The pace of residential and commercial construction in Australia over the last decade has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. In 2017, Australia had more cranes in operation than the USA — a staggering thought, but one that drives home the sheer scale and speed of the country’s expansion. But despite the record amount of development, the construction industry has nonetheless been criticised for being prone to mismanagement and inefficiencies.
Combating this perception is multifaceted. It involves streamlining processes, minimising resource wastage, improving profitability and perhaps most importantly, improving productivity. There’s no question that any one of these would be a challenging task, but fortunately, you’re not facing it alone. If you’ve been wondering how to improve productivity in the construction industry, read to discover our top tips.
1. The importance of diligent planning and workflow management
Construction is complex. From the delivery of materials and equipment, to managing vendors and contractors and coordinating the logistics of different departments, there are many interconnecting elements that can go awry. So before the supplies have been ordered and the first nail is hammered, extensive planning processes must be carried out.
Any unexpected adjustment or delay can hurt your construction productivity and contribute to slippage and cost overruns that can compromise the delivery of your project. But with an effective plan, you can get ahead of these issues.
Some of the other long-term benefits can include:
- A timely handover
- Projects that are cost-effective and time-efficient
- The overall project is more profitable
- Reputational boost
- An increase in the company’s value
2. Organise your site for orderly workflows
One way you can improve labour productivity in the construction industry is by maintaining an organised site. While no worksite is going to be spotless, it should stay tidy. When a construction site is cluttered by debris, rubbish and excess wasted materials, occupational hazards and accidents are more likely to occur — slowing construction and reducing your workforce.
Additionally, when contractors can’t locate their tools and materials, they squander time searching for them instead of focusing on their tasks. This further reduces productivity — especially when you’re working in stages, where one section must be completed before the next team can step in.
3. Managing your inventory
Effective inventory management has an enormous impact on your worksite’s productivity, not to mention cost efficiencies during construction. Some materials may need to be ordered a long time in advance. Poor stock organisation may incur extra unplanned costs due to rush fees and expensive freight costs, especially if materials are dispatched from overseas suppliers. Maintaining an accurate forecast of the materials and tools needed will help you eliminate excess supplies and keep your projects productive.
Day-to-day logistics are also critical. While it’s essential to have all the materials, tools and equipment on hand so your contractors can carry out their work, it’s also a process that needs to be carefully managed. Ensuring parts are available only as needed prevents them from cluttering the worksite, becoming damaged or compromised by the weather, or even stolen.
4. Set realistic timelines
Even if you have an expert team behind you, there will always be unexpected variables that come up during any construction project. Being overly ambitious with timeframes will set you up for failure from the start. Timelines that are too short may result in a disenfranchised workforce, absenteeism and can lead to increased costs to remedy mistakes. Additionally, poor timing can indicate that a project has been poorly estimated during the tender and reflects poorly on the business overall.
So if you’re wondering how you can improve labour productivity in the construction industry by managing your timeline, evaluate the performance of your teams during previous projects and use that data to create a baseline to cost the resources needed to complete each task.
5. Utilise prefabricated building systems
Constructing modular or prefabricated components offsite has become an increasingly popular option in the construction industry, allowing companies and clients alike to benefit from increased productivity. Concrete prefab elements are particularly popular, as they can be built offsite and then shipped onto the job site as and when required. Hacks like this allow you to maintain better control of budget and resources whilst enhancing the profitability of your project.
6. End-to-end ERP software
If you want to know how you can improve productivity in the construction industry, utilising the latest technologies — like Nexvia’s Enterprise Resource Planning software — is one of the best places to start. Project management software creates a central point of contact for all your contractors and employees to refer to as a single source of truth. You can replace multiple programs with one end-to-end system that captures all of your construction documents, including plans, RFIs, daily reports and change orders in one easy-to-read platform. Project management software allows you and your team to track completed tasks and document changes in real-time, increasing productivity through effective communication and collaboration between all departments and stakeholders involved in your construction project.
Increase your construction project’s productivity with Nexvia
Want to learn more about how to improve productivity in the construction industry? Nexvia offers your firm a cloud-based project management solution to support effective communication and collaboration in any project you undertake.
When you’re looking to streamline your business or win new tenders, you need the right tools behind you. Our end to end software will allow you to:
- Track onsite contractors and vendors
- Create, update and sign off on defects
- Document and share photos and videos with your office
- Complete on-site installation checks for quality assurance
- Create and track requests for materials, equipment, labour or variations
- Review the project schedule to identify where contractors are allocated and what they are assigned
- Manage on-site deliveries and load lists
- Conduct fast on-site safety audits for each project
- Quickly submit incident reports from the mobile app
- Store safety documents and site inductions
To find out more about how Nexvia’s project management software can help your business, book a live demo with our team. For small, medium and large construction firms, we will deliver you a detailed and tailored overview of how you can achieve the best results with our software. If you have questions about our ERP platform — or anything else — don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re looking forward to working with you to enhance the way your company does business on the building site.