Businesses in the construction industry know all to well how easily projects can get bogged down, pushed back or put on pause. Most times these delays are out of your control. That’s why it’s extremely important to focus on the business aspects you CAN control. Like putting practices into place that make your employees work as efficiently as possible, thus making the company as lean as possible.
1. Executive delegation
Depending on the size of your company, you may need to have an established chain of command to keep things running smooth. If you have five active job sites at any given time, assign a foreman or supervisor to each job site. Technicians report to the designated supervisor, who reports to the head of operations, who reports to the business owner (or something like that, relative to your size). If the boss man is constantly dealing with the problems of every which employee, things get overlooked and operations get messy, which does not make for a lean construction business approach.
2. Routine assembly
Regular team huddles are important, whatever the frequency and manner is based on your business needs. Do you need to meet with the entire company every week? Probably not, but maybe once a month or each quarter. It is a good idea to have weekly meetings, at a minimum, with the workers at each job site. Taking a little time away from the physical construction labor can actually translate to lean construction sites. Employees are constantly being moved around based on deadline, demand, skill or other. It’s important to keep each and every team member up to speed on designated projects and processes.
3. Asset management
No one understands better than you how difficult keeping track of company “stuff” is. Especially those expensive tools that you have to share across multiple locations. How much time do your employees spend trying to find the tools they need? Not to mention, that feeling when you realize you’ve lost or misplaced an important tool somewhere along the way. An asset tracking system can help you eliminate lots of this. Try using a tool management system – like us – for improved lean construction practices. Our mobile app provides a cloud-based inventory to keep track of assets and easily check them out from job site to job site. Some type of management system is crucial to company efficiency in this industry.
4. Team communication
Whether it’s radio walkies, a corporate messenger or just their own cellphones, make sure your team can effectively communicate with one another. A chain of command is great, but unproductive, at best, if your employees can’t get ahold of each other to follow it. If a technician needs approval to move forward with a project and the supervisor is nowhere to be found, what do you think they are is doing while they wait? Maybe they have other work to be finished, but you don’t want to take the chance of employees sitting around just because they can’t communicate with their boss.