Peter Drucker, the famed management consultant, once eloquently stated that “efficiency is doing better what is already being done.”
The profound statement captures that efficiency is not based on trying to reinvent something or deconstruct what already works. It’s about taking what has already been established and trying to find better ways to do the same thing.
The same could be said of the construction industry. There are many incremental steps that you can take to achieve construction site efficiency that supports the project, your company, and the owner. Let’s examine some easy steps that you can implement right away.
Achieve Construction Site Efficiency Through These Steps
1. Ensure Contract Alignment
There are many different contract delivery methods in construction. It’s important to review whether the primary parties in a particular contract are aligned around the financial rewards, incentives, risks, costs, timeline, and accepted quality. If not, you may need to discuss a change to how your contracts are structured.
Successful contract alignment is one of the most important ways to increase project efficiency, reduce waste that contributes to inefficiencies, and maximize value to the owner. This way, everyone is on the same page driving toward a common goal of successful project delivery.
2. Focus on Ethics
The construction industry relies on a system of ethical competence, management excellence,
and fair dealings so that constructors can serve the public with safety and efficiency.
Ethical issues should not be swept under the rug as the cost of doing business. Instead, your company should take an important step of reviewing common ethical issues, addressing these issues head-on, and ensuring that all personnel involved in construction works are aligned around doing the right thing in the right way.
Committing to ethics in construction allows personnel to work efficiently at the construction site because they are confident that everyone is working in the best interest of the project.
3. Utilize Postconstruction Meetings
Postconstruction meetings typically occur after the completion of a construction project or major phases of larger construction projects. These meetings are incredibly valuable to support construction site efficiency — if the feedback is implemented back into construction site processes.
Companies should perform a comprehensive review of how the construction project was completed, gather feedback from stakeholders, analyze strengths and weaknesses, and then take action implementing changes. Implementing what was learned is an important step to support continuous improvement and greater efficiency at future construction sites.
4. Review Material Usage
During a postconstruction meeting, one of the key topics to review is material efficiency.
- How was material procurement handled?
- Did we end up with too much or too little material?
- How much material was wasted due to re-work?
- What can we do to reduce re-work?
Reviewing material usage can help reduce costs associated with gathering material. Performing this review can also help uncover root issues that are causing re-work, which often drives up the cost of a construction project. Don’t skip this step of reviewing material usage to optimize efficiency on future projects.
5. Review Equipment Usage
Similar to material usage, companies need to review equipment usage at the construction site. Material handling is a key component of job site efficiency because the wrong equipment being used in the wrong way could lead to safety issues, re-work, wasted material, and project delays.
After the construction project, it’s important to perform an in-depth review:
- Did we properly select construction equipment (e.g. cranes, forklifts, etc.)?
- Did we properly use the selected construction equipment?
- Did we properly train personnel on how to use the equipment?
- Did we properly record any incidents that could be used to support future jobs?
Following through on material handling issues will help identify gaps in selection, usage, training, or recording. Then, this review can be used to guide you on how to implement new procedures or processes that support the efficient use of equipment.
Implement These Steps to Support Construction Site Efficiency
Every company faces unique challenges supporting the construction site. The key is to prioritize which of the steps are most important to follow through on right now to support construction site efficiency.
Do you need to ensure contract alignment, reinforce the importance of construction ethics, better utilize post-construction meetings, or review material and equipment usage to reduce re-work?
Find a starting point, then start working toward implementing these steps to realize tangible changes and improvements. We also encourage you to subscribe to our email newsletter to receive more helpful information and resources directly to your inbox.
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