Perhaps the most misunderstood construction cost is labor. On most projects, labor accounts for about 50 percent of the overhead and many companies see this as a fixed item. While it’s true that it takes one person to operate a backhoe and at least a team of carpenters to shingle a roof, there are hidden costs that can be reduced through the use of technology such as Assignar’s Fieldworker app.
Workforce Management Costs
Companies that want to streamline should start thinking differently about where the fixed and unfixed costs lay. A crew of several hundred requires a certain number of foremen to oversee operations, maintain safety standards and perform administrative tasks such as timecard collection. Time cards generally eat up a few hours of their time each week. Project managers are often the next level of admin oversight and this group may, redundantly, review time cards. Making matters even more wasteful, office personnel generally perform the same tasks and will add to the oversight costs by running down questions about individual logs and making corrections before procession checks.
Business owners can get quite frustrated with payroll costs due to errors and inefficiencies. That displeasure tends to be directed at workers in the field and foremen for not keeping better records. This seems almost ironic because ownership is basically asking someone skilled at one thing to perform the task they hired skilled office people to manage. Owners also see payroll admin as a fixed cost. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Streamline Labor Oversight
Financially successful construction companies are good at maximizing their assets. Automation such as battery-operated hand drills, compressor-driven nail guns and paint sprayers are ways current technology has increased productivity. Oddly, many construction companies don’t fully tap into the potential of the computer and device technology at their disposal. Every office has computers and it’s rare for someone not to own a cell phone.
What the Assignar Fieldworker app can do is link the payroll office directly to the laborer or craftsman. Once the app is loaded on to their phone, work hours go directly to the office and questions can be resolved by one-to-one electronic communication. Utilizing the Fieldworker app allows companies to cut costs on several fronts. First, it frees up foreman and project managers to focus on high-level tasks rather than tediously gather and review physical time cards. Second, it reduces the hours spent by office personnel resolving questions and making changes. Ownership can shift some of their responsibilities to tasks that yield profit, such as preparing bids.
By shifting away from physical information collection, your company will be compiling data in a fashion that can be utilized for future projections. Man-hours per task can be targeted and analyzed. Workers with particular skillsets can be assigned to areas they excel and this information can be shared with foremen that can direct their crews with hard data to back up decisions. This data now becomes another company asset that can be put to work saving money and improving productivity.
Think of Assignar’s Fieldworker app in these terms. Would it make sense to go back to using handsaws instead of powered circular saws? Then why does it make sense to collect information by hand when it can be done electronically?