5 ways to increase productivity in construction

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Construction companies are already looking for ways to become more efficient and to increase profitability.

There is roughly £8.5 trillion in construction-related spending globally. The sector employs 7 percent of the world’s working population and, by building the structures in which we live and work, which create our energy, materials, and goods, and on which we travel, has an impact well beyond its own boundaries.

Construction matters
However, construction is one of the sectors that suffers from the lowest productivity rates, time delays and overrun costs. One of the reasons is that other sectors have transformed themselves to match the market evolution marking a significant growth in productivity levels over the last two decades. In manufacturing, for example, lean principles and aggressive automation have been introduced to the vast majority of businesses and the sector is enjoying healthy margins from production.

For comparison, the margins in the construction industry can be as low as 1-2%. At the same time, there is a big push on the construction industry as the demand for housing alone is increasing fast.

In order for the sector to catch up with the other sectors and the growing needs, more focus and attention need to be given to introducing digital solutions in the project control and process management.

5 ways to increase productivity in construction

  1. Efficient document management and contractual framework establishing ‘a single source of the truth’
    Relying on various tools each exceptional in its area may seem a great strategic step in digitising your business but it is not really of much help when they are not integrated and ‘talking to one another’. Transferring information is not only an extremely slow and tedious process but also prone to mistakes. Businesses need to be aiming at single end-to-end platform that allows real-time visibility across departments and represents ‘a single source of the truth.
  2. Rethinking designing and engineering processes by involving BIM
    BIM is one of the technology trends that is steadily growing in the construction industry – it allows for a structured approach towards designing, building, servicing and maintaining of buildings. BIM provides better forecasting and predictability for construction;
  3. Improving procurement and supply-management processes
    Introduce an approval and permissions structure and eliminate bottlenecks while empowering staff and increasing productivity;
  4. Improving on-site management and the work breakdown structure
    Automate CIS verifications with simple digital tools and save a lot of admin time that can be utilised much better at precise planning for every stage of your construction projects;
  5. Utilise digital technology for better Cost reports and real-time visibility on projects
    Save time and admin costs by automating CVR and relying on accurate reports generated by your solution.

These are well known truths. The potential for increased productivity and, hence, margins, is there, it already exists. The time is now to leave behind the status quo and embrace change that holds the key for higher productivity.

Learn about solutions that are specifically designed for construction business to help you optimise your processes at www.4ps.co.uk/solutions

More information on Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity can be found in the McKinsey & Co report here

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