Agile Construction® Blog

3 Hidden Costs Of Construction Projects

Jul 30, 2020 11:27:05 AM / by Nicholas Aloisio


Having grown up around construction most of my life, I became used to seeing  material randomly placed everywhere, workers searching endlessly for tools, people literally working on top of each other and countless other frustrating issues.  Only recently, since working with Dr. Perry and the team at MCA,  have I begun to really think about the monetary impact of these distractions.  In this blog, we will take a look at 3  of these disturbances and discuss how to track and, ultimately limit their impact.  Check Out 4 Tips To Improve Productivity Here


1: Material

Other trades in the way

Take a look at the image above.  Chances are that if you walk any of your current job sites, you'll find something similar. The reality is that most on the job site view this as "normal".   The sad truth, however, is that this mismanagement of material  represents the greatest productivity killer on a job site.  Spend some time watching workers on your project and you will quickly notice how much time they actually spend moving material around and out of the way.  Every time they do this, it costs the company money.  EVERY TIME.  It is an epidemic and has become this way because most project managers front load their jobs in order to bill for material and recoup that cost as quickly as possible.  The simple fact is that this is the epitomy of "stepping over a dollar to save a dime".  The net impact of this on the productivity of the field team can stretch into the millions of dollars depending on how large the job is.  In order to eliminate this issue, we must break down our work and plan more effectively.  We can also work directly with our vendors to establish VMI or incorporate their assistance in laying out the material in a more effective manner.  Incorporating some basic planning and vendor management can go a long way toward making your job site more efficient and therefore more profitable.  We must also track and measure the impact of these occurrences inside JPAC® and SIS® in order to understand the true cost impact.

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2: Rework 

"Failure to Plan Results In Planning To Fail".  Another huge issue on job sites is rework due to field errors, GC directives, etc.  Ask your field personnel how many times they have had to re install or move things on a job site and you will likely be shocked at the answer.  More shocking is the fact that, many times,  your team completes these tasks without authorization or a change order in order to track and be compensated.  Limiting the impact of this requires multiple pronged approach.  First, education of your team is a must.  Project managers must relay directives to their field team that no work is to be completed without authorization and that process must be constantly checked and followed.   While field directives are certainly the more sinister version of rework, there is still basic rework that is born out of simple errors in the field.  Many times, these errors can be significantly reduced by incorporating effective planning as well as prefabrication.  Regardless, capturing all instances of rework is a must so quantification of the impact can take place and adjustments can be made.

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3: Trade Interference

Working off of a schedule that was completed months prior, and even worse submitted by the general contractor rather than your team is an absolute exercise in futility. Trade interference is one of the most frustrating, yet avoidable distraction in construction.  Short Interval Scheduling is the answer to reducing the impact of trade interference.  SIS® gives you and your team the ability to plan one day and look ahead 2.  This allows flexibility, which is absolutely critical when working in such a volatile industry.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of contractors rely on a schedule created months prior that is outdated within the first hour that the project kicks off.

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Topics: construction productivity, jpac, sis, production tracking, construction software, improve estimate, estimate accuracy, construction estimate, agile construction, improve productivity, construction tracking, coronavirus, construction scheduling, bid accuracy, labor productivity, labor cost

Nicholas Aloisio

Written by Nicholas Aloisio