Heed this advice to get more output for less.

Contractors are continually seeking ways to improve productivity, reduce costs and increase efficiency both in the office and in the field. Stephen Spears, president of Bonneville Contracting & Technology Group Inc. and a Construction Business Owner reader, poses this question:

How do we increase workers’ productivity while maintaining labor costs?

Casey Powers
VP of Marketing and Business Development

“Using an automated time and attendance system that incorporates cost code management will allow you to increase workforce productivity by tracking the true time required to complete specific work site activities such as hanging drywall. Instead of budgeting two to three days for a specific work task, you may find that it takes only a day and a half to complete. You can also monitor the expense of a job in progress and take action as needed. Not only will you save on labor costs, but you also will be able to bid more accurately/competitively on your next jobs.”

Ted Garrison
Principal and Certified Speaking Professional
New Construction Strategies

“The best way to improve productivity is through continuous improvement as a result of asking workers for their input. However, the key to doing this is your request for their input needs to be expressed in terms of a benefit for the worker. Start by asking, “What does the company do that drives you crazy or keeps you from doing your job?” The results might surprise you, but eliminating barriers to performance will increase productivity at little or no cost.”

Mark Mettille
M2 PEO Solutions

“While field labor efficiency is critical, construction business owners can also significantly increase office employee productivity by having their staff focus on things that actually make the company money, instead of the usual ‘paper pushing’ that can bog down any business. We recommend using a professional employer organization (PEO) to save time and money in dealing with many of the costly and time-consuming (but non-revenue generating) tasks that it takes to run a business. Companies who partner with a PEO have help solving employment problems in the areas of payroll, workers’ comp, human resources, safety and benefits administration. They are more efficient because their employees can focus on core competencies (and generating revenue) rather than all the ‘paper pushing’ that is required by law to operate a business.”

What’s your construction business question? Email CBO’s associate editor at amessamore@cahabamedia.com to submit a question for a future Ask the Experts.