The newsletter quoted Peter Cockshaw, who publishes Cockshaw’s Construction Labor News & Opinion. Cockshaw ran a feature on productivity on the construction jobsite. He said that “only one-third of an eight-hour shift is actual work.”
He went on to list the 10 “most costly” causes of poor productivity on the jobsite. They were:
1. Waiting for materials.
2. Waiting for tools and equipment.
3. Waiting for equipment breakdowns to be fixed.
4. Rework due to design, prefabrication, or field errors.
5. Interference from other crews.
6. Overcrowded work areas.
7. Workplace changes (i.e., not enough work in one area, so a tradesman loses time relocating).
8. Waiting on permits.
9. Waiting for instructions.
10. Other delays.
There is no doubt in my mind that News’ readers have experienced some, if not all, of the above causes. What intrigues me is No. 10 — “other delays.” This could cover a lot of territory. In honor of the ambiguous No. 10, I’ve detailed some of the more obscure reasons for lack of jobsite productivity. Feel free to send me some of your own.
SOME OTHER REASONS FOR POOR PRODUCTIVITY
BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKSI am making light of a situation that business owners usually do not find very amusing. Loss of jobsite productivity costs big dollars and often strains otherwise good relationships. Many of these problems can be avoided by simple communication — an e-mail message or phone call.
We also have new tools to speed up the paperwork process. For example, the Internet now makes it possible to pull permits online. Employees can receive instructions and change orders via a wireless hookup to the company website. I could go on and on.
But rest assured, new technology can mean its own list of productivity problems — the phone battery went dead, the e-mail never arrived, the website is down, the routing list got lost (the dog ate it).
Forget that last one; I used that on my parents when I forgot to do my homework.
Hall is business management editor. He can be reached at 734-542-6214; 734-542-6215 (fax); email@example.com (e-mail).
Publication date: 04/08/2002