While productivity in the manufacturing industry has improved by four hundred percent (400%) over the last century, the construction industry’s productivity has, in even the best case, stayed flat (See Here). To achieve comparable results to those seen in manufacturing, the construction industry must also make the leap to “Industrialization”.
The first step in this process is defining the work via a Work Breakdown Structure or WBS, followed by identifying who does what, where and when. If you are unfamiliar with WBS, CLICK HERE to learn more. The key factor in this process is allowing the field team to define the actual work performed. The “work” includes all of the steps that are tacit knowledge of the skilled tradespeople, which include material handling, studying the drawings, laying out the work, testing and troubleshooting, etc.
Since most of the work on a jobsite, including support tasks such as material handling and clean up, is performed by highly trained, highly paid skilled tradesmen, only around 46 cents of every dollar spent by the contractor transfers to value. This means that almost half of a skilled worker's time is effectively "wasted" performing tasks that others can easily execute. Improvement in this area can only happen after the work has been defined and segregation of work takes place.
If you are wondering why the labor shortage is so prevalent, you need look no further. There is a massive shortage of highly skilled workers which will only continue to exacerbate and those workers are wasting nearly half their time. These highly skilled workers must be focused solely on transferring their knowledge to tasks that require it, not material handling/clean up, etc.
Smart contractors understand that in order to even just survive this impending industrialization of construction®, they must better prepare themselves by learning new techniques and employing measurement tools like JPAC® and obstacle avoidance tools like SIS®. Thankfully, many contractors have already realized this and are educating themselves, implementing job tracking and attempting prefabrication at the very least..
The others who are turning a blind eye and expecting things to "go back to the good old days"?...Only time will tell....
For More Information
For additional information on this topic and other articles on Agile Construction®, you are invited to download MCA’s complimentary e-books at https://mca-soft.com/books/.
To learn more about available software to automate the collection and reporting of Short-Interval Scheduling information and training for your organization, please visit http://www.wemsoftware.com.