We’re all familiar with the adage “time is money.” But are you aware of the potential ways you’re wasting valuable time on the jobsite and how much money your decorative concrete business is losing as a result?

Time is indeed a commodity. The more of it you save, through strategies such as streamlining your operations and improving communication with employees and clients, the greater your profitability. As a bonus, doing your job faster and more efficiently, without sacrificing the quality of your work, will lead to greater customer satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth.

Here are 10 ways to boost the productivity of your decorative concrete operations so you will have more time to focus on your craft.

  1. Order the right amount of concrete

    This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but many concrete contractors will admit they have occasionally underestimated the amount of concrete required for a project, resulting in long delays until another batch of concrete can be delivered. To avoid this costly mistake, use our free concrete calculator to quickly and accurately estimate how much concrete you’ll need for your next project. Keep in mind that it’s always better to slightly overestimate than underestimate the amount of concrete required so you won’t come up short.

  2. Form strong supplier relationships

    If your crew is waiting around on the jobsite for essential supplies and materials to show up when they run out or need replacement, the resulting delays can have a serious impact on productivity and even bring a project to a screeching halt. Building strong partnerships with suppliers will lead to better customer service and more timely delivery of these can’t-do-without products.

    Because the concrete itself is paramount to every job you do, find a reputable ready-mix supplier who can provide the material you need at the right time and in the right quantity. Also, check your supply inventory weekly to make sure you have enough tools and materials to complete all current and upcoming projects.

  3. Don’t try to do it all

    Are you so busy installing concrete that you don’t seem to have time to get to the other important tasks that can affect your productivity, such as project scheduling and ordering the necessary supplies and equipment? If you can’t keep up with the workload yourself, it may be time to hire new crew members to improve your ability to complete projects promptly. Sometimes it’s better to turn away work rather than take on more than you can handle, which can lead to costly mistakes and dissatisfied customers.

  4. Improve communication

    Clear and open lines of communication among your field workers, office staff, and suppliers is crucial to getting your decorative concrete projects finished on time and to everyone’s satisfaction. Set clear, attainable goals for every project, and begin each day with a short daily “huddle” so everyone on your crew knows what is expected of them.

    Communicating with your clients throughout the job is equally important. If a problem arises during the planning or installation stages, inform them immediately so you can work on a solution together and keep the project moving forward with minimal delay.

  5. Put a priority on training

    In addition to communicating with your employees and giving them clear guidance, you should also empower them with the knowledge they need to ply their craft without someone always looking over their shoulders. Not only will well-trained employees get the job done faster, they will also have the confidence to work on their own with minimal supervision and deal with unexpected problems that may arise.

    There are a number of companies and organizations that offer online and hands-on training in the decorative concrete industry. Check out these training resources.

  6. Emphasize what makes you unique

    Create a unique calling card for your decorative concrete business that identifies what makes you stand out from the crowd, such as your highly customized designs and strong track record of customer satisfaction. This can help you stay a step ahead of the competition and close more jobs with less effort. Advertising your business through an online platform that allows you to geo-target leads for potential customers, such as ConcreteNetwork.com, is a great way to reach prospects in your area interested in the type of work you do.

  7. Embrace new technology

    If you’re still relying on paper-based project management, making the switch to construction management software geared to concrete contractors (such as Procore) can help you streamline almost every aspect of your business, including job estimating, accounting, field productivity, project management, and equipment tracking, saving you countless hours in the field and allowing you to make updates and changes on the fly. Not only does construction management software improve your productivity, it can also help you stay on schedule by ensuring the equipment, tools, and manpower you need are where they should be.

  8. Get organized

    Even the best project management software won’t help you get your decorative concrete work done in a timely and efficient manner if your job scheduling is in complete chaos. To remain on top of daily operations, it’s essential to establish systems and procedures for monitoring job schedules so that no work is left unfinished. If you need help getting started, consider attending the Rocky Geans Business School to get guidance and downloadable documents that can help you get your concrete business on track.

  9. Implement flexible work schedules

    Installing concrete often involves long hours and labor-intensive work. If your crew members are exhausted and don’t get enough downtime, their productivity will flag and their safety could be put in jeopardy, especially if they are operating demolition equipment or other heavy machinery.

    Establishing flexible work schedules can go a long way toward ensuring that every member of your crew is well-rested and ready to face the task at end. Staggered start times, flexible part-time hours, and job sharing are all strategies you can put in place to improve employee productivity and well-being.

  10. Stage your project

    On a complex decorative concrete installation, getting the work site ready and supplies in place beforehand can save hours of time on the day of the project and prevent potential problems later. For stamped concrete work, it’s essential to have enough stamps on hand to complete the job without interruption, since the window of opportunity for stamping is limited. If your crew is working with a new set of stamps, have them practice using the stamps first so they don’t waste time on the job figuring out how to lay out the pattern. (See these stamping tool tips.)

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