Worker in safety protective equipment installing concrete floor slab panel at building construction site; boost productivity concept

How to Boost Productivity on Construction Sites During a Labor Shortage

Struggling to hire workers to boost productivity for your construction projects? You’re not alone. 

“ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) estimates that the U.S. construction industry needs to attract about a half million new workers in 2024 to balance supply and demand,” says ABC president and CEO Michael Bellaman. That’s on top of the normal hiring pace to meet regular demand. 

This huge imbalance in supply and demand means it’s going to continue to be a struggle for companies to fill their labor gaps. 

But don’t panic. The silver lining is there are ways you can do more with less and boost productivity on your projects. All you need is the right construction project management software, such as eSUB, to help you better allocate the labor resources you do have and generate efficiencies so your workers can step into different roles to fill those skills gaps. 

Technology Enables Trade Contractors to Allocate Labor More Effectively

How you allocate your labor resources is critical to project success, especially when you are short of workers. If you don’t maximize the productivity of the people you do have, the quality of the work and project profitability suffer while those skills gaps remain and carry over into future jobs.

In order to put the right people in the right jobs so work gets done, you need to identify specifically where the skills gaps are and where you have labor waste so you can reallocate resources to fill the holes. You can’t do any of this without accurate data.    

Data gives you the insights you need to make smarter labor-allocation decisions. “Real-time data collection, for example, gives project managers earlier, more detailed insights about progress, allowing them to intervene more effectively to maintain productivity and keep projects on track,” write McKinsey partners Garo Hovnanian, Ryan Luby, and Shannon Peloquin.

Construction project management software collects, centralizes, and analyzes the data that provides those insights. 

With the software, workers in the field can enter project information through daily reports and field notes in real-time while they are on the job site. The tool centralizes that project-specific labor data so managers can always see exactly which jobs workers are on and how they are spending their time on those jobs. Those analytical insights help determine if you are maximizing each workers’ productivity or if they have the bandwidth to take on more work. 

Using that information to reallocate labor allows you to close skills gaps so projects still have a chance of being completed on time and on budget.

Engineer and architect in hardhats at construction site with blueprint; boost productivity concept

Software Creates Administrative Task Efficiencies So You Can Boost Productivity

One major obstacle to maximizing the productivity of workers is the completion of administrative tasks. 

The more time your people have to spend manually submitting daily reports, field notes and uploading site photos, the less time they have to spend on project-specific tasks. Essentially, manual documentation processes lead to labor waste which is particularly damaging when you are facing a labor shortage.

Construction project management software solves this problem by streamlining project documentation processes and automating some administrative tasks related to project documentation. 

For example, project photos can be immediately uploaded to the app from a mobile device as soon as the picture is taken. This means workers don’t have to spend time connecting a camera to a computer to upload and save photos to project folders. 

Daily reports can also be submitted automatically through the app instead of having to manually enter the information and then either physically deliver the paperwork to the office or email it in. This brings up another area where technology helps create efficiencies — communication. 

“To enhance productivity, consider taking key steps to optimize your communication,” advises the AM Technical Solutions team. Construction project management software helps you achieve this by centralizing documents and data so anyone can access project information at any time. This capability eliminates the need for workers to stop what they are doing to send emails back and forth or make multiple phone calls. 

Creating such efficiencies was critical to Eckstine Electric’s ability to maximize worker productivity. “Instead of being inundated with paper, our workers are more focused on profit-bearing tasks and contributing to the bottom line,” says Renee McEntee, lead project coordinator of Eckstine Electrical. As a result of eSUB replacing manual processes with digital delivery workflows, the company has seen a weekly 10-25 percent increase in employee productivity, McEntee adds.

To learn more about how software can help you maximize the productivity of your workforce, schedule a demo of eSUB Cloud today.

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