How to pinpoint workflow problems and improve construction processes

See how you can get more done and streamline workflow processes with Buildertrend's construction project management

Chelsea Cole / Buildertrend

With everything you do in a single day, you don’t have time to manually track the progress of each individual job. You’re balancing site visits, managing your team and tracking financials along with other countless day-to-day tasks. And we don’t have to tell you that efficiency is key when it comes to construction project management. Being able to keep projects on track, avoid delays and meet deadlines is essential.

So, what are the best tactics for finding inefficiencies in your project workflows? For the answer to that question, we went straight to one of our experts. Rachel Wieser is an onsite consultant here at Buildertrend, and she has several insights that will help you streamline your construction processes.

rachel wieser
Rachel Weiser | Onsite Consultant

Where is the first place you look to find wasted time or breakdowns on projects?

When I’m first meeting with a client there are three main points that generally cause wasted time during the timeline of a project:

  • Communication
  • Admin time for field staff
  • Accessibility of important documentation

As an onsite consultant, I always find that the biggest breakdown in a project is communication, especially between the field and office. This lack of communication causes inefficiencies throughout the entire project. The office doesn’t know if they should pay a sub, so they waste time calling or texting a project manager. Project managers are constantly on the phone with subs giving them information they should be able to access or asking when they need to be onsite. And clients are constantly concerned about what the next steps are and why things are delayed.

By first outlining construction processes for all these areas that commonly get miscommunicated or forgotten, business owners will have a more efficient way to keep everyone in the loop without spending hours and hours on just phone calls.

What are some tips for finding workflow inefficiencies?

  1. Be willing to change

    The most important way to find your workflow inefficiencies is to take a step back and be willing to accept that things will have to change for you and your team. One of the biggest hurdles I deal with when working with clients is that they know they need better processes, but they either don’t want to make the change or they don’t accept that they have room to improve. When there are inefficiencies with your current construction processes then something needs to change, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

  1. Get feedback from your team

    The second way to identify inefficiencies is to talk to your team one on one. Get their honest feedback on where they feel that they could save time. It’s best to have an idea of where they may already be experiencing delays and ask some questions to really get them thinking. Do they lose their checklists for job sites or have trouble keeping getting subs to the sites on the right days? Are they spending more time driving from site to site than actually on site? How much time do they spend in the office that could be eliminated with new processes?And this doesn’t just apply to field staff. Ask your office administrator how much time they spend trying to find receipts, invoices or approvals from the field. I often see that an administrator will spend hours on the phone with PMs or superintendents trying find all the right information for billing and invoicing. Buildertrend can help provide a platform for everyone to communicate quickly and efficiently without having to spend hours on the phone.

  1. Use Buildertrend to its fullest potential

    That leads into my next point of using Buildertrend to its fullest potential. Clients always tell me, they don’t know how they made money before using Buildertrend. If you aren’t using an organized project management system, you’re already lacking efficiency in your projects because everyone is trying to make things work best on the fly instead of being proactive about issues and concerns. By diving deeper into Buildertrend, you will help eliminate disorganization for your team. Talk to your account executive and see what else you should be implementing. By identifying your pain points, you will be able to leverage Buildertrend to help meet the needs of your team and your business.

  1. Sign up for Onsite Consulting

    Finally, if you feel like you have tried all these ways to identify inefficiencies in your company, team and processes, but you just aren’t seeing results, you may need an outside eye to help you identify the weak points. Our Onsite Consulting team is great and we’re super invested in helping you identify areas that can be improved upon.

Which tools within Buildertrend can help most with eliminating these inefficiencies to keep workflows running smoothly?

Buildertrend has several tools that help with eliminating inefficiencies. There are tools such as templates, document folders, pre-construction tasks, selections, estimate outlines and even basic bid information to send to subs. Every project is unique, but there will always be ways to get 20% to 30% ahead of where you would have been with manual construction processes. This could save you anywhere from one to three hours in getting a projects set up and started.

Additionally, I recommend that all communication is handled through Buildertrend. You can use Messages to communicate and collect job-specific information from clients, subs, team members and even people that are not set up in Buildertrend. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and reduces the amount of unnecessary phone calls. By tracking communication on the job level, you will easily be able to find past conversations without sifting through thousands of emails.

Reduce workflow inefficiencies with Buildertrend

Buildertrend’s construction project management software will keep your jobs running smoothly will. To see how you can reduce the amount of wasted time and increase productivity, schedule a demo today!

About the Author

Chelsea Cole
Chelsea Cole

Chelsea Cole is a technical copywriter at Buildertrend

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