Improving Construction Efficiency With Standardized Reports
By Nathan | Posted on October 6th, 2017
Let's face it- faulty on-site reporting is messing up your whole system.
In 2010, Barbara Jackson literally wrote the book on construction management. Over her many years of experience in construction project management she identified a nearly universal problem for construction companies planning and carrying out projects: bad reporting. She writes, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get complete and accurate data from the field. This is a challenge, and I must say that it is often a weak link in the project control cycle... if this information is inaccurate or incomplete, it may mitigate the effectiveness of the project control system and feed faulty data into the estimating and scheduling references.
Jackson brings up a valid point: if your reporting from the field is off, it can mess up your entire construction enterprise. Faulty reporting can include missed milestones, inventory, time-card information, or any number of other factors. Beyond being annoying, faulty reporting from the site slows down current projects and can even make future projects harder to correctly estimate. She called it the “weak link” for a reason: when reporting breaks down, everything else falls apart.
Best Construction Reporting Practices
So now that we know it’s a problem, how do we go about fixing construction daily reporting? The simplest way to begin streamlining your construction reports while at the same time improving their accuracy is to standardize.
In our experience we’ve seen pretty harrowing reports. Some have been literally been on the backs of napkins. Some have been sent in text messages (usually to the wrong person.) Most of them are done in antiquated spreadsheets with notes scribbled in the margins. The result is exactly what Jackson predicted: missed deadlines and skewed estimates for the next job.
However, you might be pretty happy with your spreadsheets, and that’s fair. If you have just revised your method of construction reporting to avoid the dreaded back-of-the-napkin report you are well on your way already, but you’re not quite done yet. Not until your reports are fast to fill out and complete with all the inventory, progress, and incident key performance indicators (KPIs) will your reporting do what it is supposed to do: save your organization time and resources.
Here are the top three must-have KPIs for construction reports:
- Fast to fill out (less than an hour is best.)
- Contains progress measured against promised delivery timetables. - Inventory arrival, usage, and condition is a must.
- Easy incident reporting for safety.
Construction Reporting Tools
No spreadsheet that we have ever seen can meet each of those five KPIs for best construction daily reporting. Basically spreadsheets take too long to fill out, can’t cover incidents or unexpected delays with accuracy, and can’t report the information to the right users in real time.
The good news is that there are tools currently available that can. Specialized construction reporting apps gather key performance indicators on progress, inventory, and incidents with a few simple taps. They are standardized enough to ensure that all the information your project directors need is provided with up-to-the-minute speed and accuracy while still being customizable enough to include incident reports that could slow things down on site.
Raken has put together a free demo that shows exactly how the right construction reporting tool can improve the efficiency of your entire operation by streamlining and standardizing daily reporting. It’s an app born from years of experience and refined to meet every need you have on site.