One of the things that remains constant about our society, even as we move to an unfamiliar world of data, is that we always have — and likely always will — need physical spaces to conduct our lives. That is, of course, unless we can figure out how to transfer all our consciousnesses to virtual reality and begin new lives as disembodied virtual beings. However, as we don’t live in a virtual world, the world’s ever-present need for built structures and how to increase productivity in the construction business remains constant.
Right now, even as construction remains one of the cornerstones of society, the sector lags behind in productivity improvements, especially when compared to other growing sectors, such as retail and manufacturing. One of the reasons is that the construction sector has been somewhat slow to adopt new techniques for improved workflow and better technologies. With that in mind, here are some of the ways in which construction businesses can enhance productivity.
Better Equipment for Workers
One sure-fire way to increase productivity is by taking steps to improve the productivity of the on-ground workers. Identifying obstacles to productivity within management can be more difficult than it seems. It’s easier to make tangible changes such as procuring newer equipment or changing up the labor workforce structure than it is to change your organization-wide communication methods.
That’s why it is very important for all businesses, including construction, to keep up to date with new technologies that can help increase worker productivity. Introducing equipment such as powered exoskeletons can greatly improve worker productivity by reducing the physical stress of the job, therefore ensuring more consistent output. Additionally, any equipment that helps prevent on-the-job injuries invariably increases worker productivity, as safer workplaces can greatly improve workers’ overall well-being and contribute to more productive workspaces
Systemize Supply Chain
Whenever there are hitches in the procurement of construction materials, there are also bound to be delays in the construction process. With modern communication technologies, coordination between stakeholders in any arena is instantaneous. This can sometimes lead us to believe that less structured practices can not only work, but they might actually be better, as they would allow us to adjust procurement to the varying requirements of different projects. However, having a proper supply-chain management strategy is unequivocally important for construction projects of any scale.
Construction businesses have to reckon with the challenge that not every project requires the same raw materials, and this can make systemizing the supply chain difficult. However, there are lessons for construction in the supply chain systems of retail businesses. Integrating technology-driven predictions with informed stakeholder engagement, and adopting proven strategies from other sectors, can help construction businesses reduce these potential supply chain inefficiencies.
Training for Employees
Best practices in management have made it increasingly clear that training the workforce is an indispensable strategy for achieving both the short-term and long-term goals of any organization. Although construction is generally viewed in terms of self-contained projects, with each requiring fresh recruitment, it would be more broad-sighted to reimagine this perspective. Offering training to employees at all levels, including the on-ground laborers, can benefit a construction business by creating a pool of potential candidates for later projects.
Furthermore, enhanced training programs that offer more than just one-time onboarding training can also increase workforce retention in an industry that is known for the volatility of its workforce. Iterative training can not only help you understand which skills need more attention, but they can also help generate a pool of candidates who know the business inside out and can go on to fill management roles.
Use Productivity Measurement Tools
Perhaps the most important thing in this list is to have reliable ways of measuring gains in productivity. This is true for any business that wants to remain afloat and continue generating profits in a constantly changing consumer landscape. It is equally important for construction. However, it is also difficult to keep track of resource utilization in large construction projects. The easiest way to keep on top of this is to use productivity measurement tools which are built specifically for construction projects.
With their help, you can keep on top of raw materials coming in and going out, labor, and equipment usage. While this step can seem redundant sometimes, it is one of the most important ways any business can test what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to improving productivity in the workplace. And in turn, by implementing these five key measures, a marked improvement in your construction business — in this very real, non-virtual world — can finally be achieved.