Five Major Construction Productivity Killers According to Project Managers

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Productivity issues have been plaguing the construction industry for decades. Many construction projects experience significant schedule and cost overruns due to one or more of these top five productivity killers according to project managers across the US.

Lack of equipment

Numerous project managers have cited the lack of equipment as one of their leading productivity killers. Either the needed equipment is at another site, or there’s a lack of availability in the market.

Interruptions to supply chains create delays in manufacturing schedules, leading to long wait times for equipment. Heavy equipment, such as excavators and loaders, can have lead times approaching 12 months. As a result, quality, used equipment has been escalating in price. 

While manufacturing numbers have been depressed for most of the pandemic, construction has continued strong for nearly all of it. Contractors haven’t been able to replace equipment due to long wait times and longer-than-usual repair times due to long wait times on components. 

“Too often, we lack the equipment to move forward with a project,” says Mohammad Colarossi, project manager, Gethrob Construction. “We rent a lot of vibrators and concrete compactors, and too often, we can’t get them when we need them.” 

No construction software app can fix supply chain issues, but a good project management software can help you with your construction resource management. A solution like Linarc can allocate critical equipment to sites based on need automatically.  Reduce lead time and increase site productivity with just-in-time based allocation. 

The Equipment Allocation tool from Linarc project management and collaboration tool helps people manage company equipment. Assign equipment to a job site and set maintenance schedules and operating licenses. Attach equipment requirements to task codes, and Linarc can generate equipment requests.

Then use Linarc Field Apps to record equipment usage, capture fuel data, and add receipts. Equipment reports track usage, fuel efficiency, and maintenance costs for every piece of equipment. View how much time equipment is working and how much time it’s idling. Other insights will help you determine whether to buy or lease equipment. 

Lack of materials 

Supply chain breakdowns are broad-based, so they’re affecting equipment distribution as well as building materials. Building materials include everything from concrete, lumber, and steel to windows, siding, and air conditioners. But you don’t have to let these issues be one of your top productivity killers.

To conquer this issue, you should do two things. Build long-term relationships and trust with your suppliers, so they’re invested in your company’s success. And use a construction workflow management software with a good construction resource management tool.

Resource planning in construction can be challenging. Project managers must attach schedules and costs to all the materials they plan to use.

Linarc has a host of features that can help you reduce downtime due to material delays. With Linarc’s Material Requirement Log, you can collect material requirements with specifications, quantity, and type by project tasks from the web or mobile apps. Then use the Linarc Dispatch Central to ensure your resources go to the right job site at the right time. Finally, manage all vendors on a unified platform and set up vendor evaluation scorecards using Linarc’s Vendor Management. This will help you control costs, reduce risks, increase quality, and improve service delivery.

Poor communication kills productivity

On a construction project, there are a lot of stakeholders and a lot of data. Therefore, there’s a lot of communication as stakeholders need to share project data with each other. 

Communication about a project must happen regularly and proactively. It also helps if everyone uses the same communication tool, so you never have to look for a message. And, when everyone uses a tool that promotes timely responses, projects experience fewer delays.

“Clients and trades can take a long time to reply to messages, which causes delays,” says Agnes Murugi, project manager Kiewit Corporation. “They frequently use email, and I believe responses would come more quickly if everyone used the same messaging service.”

If you communicate via the same construction software app you use to manage the project, then all project data is in the same place. And depending on the software, it may be able to automatically communicate messages, thereby saving time. For example, Linarc’s Automated Notification alerts key members regarding task completion and automatically updates people on the location of field members.

Siloed work kills productivity

Project managers sometimes feel like they are working in a silo. The trades use a construction workflow process separate from the project manager. Reports from the trades are too infrequent. And there’s not enough transparency in meetings to gain an accurate understanding of project details.

A good, cloud-based construction management software will help project managers get their teams out of silos. 

With Linarc Crew Assignment, project managers can improve field productivity and performance with purposeful allocation. They can track crew utilization, measure labor costs, and compare work delivered to work planned. The Linarc Linarc’s Foreman App gives site supervisors the information needed to plan weekly tasks and request the crew and specialists required. The Linarc Timecard & Costs allows crews to add time to tasks with simple clicks. Schedule Linarc to daily calculate payroll, labor cost, and productivity metrics.

Plus, the Jobsite Allocation tool from Linarc will help project managers balance needs across projects. They can also consider labor cost estimated, work to be accomplished, and contract terms before you assign. Linarc’s intelligent allocations can quickly be modified as needed.

With Linarc, working in silos doesn’t need to be one of your top five productivity killers.

Poor technology understanding

Poor understanding of technology is a top productivity killer. One reason construction teams work in silos is that not everyone is working from the same construction apps. 

Choose trades who will use the project management and collaboration tools chosen by the project manager. Buy licenses for them if necessary. If needed, teach them how to use it. This small investment will save you time and headaches down the road. 

“I would like very much for the trades working on my project to use the same project management software I do,” says Michael Olson, Joss Group Pty Ltd. “If they did, I would know what is being done sooner, and I could better manage a construction project.” 

If a technology is easy to use, then people are more likely to use it. So, find a project management solution that is easy to use. 

Users of Linarc have testified to its ease of use and navigation. Linarc is a modern, cloud-based construction management and collaboration platform. Linarc’s easy-to-read dashboard reveals essential project details, so you can quickly and easily learn what’s happening on a job site. This will allow you to make better decisions and avoid these five productivity killers.