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Construction site efficiency

Explore 6 Strategies to Improve Construction Site Efficiency

Construction site efficiency is essential for completing a project profitably and productively. Here’s how to improve it in 6 simple steps.

The AEC sector is perhaps one of the most susceptible to issues related to efficiency, especially during the construction phase.

If the entire construction process can be primarily broken down into three moments (design process, construction process, management process), it is in the construction process, where the actual project execution take place. Precisely where the major risks are concentrated, both in terms of errors, unforeseen events and delays, as well as in terms of a lack of liquidity, resources or supplies.

In this article, we will delve into what is meant by construction site efficiency and why it is crucial for the construction process. Moreover how a professional or a company can improve it!

What is meant by construction efficiency?

The meaning of the word efficiency is often confused with the word efficacy. If efficacy is the ability to achieve a predetermined goal. Efficiency, on the other hand, is the ability to achieve a predetermined end, but with the least amount of resources, time, and labor.

Applying this in the construction sector, we can define efficiency as the ability to carry out and complete a project, using reduced resources and time. While at the same time ensuring high levels of profitability, productivity and quality.

Construction efficiency on a site means that, starting from the use of its resources both human and economic, it proceeds to complete a quality project within the specified time. Therefore adhering to deadlines, satisfying customers and maximizing profits.

Achieving construction efficiency in projects proves to be very complex and full of challenges to overcome. It requires a global analytical vision and great organizational ability but there are some methods to improve it.

Challenges of Efficiency in Construction

Companies must overcome some challenges to achieve efficiency in the construction sector:

  • planning and management process: even today, there is a tendency to bypass the planning phase, always trying to postpone everything to the execution phase. The subsequent result is a poor site management. Starting works without a conscious organization according to project requirements leads to uneven progress. Causing delays, increased expenses and reduced productivity;
  • ability to manage unforeseen events: unforeseen events are always present. Especially in the construction sector. We can hypothesize some and plan actions to ensure that there are not too negative consequences on activities. However we can never absolutely define them all in advance and overcome them. This is why organizational management is essential, identifying priorities and planning corrective actions therefore avoiding serious risks;
  • lack of qualified manpower: often, construction processes cannot be optimized if workers themselves do not have the necessary skills, maintaining low efficiency. Not adequately trained in the use of new tools and automation processes, they are still tied to traditional methods and materials that unfortunately slow down the development of a construction project too much;
  • communication between parties: proactively communicating with stakeholders is difficult but essential to avoid failures. The key is to use efficient communication, sharing channels that overcome personality barriers that collide with each other.

Strategies to Improve Efficiency in Construction

Improving construction efficiency is not simple, and above all, it is not quick; it requires a lot of effort and dedication. However these 6 strategies can help you optimize your way of working:

  1. improve the planning, decision-making and management flow;
  2. invest in training;
  3. group and centralize information;
  4. develop regular maintenance to maximize resource usage;
  5. efficiently manage the supply chain;
  6. leverage emerging technologies for site management and increase efficiency in construction.

Let’s see everything in detail.

Construction site efficiency improvement strategies

Construction site efficiency improvement strategies

1. Improve the Planning, Decision-making and Management Flow

The first step to increase construction efficiency is undoubtedly to improve the planning flow; most construction errors originate in this phase.

Safety plans and scheduling activities, according to shared guidelines, are the preliminary procedures to be carry out in the planning phase. This is done by developing specifications, BIM cost estimates for materials, resources, equipment, labor estimates and preparing for possible hitches.

The next step revolves around the management and decision-making process.

A good manager must develop decision-making skills, understanding how decisions made in the execution phase influence the workflow and move accordingly. Regular site checks ensure clarity on progress and more informed choices.

For project management, one must have great communication and resolution skills in conflict management among the parties involved. Above all, must correct errors that could alter the company’s productivity, causing delays and cost overruns.

Planning in the construction sector with usBIM.project

Planning in the construction sector with usBIM.project

2. Invest in Training

Developing an optimal programming and management flow is not enough if the workforce is not qualified and does not possess the right knowledge, skills or experiences. They need to be adequately trained to be part of it.

Investing in the training of employees or every operator entering the construction site is essential to prevent the emergence of dangers. The construction site is full of hazards and not acting promptly causes errors with even worse consequences. These are often generated by recklessness and lack of workers’ professional preparation.

Periodically developing training courses and using virtual reality tools for on-site training is crucial. They increase operational efficiency on a construction site and enhance safety.

3. Group and Centralize Information

Construction data and information are the lifeblood of all projects. Collecting and managing data helps improve productivity and optimize workflow.
During the execution of a project, a high volume of bureaucratic and design information is produced that needs to be consulted to make informed decisions about the progress of the work.

But if a project generally consists of structural, architectural, plant, economic and environmental drawings. How burdensome can it be to search for the necessary documents?

Centralizing data in a shared cloud platform for construction document management and organizing it disciplinarily undoubtedly requires more programming work. Yet it allows you to create a unique database, where everyone can draw from, simplifying the management process and making it more efficient, reducing downtime. By doing so, documents can always be updated based on any design changes, ensuring reliability and quality.

4. Develop Regular Maintenance to Maximize Resource Usage

Regularly maintaining equipment allows you to keep it in good condition. It extends equipment lifespan and enables operators to carry out their daily work in an efficient and safe manner.
The importance of maintenance processes has increased, especially due to the growing complexity of production processes. Therefore leading more and more managers to implement predictive maintenance processes.

The use of modern technologies such as IoT, AI, or Big Data integrated into asset maintenance software to monitor equipment performance and conditions and to analyze collected data allows detecting defects or problems. Intervening immediately to resolve them and avoiding the onset of major damage.

The mechanical equipment and resources needed to proceed with the construction gain greater value. They reduce sudden downtime improving overall productivity.

Regular maintenance with usBIM.maint

Regular maintenance with usBIM.maint

5. Manage Supply Chain efficiently

The supply chain represents, for a construction company, the network connecting suppliers, manufacturers and distributors: acquiring quality materials at affordable prices is crucial in the AEC sector.
Managing the supply chain means:

  1. supervising all phases and operations that compose it;
  2. ensuring that each operation is efficient and cost-effective;
  3. verifying that all materials are of quality and have compliance approvals;
  4. seeking to increase profits and consequently turnover.

The long delivery times between placing an order and receiving materials have a huge impact on project timelines. To make this process more efficient, it is essential to:

  • carefully study the supply chain, identifying weak points to reinforce;
  • maintain a proactive and fruitful relationship with suppliers, carefully evaluating the most suitable ones and their working capabilities;

It is essential to have more alternatives, as much as using a single supplier can simplify the workflow logistics, it poses various risks and inconveniences in case of delays or non-deliveries.

6. Leverage Emerging Technologies for Site Management to Increase Efficiency in Construction

While the construction sector is lagging behind in adopting emerging technologies, companies actively incorporating them into their daily activities are ahead economically, organizationally, and reputation-wise.
To increase productivity and workflow efficiency, software solutions that support all design and management activities are undoubtedly helpful. However, for them to be genuinely helpful, they must be accompanied by a more open mindset towards change and innovative methodologies.

The planning and programming phase is faster when developed using BIM software: the project’s digital representation, rich in information useful for its execution, allows visualizing and analyzing the building to identify details and specifications. They also help identifying any critical issues, which can be analyzed and studied before arriving on-site, avoiding unnecessary delays.

A construction management software is of great help in organizing tasks within the team in order to reduce risks related to cost overruns, delays, legal and contractual damages. These are typical of the actual execution phase, complex construction processes, deadlines and any on-site issues.

In particular, you can share site reports, transport documents or compliance certificates with colleagues, always archived and available. Tracking therefore all issues by developing increasingly efficient procedures for immediate resolution. You just have to try the solution for free and discover for yourself how usBIM.resolver helps you solve construction site issues in a few simple steps!