized construction site offers many benefits. It will increase profits, enhance productivity, and amplify safety. What can an organized site do?

Here are the outcomes of an organized site:

  • Prevents duplicate handling of materials and chemicals.
  • Adds controls to limit theft, material waste, and breakage.
  • Shortens distances between transporting material and area of use.
  • Ensures materials move around the site easily and quickly without barriers.
  • Optimizes the safe and effective storage of materials and chemicals.
  • Maintains safety to minimize contact during a pandemic and flu season.

Part of organizing the worksite also involves planning and it will help you make sure you have the materials you need when you need them. It also reduces the risk of not having enough materials or the right equipment.

Here are the steps to organize the construction site:

  1. Create a plan for the construction site project.
  2. Use checklists that you can re-use with every project.
  3. Ensure public areas are safe for everyone including visitors.
  4. Outline the flow of foot, vehicle, and equipment traffic.
  5. Invest in personal protective equipment.
  6. Communicate on a regular basis.

Organizing the construction site will pay dividends. It's worth making it part of your project process.

2. Ensure Safety Remains a Top Priority

One of the best ways to maintain high productivity levels is by ensuring every employee can work. This involves creating contactless processes to prevent illnesses from spreading. It also requires a documented process for proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as equipment. To create a safety-first culture, workers must receive regular training on safety processes.

Companies with the longest safety streaks conduct safety training on a regular basis. They tend to have a dedicated safety manager on the construction site. If you can't dedicate a full-time employee to safety, then someone needs to be responsible for overseeing health and safety.

When appropriate, post safety rules around the construction site. Another thing companies with top safety records do is hold an informal safety talk and discussion at the start of every workday. In this talk, managers discuss safety rules, safety processes, and the proper use of equipment and tools.

It's also worth investing in high-quality PPE. While it costs more, it saves more in the long term. Cheap PPE does not last long and requires frequent replacements. Another benefit of proper PPE is that there are fewer construction site injuries. That saves money.

Your employees are your best resource for preventing construction site injuries. Because they're on the construction site, they can spot potential problems. Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny, the authors of Crucial Conversations, took a survey on workplace threats. It turns out 93 percent of the respondents say their workplace is at risk from a safety issue that no one will bring up.

Often, employees won't speak up in fear of retaliation and being viewed as a whistleblower. Create a reporting method that allows workers to report problems anonymously. A powerful tool for catching potential safety hazards is remote video surveillance.

3. Invest in Construction Project Management Software

You'll need to keep track of materials, resources, schedules, logistics, and processes. Many construction companies continue to rely on spreadsheets and paper for managing their projects. Construction project management software, also known as construction management software, is a collaborative tool. It allows stakeholders to find, share, and update information related to the construction site project.

You'll be able to store and manage documents. These include permits, processes, contracts, receipts, and other documents you need to share with your contractors and vendors.

4. Implement Asset Management Software

A construction project management software may not include asset management or a very simple one. It's hard enough having enough qualified workers. The last thing you need is for a critical asset not to be available when you need it. Asset tracking software for construction will help ensure you have the right asset at the right time.

Companies opting to implement asset management software see huge gains in efficiencies. They can do more with less. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce and USG Corporation survey supports this. More than 70 percent of survey respondents state technology can improve labor productivity and project delivery.

Asset tracking software eliminates time wasted in tracking down needed assets. Equipment gets old and breaks. They need maintenance just like vehicles do. Asset management software will track the maintenance and service records of every asset. This increases the chances they will always function properly.

5. Add Remote Video Surveillance

Yes, video surveillance is known as a security tool. But it can do a lot more than deter crime. Remote video surveillance gives construction companies a way to monitor the activity on the construction site safely and remotely.

Trained monitoring operators and video analytics work together to review what's happening on the construction site. As soon as a safety or security problem appears on camera, the system alerts the monitoring operator who can take action right away. The monitoring operators are located in a different location away from the construction site. Their lives are never at risk.

A video surveillance system will keep and store all recordings to review at any time. Some construction companies have cleverly found a way to use video surveillance for training. They'll use security camera recordings to show workers the right and wrong way to do things.

Another surprising benefit of having the recordings is that it helps with cases regarding property liability on a construction site and fraud. If someone files a claim reporting something happened on the construction site, analysts can review recordings to piece together what actually happened. The recording may put a stop to an expensive liability lawsuit.

Video surveillance with remote monitoring helps avert crime. The sight of the security cameras can compel potential intruders to leave. For those that aren't scared off by the cameras, the monitoring operator can use the audio system to issue a warning. This will have some trespassers turning around and leaving the construction site.

What makes remote video surveillance different from other security technologies is that it's proactive. It can deliver the highest level of security for your construction site while helping to improve productivity and reduce liability and hazards. You'll experience a quick ROI for security because of all these benefits.

The Urgent Need to Increase Productivity

The rising costs of materials are making construction projects more expensive. The fragile supply chain has delayed many assets and materials, which affects completing the project on schedule. These two things are putting a big hit on profits.

Construction materials have experienced the highest monthly and yearly increases according to the Associated General Contractors of America. The situation is dire enough that the ACGA has issued a construction inflation alert for the first time in 35 years of tracking the data.

"The construction industry is currently experiencing an unprecedented mix of steeply rising materials prices, snarled supply chains, and staffing difficulties, combined with slumping demand that is keeping many contractors from passing on their added costs," says AGC. "This combination threatens to push some firms out of business and add to the industry's nearly double-digit unemployment rate."

The notable increase in the costs of materials is having a significant impact on the total cost of any project involving materials. For example, a home that typically goes for $200,000 will most likely see a 10 percent increase to its construction. This adds a notable $20,000 to the cost of the home. It's enough to make the owners back out.

A Forbes article by Bill Conerly reveals the prices will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. This is why it's critical for construction companies to take steps to boost productivity and reduce theft. When you do these five things, you'll reap the rewards in many ways.

Want More Tips Like This for Your Construction Site?

To learn more about video surveillance technology, check out the free guide to securing your construction site. It'll show you how a customized security plan for your construction site will help increase productivity, security, and profits. If you'd like to learn more now or after reading the guide, contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Security Tips, Video Monitoring