Time-on-Tools and Minimum Required Installation

Labor productivity IS NOT the biggest problem with project productivity.

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Field Productivity: Labor Productivity IS NOT The Biggest Problem With Project Productivity

Under similar conditions the variation in how fast two crafts people actually “turn wrenches” is not that big.  For a specialty contractor nearly every process in the company must be focused around these three areas:

  1. Maximize Time-on-Tools (ToT):  Ensure that crafts people spend most of their day working with their tools actually installing things.  Different studies place the industry average between 50-65%.  Leverage the 6 Pillars of Productivity and ABC Daily Planning.  
  2. Minimum Required Installation:  Don’t take critical shortcuts but don’t over-build the project.  In the field we would call it “Gold Plating.” Effective installation details, craft training and good field supervision practices will ensure that you get the right level of quality. 
  3. Minimize Rework:  The only greater waste than installing more than what is required is doing it twice.

General Contractors and Project Owners can do a lot to set the conditions for success with their labor-intensive subcontractors. 


4 Elements of an Effective Task

Site Logistics Management

What is Lean Construction? 

Improving Labor Productivity Workshop




Incentive Compensation for Contractors - Culture
Any incentive program should improve the operating execution, profit, and cash flow of the company. Aligning organizational objectives with the tangible value add to the craft worker in the field and operations staff workers yields the best results.
Ownership Transition Timelines
While it is possible for ownership transition timelines to be accelerated, that largely depends on the current condition of the company, including the management team and current owner.
Organizational Structures and Leadership Development
As contractors look at their organizational structures with an eye toward both sustainable growth and succession, they must balance the efficiency a functional area structure provides with the leadership development of a business unit structure.