The construction industry remains at the core of progressive and developing countries. This is always why a booming build-and-build culture in any area reflects its government’s economic and financial stability. While construction plays a vital role in the country’s overall economy, it is also an enabler of productivity and employment opportunities for the other sectors. However, productivity within construction is a critical challenge that has been experiencing by many generations of builders.
As companies contend with many uncertainties such as political climate and changing business trends, increasing construction productivity is more important than ever before.
Construction Productivity: A Problem For Generations
Several researches have revealed that many issues related to the productivity issues in construction are linked with the construction professional’s reluctance to embrace digital technology where the innovative work is done at the project level.
Factors Affecting the Productivity in Construction Business
a. Lack of skilled employees
b. Talent shortages
c. Lack of information/data to make decisions
d. Change order from clients
e. Too much time spent administrative tasks
f. Scheduling errors
g. Coordination mistakes
h. Misaligned objectives among stakeholders
i. Lack of resources
j. Unforeseen events
There is a tremendous hunger for innovative and positive change in construction, with greater emphasis on quality, trust, and sustainability- and the delivery of more ambitious and advanced builds. However, we need to look beyond the short-term challenges and start looking for long-term solutions to prepare your business for great opportunities ahead. Determining and initiating purposeful action toward the next level can ensure that the construction industry improves productivity and remains competitive for the years to come.
But now, you may be asking, what is the long-term solution needed to gear up the industry for this innovative transition? It is through construction digitization. Don’t know where to start? In this blog, let us show you how to set up the digital groundwork for this new technology.
The Top Biggest Factors Affecting Construction Productivity
1. Labor Issues
At the most basic level, every construction company’s performance comes down to one thing: its people. However, people are a scarce resource, as talented shortages are a long-standing industry challenge.
It’s the lack of people and the lack of skilled workers holding the construction business back. Construction professionals have pointed out that inexperienced and untrained workforce, together with the lack of technical competence amongst the employees, are taking up a significant amount of wasted time in any project.
When there is a shortage in the talent supply, getting the most out of the workers through employee engagement and training becomes even more vital. Unfortunately, many companies are struggling to keep their employees feel motivated and invested in the success of the firm because of a variety of reasons, some of which are:
- Lack of interest
- Lack of professionalism
- Lack of attention to detail
- – No ownership of work
- Model of agency employment
- And pick up and drop culture in the industry
While this is the prevalent case in construction as of the moment, it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. One of the trendiest and most effective ways to recruit workers right now is through the digital solutions that attract new workers to a company. Furthermore, technology also plays a crucial role in attracting fresh faces and retaining and engaging employees, which in turn enables the company to maximize the people they have. Providing employees with digital platforms to use in the office and on job sites can help alleviate the frustrations that damage motivation.
Technology can also help alleviate the issues of workforce churn. Digital solutions, like ProCrew Schedule, can be used as a project management tool or even a subcontractor scheduling software to create systems and processes for work on-site, in the office, or even remotely. This helps in managing construction schedules, task distribution, and keeping track of your employees’ movements. In this way, you will evaluate the productivity of your workers and keep them invested in the company’s success.
2. Information Issues
The most significant factor observed on-site is the lack of information needed on-site, a common issue in businesses operating in a traditional setting. Knowing that construction’s talent shortages are critical in measuring employees’ productivity, it is vital to explore where and how hours are being wasted in business settings. One of the research showed that the second most common barrier to construction productivity was the lack of information to make a confident decision, no matter how big or small.
Poor communication also contributes to this dilemma that affects the employees and the stakeholders associated with the project. Poor communication issues such as late client information, inadequate design information, and incomplete information from consultants are problems that can be avoided with digital solutions.
The Flow of Information
The flow of information in any construction project highly depends on the business, which can also be attributed to decreased productivity. In worst cases, issues with information sharing can lead to tremendous mistakes and even more costly rework.
Ensuring that teams have accurate and updated information on hand is vital to building construction projects. Still, it can take up hours and even days or weeks of the project manager’s time to keep every employee on track with the project’s timeline without the right technology in place.
The good news is, there is web-based project management software that businesses can incorporate on the job site to get the latest data while simultaneously streamlining the processes and ensuring that every employee is spending their time in valuable tasks or activities. Improving the flow of information in a business can dramatically increase productivity and help teams collaborate with other partners on a project, from project managers down to the designers.
Simultaneously, improving the collection and use of data will gear construction businesses with new opportunities from now on, whether through using the latest technology, offering new construction services, or supporting a more informed and digitized business strategy. By focusing on information sharing, construction businesses can quickly improve both their performance and overall productivity.
Progress With Digital Solutions
Productivity is not merely about the work completed within one’s construction business. Performance on a job can also be determined by how well project stakeholders can collaborate- whether you’re a general contractor, subcontractor, consultant, designer, or client.
However, it is still easy to make mistakes when collaborating. Issues such as scheduling mistakes and coordination can happen that can contribute to productivity drain in a workplace. Even though this is the case, everyone’s performance could be improved by streamlined communication with digital platforms made specifically for construction. Everyone can access a single source of truth for all duration of the project operation.
Activities that take up the most wasted and unnecessary time in building construction projects:
- Inefficient construction processes
- Rectifying mistakes or rework
- Resolution of conflicts
- Scheduling communication
- Meeting with project stakeholders
- Jobsite logistics and coordination
- Transferring information and data between systems
- Traditional project management for construction processes
As we all know, construction is a highly collaborative sector. Transparency and trust between the team are key to building strong relationships that will ultimately lead to greater productivity and profitability for everyone to improve in the project. The starting line is finding better ways to work and collaborate, including improving communication and flow of information between stakeholders and the organization.
Incorporating a common digital platform can keep all the collaborators involved while avoiding conflicts and supporting the project’s timely completion. This also provides each stakeholder access to valuable data that can be used even after the project close-out to improve the business’s systems or support the building’s long-term management and maintenance. Adopting digital tools will help build a long-lasting and trusted partnership between general contractors, subcontractors, clients and beyond, and support the industry-wide change in culture and workflow.
Poor productivity in the construction industry has often been linked to slow adaptation of technology. Construction, being one of the oldest and most traditional industries, has been one of the least digitized sectors worldwide, second only to agriculture.
It is vital that firms accelerate their technology adaptation right now.
Although it’s a massive step that construction firms have implemented more technology in the past decade, most of this business remains reliant on paper – specifically when it comes to where the work is carried out both in the office and on the job site. The firm’s slow progression in this area is why many are still experiencing the same productivity challenges as in the past years.
Choosing technology designed for the job site and the office, convenient and easy to use, and readily integrates with your current platforms will deliver meaningful benefits.
Are you interested in taking the first step in the digital transformation of your construction business? ProCrew Schedule offers a free trial for 30 days with all features included. Everything your company needs, in one tiny package. There is no better time to turn digital but now.