Improving productivity and reducing costs is a primary goal of all construction companies. In order to do this however, businesses must examine their current workflow processes to determine what is working well, and what need improvement. Within well-established construction companies however, the workflow processes, including payroll, accounting and document management are most likely outdated and can be improved upon. This article discusses four specific workflow solutions that can help boost productivity and save a business money in the process. Being able to scrutinize your current processes and being open to adapting technology are crucial in ensuring your business achieves success and long-term growth.
Aim for More Productive Meetings
Although meetings are incredibly important methods of communication, many construction companies must assess the effectiveness of each meeting. The key to a successful meeting is preparation and timeliness. Meetings should be quick, concise and should only require discussions that are pertinent to the business. Pre-shift meetings on construction sites are important for updates and any addition news that needs to be transferred. If project managers come prepared however, they can cut down the time each meeting takes and get workers right back to the task at hand.
The same can be said for meetings in the office. The goal is not to eliminate the meetings, but to cut them down in length and frequency. This will take a commitment from upper management to ensure that everyone is doing their part in making each meeting as productive as possible. Also, the construction industry has workers, project managers and site supervisors spread out across a wide geographical location. Having everyone meet in one location may not be the most optimal use of everyone’s time and effort. Consider video or phone meetings, where communication can still be done, without taking people away from their primary focus. Exploring other types of communication also lower transportation costs while still bringing people together.
Look to Streamline Processes
Construction companies of all types and sizes need to carry out large amount of paperwork on a daily basis. Whether it is storing customer information, work orders, billing information or other documents. Thousands of files and records has to be maintained which drives up administrative costs. Furthermore, storing large quantities of paper in filing cabinets can also be a financial burden on construction companies. With files stored away, time spent searching and retrieving documents is also increased, ultimately slowing down the productivity of the entire operation. Tracking and recording information is vital for any construction company, and many businesses still utilize paper documents while a variety of alternatives now exist. Inspecting what parts of your company can benefit from an update will go a long way in not only modernizing your business, but in creating a more efficient workflow.
In addition to finding inefficiencies in your business, consider converting some of your processes to create a paperless office. There are now a variety of mobile applications and software that companies can use to scan or upload existing documents into an electronic database. Furthermore, paperless billing, mobile invoicing and capturing signatures on smartphones or tablets has become another way to improve workflow. Rather than relying on paper billing or logging work hours on paper, consider making the move to mobile technology. This will also save time needed to transfer data to the office, as most documents will be available online. Also, a trip to the office by field technicians or construction workers is no longer necessary by going paperless. The elimination of paper avoids common administrative delays and is capable of speeding up billing cycles, which can dramatically increase a company’s workflow and productivity.
Hear From Employees
Another key to success for any industry is respecting the views and opinions of its employees. Workflow and productivity can be improved by gathering the thoughts and opinions of employees, and making changes based on what has been suggested. Rather creating rules, take a collaborative approach by taking the ideas of colleagues into consideration. Whether it is your administrative staff or employees in the field, they will have the most insight into how their work can be improved, benefiting the entire business.