Construction Monkey

Construction Monkey Blog

It appears with 2010 behind us, the worst year of this economic calamity is behind us, that is good news.  This upcoming year should show new projects being started which should allow for expansion in revenues and margin.  This increase in construction work however will not be dramatic and increases will be slight over one of the worst years in a generation.  So how are you going to handle the increased business?  I would suggest increasing your productivity, prior to expanding to your cost base.

Since the recession, construction productivity has seen improvements.  Everyone had to do it just to stay alive.  From workers installing more units to managers working additional hours with more responsibility for the same or less pay, productivity has increased due to necessity.  So is there more room improvement?  Yes there is and there is no better time to try new things than when the business is growing.  Once it has grown, the people and process will be entrenched in a way to do things, but if you change now, the opportunity exists to have a break through moment.

Most people and organizations will only change during watershed moments.  Change happened quickly and most were pretty open to it when the market fell out.  That point of transition forced us, due to survival instincts, to change.  Well there is another transition period, just as the line when down, it is now heading back up and at this point you need to figure out how to change to ensure you are the best possible company when times really do get good.  I would suggest improving productivity so that you can maximize efficiency.

There are so many back of house processes and procedures in a construction company that it takes any college graduate a minimum of a year to understand the nuances.  These processes should be the focal point of your productivity enhancement.  You made it through the worst of times, so ensuring that the field workers were meeting competitive bid units is a guarantee. 

How are communications done between the office and the field?  How long does it take to build a report?  Are there double entries of data?  How much paper, paper filing, and multiple filing systems are piling up in the office?  Along with many other examples, back of house processes are sometimes a jungle and like a bureaucracy once they are establish they are rarely changed, just added to.  The worst part of these processes is that they touch your most expensive people, the managers.

I would suggest that you take the beginning of 2011 to look at your back of house processes.  See where you can change/abolish/improve these processes.  It will make the company more competitive than going back to work like it is 2007 again.

About the Author

Craig Pierce

Craig Pierce has been working in the construction industry for the past 25 years helping subcontractors master their trade. Currently he is President of Atalanta Enterprises which provides consulting services to contractors And software solutions through ConstructionMonkey.com.