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6 Minute Read
April 2, 2020
Everyone knows how excited everyone gets when you’re awarded a big new project. It’s a big win for estimators and salespeople, and it certainly makes people in the top-floor offices smile.
However, while everyone else might be celebrating now, commercial operations managers know that the real work is only beginning. It takes a lot to deliver a successful and profitable project. If you’re like most people in commercial management in construction, you’re always looking for new ways to improve construction project performance. Here are a few ideas that might help.
One of the best ways to improve construction project performance is to improve your planning. That means spending more time analysing plans, specifications and budgets, sourcing materials, purchasing specialist equipment, developing project schedules and more.
Excellent project planning allows your team to pre-build the project on paper so that you can identify challenges and opportunities and allocate resources and staff more efficiently.
No one wants to think about things going wrong – unless they’re in commercial construction operations and they want to improve construction project performance!
By carefully considering what could go wrong on-site – whether it’s related to working with other contractors, late deliveries, health and safety, or something else – you can create plans to mitigate risk, reduce costs and offset lost time.
Everyone working on your project site should have a detailed understanding of what is being done, what order the different tasks and trades need to be tackled in, and everything else required to complete the job properly.
Lean construction depends on communication at every level. So don’t restrict your project meetings and briefings to management only. Ensure that foremen and tradespeople have all the information they need to succeed.
While you’re ensuring that everyone has the right information, ensure you also have the most up up-to-date versions of documents and drawings on site. Working with outdated information costs time and money.
If you’re new to the concepts of lean construction and cost-saving in construction, you might be tempted to make budget cuts that make sense on paper but don’t translate to the construction site.
Sometimes, investing in new technologies, labour-saving equipment, and innovative materials might seem more expensive, but can actually save time and effort. You might also consider increasing your on-site labour to speed up production if it makes sense for your project plan. In construction, time really is money, so these kinds of investments could deliver higher profits.
Lean construction is always about reducing waste. That means not only not wasting time or money on individual projects, but also not having unused equipment standing idle on construction sites and ensuring that your construction crews meet their production targets. It’s a complex network of checks and balances throughout your organisation, all designed to deliver the best possible results for the lowest possible cost.
As you’re developing plans and systems to improve project profitability, try to ensure that you always get maximum value from every resource. It’s not just about one project, either. Better commercial management in construction will improve the progress of all your projects, which means more profit in the bank.
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