The construction industry is known for taking pride in their work. When teams–both on and off site–have clear direction on what successful goals look like, they are more likely to accomplish those goals and feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. Still, teams often lack the real-time visibility into labor costs and production rates, often waiting one to two weeks to see where they stand.
As a former electrical project manager building for some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, I had the greatest success when the foreman had access to their per unit goals and times versus only a single large budget.
Documenting Conditions In Real Time
Trade stacking or access and material management issues often affected installation rates upon review. Many times multiple trades were scheduled to be in an area and were told when to finish Other times, unplanned material deliveries got dropped off on the spot where our scissor lifts needed access.
When we were able to document those conditions in real time, those issues only affected us for an hour or day—not the entirety of our duration in those areas. As a result, this minimized the impact that any production issue caused giving us a clearer picture of when and how long it did affect us. For example, if another contractor was using our installation area as a laydown area for their material we could send a picture and request for help to the GC. It would be remedied much faster than mentioning in a phone call or in a meeting the next day. Both, because of the clarity it provided the GC to use in their communication with the other sub and because they felt the need to minimize their exposure to a documented issue.
Seeing the Big Picture
The value we would gain if we could see that information on a daily basis or if we had that information early on was big. For instance, we could have brought our general contractor customers into the conversation and shown them how we were either going to A) beat their schedule in this area, or B) not make the schedule, and share with them why we couldn’t beat the schedule. This would help ensure their support and mitigate any issues that arose.
In either case, having access to all the information we need allows us to be proactive rather than reactive to issues on site. It allows us to demonstrate ownership of our work to our customer, confident performance data to our operations managers, and our own confidence in our abilities to achieve success on project teams.
Having access to all the information we need allows us to be proactive rather than reactive to issues on site.
The data enables us to backup our findings, rather than simply referencing conversations that tend to come off as explanations of poor performance to our customers. When combined with pictures and issues connected to the drawings, we are able to present a clear and powerful picture when the numerous items are lost to memory.
With Procore’s Project Financials and Field Productivity combined, we get everyone on the same page in ways that were not previously possible. Time and production submitted within Field Productivity automatically updates your budget in real-time, providing greater visibility into expectation, performance, and wins and losses.
Ensuring Everyone Stays on the Same Page
When it comes to labor’s cost at completion, many companies and project teams struggle to come up with ways to support financial projections that are more concrete and data driven. To ensure we, as project managers, have our fingers on the pulse of the project we talk with our field teams regularly, but conversation and documentation are worlds apart. So how can we ensure we have accuracy regarding our labor projections?
When the office can provide the field with visible and trackable goals that can then be mapped to our overall financial plan to achieve the target margin we can confidently see, and share will all project stakeholders, the route to it.
With Procore, you can track your labor costs and production rates against your bottom line budget – daily.