Increasing Labor Utilization through Process and Software Solution Alignment
By: Stephen Anderson – Project Manager
Currently, the North American workforce is experiencing an increasingly tight labor market. With these pressures in place and no short-term relief forecasted, the maximization of labor output is a top concern for general and specialty contractors in the market today. One of the less discussed issues involves the technology, data input, and reporting loads placed upon field leadership staff. These loads are required to support the growing needs of a modern construction company, and there is a clear need to choose the correct software solutions to satisfy these requirements.
A software solution is put in place in a modern construction ecosystem to alleviate as much of this load as possible and provide opportunities rather than restrictions to the end users. At this time, core current software solutioning has been designed to aid in the management, tracking, enforcement, and collection of job-specific information, but the back-end demands have, in many cases, outpaced the benefits of the solutions implemented.
A unique confounding variable to these issues is that construction companies have a wide variety of complexities and individual differences in management, execution, and performance processes that make it difficult to determine what solutions would be the best fit. And so, the desired procedural and software solutions often do not meet expectations or desired outputs as outlined in the management plan.
Why is This Such a Big Issue, and How Does it Affect a Team?
Construction sites have dynamic work environments where issues and opportunities related to the supply chain, physical conditions, material concerns, and design developments need to be controlled, resolved, and worked through every single day. Foreman and superintendents are the greatest agents of control, production, and risk mitigation. The best way to ensure success is to maximize the amount of time in their day spent on production and value-added work.
While technology and software solutions have made a significant impact on delivering modern-day enhancements and efficiencies to their daily workload, they have also unintentionally loaded the field staff with additional tasks. Daily logs, manpower reports, work site audits, time capture, safety documentation, and progress capture, while all vital to a modern-day construction company, come with a significant time load on the top field supervisory staff. While certain tasks can be delegated, the overall burden can infringe on the worker’s effective time on site when it comes to supervision and site-specific activities.
Unfortunately, the reality for many contractors is that after software deployment, it can be revealed that a software solution or process can be ill-fitting for the reality of work on site. These issues can come from a variety of sources, the most common of which we have seen are lack from lack of true mobile support, misalignment with current processes, time-intensive manual entry requirements, and usability or stability issues.
These issues can snowball and endanger the progress of a project, jeopardize the integrity of the data collected, or simply reduce the effective time that your management staff spend out on the jobsite with the project teams. These losses compound daily, and while small, they can lead to larger losses and inefficiencies when applied at scale within the workforce over the course of a month or year.
But there is an opportunity for real strategic advantage in this. A deeper understanding and management of information and technology load can allow for growth and capability for the teams if managed and implemented properly. Opportunities like creating efficiency or resource dashboards, streamlining inputs, and eliminating double entry, or providing greater ease-of use can alleviate time burden as well as help improve jobsite morale and productivity.
What is Unique About Burger’s Approach to this Issue?
Burger Consulting has been serving the construction industry for over twenty-five years, offering a deep well of knowledge of both cutting-edge and industry-standard processes and procedures. When coupled with a comprehensive understanding of the current environment of software solutions and future market offerings, Burger can provide targeted assistance and guidance towards fine-tuning current software utilization or working with your team to create a tailored solution.
Burger works to ensure that proposed solutions take a deep look into current processes at all levels, from management strategy to understanding the pressure points on the end-users on the job sites, all while looking to market best practices for any areas of improvement. Utilizing this process-driven approach, a detailed solution can be implemented.