Have you ever been called or sent to take over a job that feels like you just jumped on board of a sinking ship? One that is either losing money, behind schedule or has quality issues? Then you need to try these three easy steps to help get it back on track quickly!
Clean The Job
More often than not an un-organized, messy job is usually behind schedule or poor on quality. If you want an efficient job, it needs to be clean and organized. By cleaning up the job, it not only makes it easier for the crews to work in and around so they can be more efficient, but it also shows progress and change. When you’re trying to change a job this will help with immediate results by changing the environment they work in from a messy, unsafe area to an area clear and free of materials and debris.
Supply Crews with the necessary: Materials, Tools, Equipment and Long Lead Items.
There is nothing more frustrating for a crew than to be waiting on information, tools, equipment or materials. The whole objective of a supervisor is to ensure all of this is taken care of before they even start work, clear a path for your crew to be successful. So don’t just look at the immediate needs, start looking ahead. Create a schedule with materials, tools and equipment needs for the activities. This will help ensure there will not be any hold ups.
Give them a reasonable objective to hit. If your behind and try giving them un-reachable goals, it will only add to the hate and discontent they have now. Start off with a couple of goals you know they can hit. Build up their confidence, then, start pushing once confidence is achieved. After that they will welcome a challenge and looking forward to what they can achieve now.
There could be many reasons a job starts going south, in order to fix the problem you need to first identify and remove the problem: this could be the wrong supervisor or foreman on the job or it could be a problem with the sequencing and logistics. Whatever it is, once you identify the problem and remove the cause, it is your responsibility to find a solution to get it back on track. The three listed above are just some general items to help you get the job organized.
Talk to the crews, contractors and sub contractors and get their opinion of why the job has not been performing like it should. Remember any feedback you receive can only help you identify the real problem so you can correct it.
How important is organization on your job site? Have you ever thought about what it costs to be unorganized? Most all of us could use some improvement in this area. More jobs than not are in some serious need of organization. However, it doesn't stop there. Not only should a job be clean and organized, but efficient as well. I mean, what good is it to hurry and strip footings and place them in nice neat stacks where a crane or forklift can't get to them until after the backfill is complete. Sometimes it's a simple as stacking the material on one side or the other of a footing that can make all the difference.
Take a look at the pictures below, If this was your job what would you change? Are there any you feel you wouldn't change?
Just some things to look for:
Do work areas look ready
Are there too many or not enough people working in the work areas
This is a broad subject, it could be anything from logistics of the job to paperwork on your desk. Each area of organization could be costing your job money, if it takes you an extra 5 minutes to find the drawings you need then another 5 extra minutes to find paperwork for one of your crew members. That time can add up and is completely preventable! It might sound like much to worry about, but think about the whole jobs wasted time. If your logistics aren't planned out and organized we start talking about real money wasted. The construction industry as a whole wastes millions in double handling materials.
How well organized are your crews with tools and materials? It might be time to re-think the job logistics.
Have you ever been on a crew that ran out of material or didn't have enough supplies or proper tools? I know I've been there more than once. I remember thinking "how could this happen? Didn't the foreman know what we needed and how much?"
What do you think these mistakes cost your company? The most obvious one is if a crew runs out of material, production stops. One of the most common mistakes that seem to slip through the crack is from the tool ordering.
As an industry, we need to get away from the mentality of not wanting to spend money on tools. Think about the real cost of saving money on tools; If you have a crew of eight and only two Skilsaws, you save $180 on a saw, but it will cost far more than that in lost production with guys waiting to make their cuts. The focus when selecting tools and quantities needs to be on productivity. That old adage "don't step over a dollar to pick up a dime" is as true when supplying your crew as anywhere.
Here are some things you should be thinking about when ordering tools:
Basically all of the same principles apply to ordering materials as with tools. It's all about timing. I can't stress enough how important it is to have no lag in production from not having enough material. You need to thoroughly plan your work. If you have material for this weeks work, will you have enough for next week, or the next? Same thing with material as tools. Most of the time it's worth spending a little more money to make sure you're not waiting to strip a wall you poured that day to start the next sequence.
Thoroughly plan your work, sequence, schedule, and crew size when ordering materials. Think about these things when ordering:
Thanks to Dan Lebeda for this weeks blog post! To learn more about Dan check out
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