How to Improve Construction Efficiency

Learn about resources and tools to better understand and improve efficiency, productivity and quality control in construction.

As the top construction companies around the world will tell you, the key to construction efficiency is making better decisions from the beginning. This starts with setting benchmarks to track every aspect of the project.

Here are a few suggestions construction companies use improve operational efficiency:

1. Insightful data management

You need data to help guide you through the new tech era. The last thing you want to do is throw away precious data that can help you design better with less costly mistakes.

2. Real-time communication

Communication helps solve problems before they occur. When everyone is communicating with the right digital tools, it produces clarity and guidance.

3. Construction efficiency software

Software of this nature is not a luxury but a necessity. This software helps put the tasks in order and keep track of everything, including data.

  • Regular check-ins: Checking in to see the progress is critical. It is essential to discuss situations that can become problems regularly. Having regular check-ins (like Daily Huddles & Weekly Work-plan meetings) creates continuity in the system.
  • Solid training: In-depth training continuously ensures the team knows what they are doing at all times. It is a great way to keep good talent.
  • Experience is key: Investing in training also means you value experience. With experienced workers, you have a better chance of getting the projects done on time and on budget.
  • Gamification of the process: This is another technique that may be essential for productive and motivated workers. When adding a competitive edge, workers can receive incentives for performing efficiently and effectively.
  • Push for digitization: Right now, only 1% or less of total revenue goes toward in IT. Digital tools can boost the team’s performance on-site and throughout the company and is worth the investment.

4. Accountability

Great communication establishes transparency, keeping everyone on the same page. It also helps to see who is accountable for any mistakes or errors.

5. Modular construction

Modular construction utilizing  offsite prefabrication  of building structural units to assemble on site is a growing trend that can save time and money.

How can the construction site improve productivity?

One of the biggest problems in the construction industry is low productivity. The McKinsey Global Institute published an entire report on how to improve productivity in an organization. In addition, there was a comprehensive construction labor productivity analysis done, looking at ways to improve labor productivity

It is no secret the construction industry has a lot to do to be more efficient. One of the best ways to evaluate construction productivity is to calculate the productivity rate with the project. Construction productivity is directly tied to workforce training, experience, and motivation. Therefore, the productivity rate must be factored into the bid, but former data must be considered when estimating person-hour productivity.

Here is how to calculate the productivity of your team:

  • Review the contract and the amount charged for the project.
  • Subtract the price of materials, supplies, and equipment. This calculation estimates the labor cost.
  • Divide the estimated labor cost by the total number of person-hours allotted to the project.
  • Evaluate the total amount of labor paid during the project, then divide the number by the total number of person-hours spent on the project. This calculation is the actual per-hour labor cost.
  • Compare the estimated cost to the actual per-hour labor cost. If the per-hour labor cost estimate is higher than the actual cost, productivity increases. If not, productivity decreases.

What is construction quality control?

The process used in quality management and inspection is called construction quality control, and it handles the entire lifecycle of the construction process. Construction quality control makes sure the project is free from defects, deficiencies, or variations. This control review means the project meets all the standards set before implementation to ensure customer requirements are met. Everything should be done according to the plans, specifications, and permits of the project.

Every process in construction features the designer, planner, and expert. A quality control plan is a critical link between a construction project and the future.

How does quality control impact efficiencies in construction?

Quality control impacts efficiencies in several ways. Here is the standard 5-step construction quality control process:

  • Define and share the acceptance criteria
  • Create an inspection plan
  • Use checklists to conduct inspections
  • Correct deficiencies and verify acceptance criteria
  • Prevent future deficiencies

Quality control and safety during construction are necessary to enhance client satisfaction, ensure workers are safe and maintain quality throughout the project. Therefore, quality and safety are the main concerns for a project’s completion. Depending on the firm’s size, a department may handle quality control assurance, or the product manager will be responsible for ensuring quality control is in place at all times.

Why Is Quality Control Important?

Quality control is important because it:

  • Helps compliance with specifications

A compliance review must make the quality factor during design and planning rather than during construction. Factoring in quality is the time when configurations, material specifications, and functional performance are decided. Quality control in this area is to make sure the team conforms to the original plan.

  • Reduces costs

When there are defects or deficiencies, this could be costly to the project. In this area, quality control helps decrease costs by lowering the levels of work that has to be redone, cutting costs, and improving production efficiency and productivity.

  • Avoids accidents on the construction site

Safety is key. In this area, quality control is links to the planning and design process. Little things like separating traffic from construction areas, wearing all the required PPE such as hard hats, and other factors can reduce the possibility of accidents on and off-site.

What Improvements Lead to Efficiency in Construction?

With efficiency and quality control, there is always room for improvement in the construction industry. Questions often occur on topics such as:

  • Improving contractor performance
  • Enhancing construction management
  • Building a construction business
  • Increasing quality control in construction
  • Speeding up construction projects

Addressing quality topics for construction will only work to enhance quality improvement in construction projects. Having a knowledgeable team in place to successfully carry out efficiency initiatives is critical.

Career Opportunities in Construction that Impact Efficiency

There are individual roles in construction directly related to efficiencies, such as the construction production manager and the construction production coordinator.

Here is an example of the construction production manager job description:

The Construction Manager / Production Manager

  • The Construction Manager / Production Manager will have experience in renovation, construction production, and management to oversee building modifications and construction while working with the Inventory Center Manager to deliver products to clients while maintaining production standards. Create and maintain relationships with other managers and departments to support a cohesive team environment to serve the customer. Ensure quality, safety, compliance, training, and performance standards are met. Oversee and manage construction activities, three direct reports, and 60+ production workers. Produce quality modular construction projects on time while meeting budget requirements. Manage multiple construction groups working on various modifications or repairs on modular buildings. Maintain a construction schedule and material flow, identify and solve problems. Ensure code and quality compliance of completed work in accordance with appropriate UBC, IBC, NEC, ADA and Fire, Life and Safety compliance. Maintain and develop a positive and efficient work environment. Lead the LEAN initiatives to improve efficiencies in the work environment. Train and mentor employees to be ready to step into key positions, supervisory, and management roles. Adhere to company policy training and safety training sessions.

Background Profile

  • Construction Manager / Production Manager Background Profile: Bachelor’s of Science Preferred 3-5+ years of experience managing projects and people within the construction industry Bilingual Spanish preferred but not required Must be familiar with building code and construction methods Previous experience in construction, remodeling, renovations, repairs and/or modification to buildings both interior and exterior Must have experience reading blueprints and completing project estimates Familiarity with construction trades: Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC Ability to multitask as well as prioritize and adjust schedules as well as maintain a high sense of urgency within the production team Must be highly efficient in MS Office Suite as well as hands-on computer usage.

The construction production manager’s salary ranges from $64,376 up to $105,375 per year. The construction product coordinator’s job description is similar to the production manager but does not need detailed experience, and the role is not as heavy.

How does technology help construction efficiency?

Construction management software like Touchplan helps simplify construction management processes and create efficiencies. It helps streamline the day-to-day operations, schedules projects, and improves delivery.

Construction management software also allows stakeholders to communicate in real-time, encouraging collaboration from one or more locations. For example, sending a rendering to someone on a job site increases productivity. It’s essential to manage resources and build construction efficiency properly, and software that offers the ability to track and document an entire project from start to finish is vital.

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