Field Productivity - The Improvement Pyramid

Few things will improve the competitiveness of a contractor more than materially improving field productivity.

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An improvement of a few minutes per day to actual installation time compounded monthly is worth about $800K per year for a $25M contractor. What is it worth to you?

Field Productivity: The Improvement Pyramid. Start with the Foundation of basic field productivity techniques & improvements. Then progress up to Virtual Construction and Prefabrication including full modularization. Next, integrate your supply chain at the workflow and technology levels then fully integrate with the whole project team providing synergies from supply chain through architect in alignment with the project owner's business strategies.

Look at improvements to field productivity as 4 major stages of a pyramid and start with the foundation:

  1. Basic field productivity techniques and improvements focused on creating the “Perfect Day” for the field by relentlessly focusing on the 6 Pillars of Productivity. This foundation will amplify every other layer of the pyramid. 
  2. Virtual Construction and Prefabrication when done correctly will dramatically improve productivity. Done incorrectly they will create an unbelievable amount of stress on the team as well as waste.  
  3. Supply Chain integration at the levels of risk management, workflows and technology can eliminate significant waste while improving the schedule.  
  4. From the project owner and general contractor side integrating all trade partners and leveraging lean construction techniques is really the top of the pyramid. Like all other layers, if done well the improvements are amazing. Done poorly and failures are just as big.  

Improving Field Productivity Workshop

Labor Productivity
Field labor is the often the biggest variable on a construction project - making it the biggest risk and opportunity....

Labor Productivity
Field labor is the often the biggest variable on a construction project - making it the biggest risk and opportunity....

Levels of Improvement: Start with the Foundation
Every process in your business including field productivity will go through three levels of improvement: From predictable to productive to scalable. Trying to skip levels is the surest way to slow down improvements across the company.
Pull Planning and the 4 Most Powerful Words
“What do you need?” are the four most powerful words for improving construction field productivity. This lesson can be best illustrated by superintendents from two different general contractors building identical projects in different parts of town.
Job Instruction (JI): A 1940s Solution to the Craft Labor Shortage
The shortage of qualified craft labor, crew leaders, and supervisors has been solved before - just not in our lifetimes. The lessons from the Training Within Industry (TWI) and specifically the Job Instruction (JI) training can be used by any contractor.