One of the biggest ways to go over budget and get behind on a job is time-wasting activities. Makes sense, of course, but the problem for some businesses is identifying those time wasters – and stopping them before they start.
Here are the five biggest factors that lead to wasted time, and more importantly, ways you can avoid them.
- When You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail!
Anytime you plan a job, you map out the timeline and the milestones you expect to reach by specific dates. You follow a number of different plans, from the budgeting of the materials to ensuring you have the right number of people on the job site each day.
Where the time wasters come in is a lack of detail in the plans and lack of communication of the plans. A lot of time is wasted on the job site when the crew is trying to figure out how to get materials brought in and waste taken out.
MFCP tip: Help yourself by creating a more detailed plan and sharing it with everyone involved. Seems easy enough, but taking into account the best way to communicate with everyone (lists, visuals, etc.) will save time having to explain the plan, and eliminate time wasted while the crew tries to figure out exactly what that plan is.
- What Are You Waiting For?
You can see the dollar bills going up in flames while the crew stands around and waits for instructions or for materials to arrive. (Isn’t there a saying that a guy can’t dig a hole without five people standing around watching?)
MFCP tip: Try prepping the site at the end of each day. This keeps the crew from having to waste good productivity time on getting the site set up before they can begin work. If you haven’t before, also try an early morning stand-up meeting to clarify each task that needs to be accomplished that day, and outline how those tasks will be achieved. This ensures everyone is on the same page, held accountable, and eliminates the possibility of rework and wasted resources.
- Organization is the Key to Efficiency
A job site that is kept clean and organized helps with the productivity flow and also increases safety on site.
- Have the disposal area centrally located and make sure the removal of waste is well managed.
- When tools or other materials are not in use, make sure they are put away or properly stored. (Not only does this save time when looking for the tool you need, but it increases safety by removing tripping hazards.)
- Keep areas as clean as possible. If water or grease spills occur, clean them immediately to prevent falls and eliminate a more difficult cleaning process later.
- When disposing of scrap, make sure all nails are hammered in and any sharp ends are capped or bent in.
- Safety First, Last, and Always
When a member of your crew is injured on the job, you will see a tremendous slowing of productivity and an inherent shift in moral. Of course, safety is your first priority, but you have to stay on top of it to make sure that corners aren’t being cut, increasing the hazards and the risk of injury.
MFCP tip: Schedule regular safety meetings as a way to keep your employees on task for safety measures. Make sure safety gear is worn at all times, even if it’s uncomfortable, and all for regular breaks to reduce exhaustion related accidents. Creating a safe work environment saves money in the long run, and lets your crew know you care about their safety.
- Where’s My Hammer?
Searching for the right tool can waste time and money on a busy job site. Even worse is when the required tool or product isn’t even on site and work comes to a stand still while someone runs out to pick one up. (When it comes to having the right products, consider a vendor managed inventory approach.)
MFCP tip: Keep tools well organized by creating and maintaining a tool inventory sheet. Have the crew check them in and out, so you always know where each tool is and when or if it was returned. This prevents wasted time searching for a missing item. Just check the sheet and see who had it last.
Making sure you have all the necessary tools before you start a job is another great time saver. If you’ll be required to use tools that are not overly common, make sure you have an instruction guide on hand so that everyone can become familiar with the operation of the tool before using it.