Britain’s productivity languishes behind that of other economies, and this poor performance is especially prevalent in the construction sector. Site managers will want to reach for every available tool to remedy this situation. One of the most effective ways to bolster productivity is through sound investment.
Inventory Planning and Analytics
Among the most glaring inefficiencies in the industry comes from waiting for supplies to be replenished. Employing multiple bricklayers to loiter on site because there aren’t any bricks for them to lay is enormously wasteful.
We can help to limit this possibility by using the right administrative tools. This might include the right inventory planning software. This can help preserve the ‘just in time’ logistics ethos while still ensuring that minimal time is spent waiting for supplies. It’ll also store reams of actionable data which can help management to make better decisions in the future.
The Right Tools
The importance of the right set of tools is difficult to overstate. Workers who are forced to get by with ailing, worn-out equipment will do their job that much more slowly. Screwdrivers, hammers and rulers can potentially last for decades. Power tools, on the other hand, rely on electric motors which eventually fail.
Moreover, recent improvements in battery capacity and voltage allow for superior performance in cordless tools, which are far quicker to use, and which eliminate dangerous tangles of power-cable trailing all over the workplace. The investment in high-quality cordless power-tools, such as those provided by SGS, is certain to reap benefits.
We should emphasise the importance of consumables, too: replacement sandpaper and replacement saw-blades will maximise the effectiveness (and the lifespan) of any tool.
Regular, Organised Rest
Workers who’ve been on the job for hours on end are, statistically speaking, less productive than workers who are well rested. They’re more likely to suffer lapses in concentration, and more likely to make errors that take time to rectify. This problem can be solved by mandating occasional breaks, and creating a culture where workers are never expected to work excessive hours.
One of the newest productivity-boosting technologies comes in the form of mobile, cloud-based databases. Work diaries allow workers to keep a record of their labour, and thereby keep management apprised of the progress of a particular project. Done right, this vastly decreases the administrative workload – and provides more of that all-important data.
Through a mobile phone, managers also have a means of contacting their workers at all hours of the day – but we should be careful to maintain a strict separation between work hours and rest hours, in order to avoid excessive stress.
It’s worth noting that younger people view this sort of technology as perfectly standard – and, indeed, obligatory. If the construction industry is to attract the new blood that it so desperately needs, then adapting to the digital norms of the wider economy is surely critical.