Hidden Project Inefficiencies Your Contracting Business Should Consider

Since COVID-19 is changing lots of industries, it may be an ideal time to rethink your processes. You’ll be spending more time on certain aspects of your workflow, while others may have to go out the window entirely. But you don’t want to go back to a pattern of overpromising and under-delivering, even if that’s common in the industry. Here are a few inefficiencies you should consider, so that your project timelines can remain accurate now and in the future.

Finding Workers
Just this spring, the construction industry in the United States laid off nearly 1,000,000 workers. It’s hard to tell at this time exactly how that will affect your ability to find skilled employees and subcontractors for your project. But since construction was already facing a labor shortage, you can expect that whatever you need someone to do, it will probably take longer to locate them. People in busy, expert fields will likely continue to have high demand for their services. As such, you may not know for sure how long it will take to secure someone’s work until you have already done so. Be sure to research averages if you don’t have a regular subcontractor for a particular task.

Moving Equipment
The time it takes to move equipment to and from the jobsite depends on:

  • Where it’s currently located
  • How big it is
  • What it takes to get it there

Some tools are easy for you to transport, while others may require a rental company to handle delivery. Keep in mind that pandemic-related closures may cause delays in your ability to rent equipment or have it delivered to a particular jobsite. You also may have to wait to pick something up, if you are handling the delivery on your own. This will add extra time to your project delivery schedule.

Waiting on Tasks
If there was any industry that could figure out how to get work done more quickly just by adding more people, construction would be it. However, there are certain tasks that simply take a specified amount of time no matter how much you want to rush it. In a new era of staggered shifts and social distancing, you may spend more time waiting for tasks to be completed in order to move to the next step of the project. Identifying which jobs can be done at the same time, and which ones must be done in a certain order, can help you figure out how to stagger shifts for the best productivity.

Site Cleanup
For a lot of jobsites, clean up and sanitation is something that happened a couple of times a week. Now, it will almost certainly need to take much more time. This is because virus prevention requires careful sanitation at least daily, if not more frequently. Forming regular habits of clearing a particular spot of debris and sanitizing the equipment can help to make the process more efficient. But if you have to do it between tasks, you should factor that delay into your daily schedule.

Paperwork
It is usually good to have more than one person looking at agreements before you commit to them. If you are working on a public works project, it may be a requirement. This can add weeks or even a month or more to your project, depending on what paperwork you need reviewed and who needs to look at it. Although technological innovations have come a long way to make this process shorter and more efficient, you will still encounter plenty of delays in this respect. For example, the time it takes to get certain types of building permits has increased significantly in 2020. You’ll also notice a longer delay for inspectors. Keep tabs on the average wait times and don’t underestimate, so that you can factor them into your bids.

The year 2020 sure is changing the way people in construction think about efficiency. With the right education, you’ll know how to help solve those problems for your contracting business. To get started, visit CSLS today!

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