How we run our job site like an assembly line
What comes to mind when you hear “assembly line?” Maybe Model Ts or electronics – things with lots of interchangeable parts. But if you think about how complicated a construction project is and how many moving parts there are, it kind of makes sense that it follows an assembly line model, saving money and time. Think about it this way: where a factory production line makes a lot of one identical product, a construction production line is geared towards creating one finite project.
Let’s break it down. Remember all those moving parts? We’re talking about different crews of highly skilled, high wage workers to accomplish each task, from breaking ground, installing sheetrock, laying flooring, painting walls, etc. Imagine all of those crews standing around on the job site until it’s their turn to work on their particular expertise. You’d have the electrician’s crew showing up before all the floors are built, or the painters waiting around with their brushes to do work before the drywall is installed.
While it seems like common sense, it’s (unfortunately) not too common: the best way to make your construction project more cost efficient is to stagger each crew. This means to plan extra gaps between crews so when the inevitable delays happen, you’re not paying for the next team to wait around.
Successfully accomplishing this is part science, part art, and part experience. When you’ve been around enough job sites, you know which aspects typically have the most delays (for example: anything with the exterior that can be delayed by the weather will be) and can plan accordingly. It also requires effective communication between the teams so you can keep the project moving forward.
Managing all of these crews of workers is no simple task – in fact, it is crucial to the success of your project – and that’s why running a construction site like an assembly line requires an effective construction manager. We give a lot of attention to where a project is at in its development and organizing the crews we send out to a job site. Knowing what stage a project is in ensures work can be done at the right juncture that will keep the project running efficiently.
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