ToolWatch Infocenter

What construction company wouldn’t want to improve jobsite productivity? But if you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone.

As a company that’s been serving the construction industry for over 30 years, we’ve learned that the secret to improving field productivity is strong internal systems that streamline your operational processes. We know this is true because we’ve worked with thousands of construction companies to overcome operational issues and achieve more efficiency and profitability. Here are three common process failures we have seen over and over, as well as how to fix them so they stop killing your jobsite productivity.


1. Tool and equipment hoarding.

The Problem

Tool and equipment hoarding by field personnel not only makes those resources unavailable to other projects, it also drives up the cost of the projects they’re being billed to. Many factors contribute to tool and equipment hoarding:

Human error - most jobsites are large and complex, and it is difficult to keep track of what is where, especially at the end of a long, tiring day.

Negligence - some workers, rather than face the hassle of returning items and requisitioning them later, purposefully hoard to avoid inefficient processes.

A lack of transparency - most jobsites do not know what is happening at other jobsites and so cannot predict when others may require the tools they’re hoarding.

The Lean Construction Fix

Field teams should be trained to understand that actively returning items as soon as they are no longer needed increases the profitability of all projects – which benefits their compensation – and will decrease lead times for items needed in the future. The right technology systems make it effortless to track, return, and requisition tools and equipment. If only a few button clicks separate a worker from doing their job right and reaping the reward, they will put in the effort to keep operations moving.


2. Equipment breakdowns.

The Problem

There’s nothing worse than getting the piece of equipment you need on site, often accompanied by a licensed operator, only to find the equipment is in poor condition and the job can’t get done. In the best case scenario, the equipment only needs some service to be restored to working condition, which still results in project delays. In the worst case scenarios, either the equipment is rendered unrepairable, the jobsite grinds to a halt for multiple days, and/or the equipment injures the operator and other workers onsite.

The Lean Construction Fix

Construction firms need to proactively maintain their equipment according to service schedules to prevent the breakdowns and injuries that derail operations. And in order to do so, they must track item usage and service schedules. When was the item last inspected and serviced? What is the required service schedule for each piece of equipment? This data can then be used to generate service alerts to avoid costly breakdowns and project delays.


3. Out-of-stock inventory.

The Problem

When your field personnel can’t complete the task at hand because the warehouse ran out of, say, welding rods, it’s a costly, frustrating delay. Unfortunately, recent supply chain issues have only compounded this challenge. Commonly used items could set your project back days before your inventory is replenished, while hard-to-find items could set your project back weeks or months.

The Lean Construction Fix

Stay a step ahead of low inventory by leveraging a modern inventory management system to know the exact quantity and location of all your construction materials. With the right system, not only can you set low-inventory alerts for as many items as possible (based on current lead times), you can automatically populate and submit purchase orders based on low-inventory thresholds for commonly purchased items. This will result in significantly less downtime and process waste in your operations.

We wish we could tell you these are the only process failures we see with any frequency, but the truth is there are dozens of ways construction operations processes can break down, resulting in low productivity on the jobsite.

The good news is ToolWatch has the platform and expertise to help your company implement all of the process fixes outlined above, as well as many more. May we schedule 20 minutes in the next week to discuss the challenges your company faces and how we can help? If yes, schedule a demo today.