Business owners might sometimes feel they need to hire more workers to meet the steady flow of work that is coming in and because they do not want to lose projects, they look to take on more employees. However, you can meet the demands by following some simple guidelines about how to increase efficiency and meet your goals.
Here are nine practical ideas that will allow you to streamline the work done by your employees, thereby letting each employee leverage more volume. The net effect is a more efficient operation with less need for new employees.
- At least yearly, hold brainstorming sessions with your staff to review all procedures. Focus on streamline. What work, forms, overlapping procedures can be eliminated from the company?
- Outsource more both to freelancers for office work or subcontractors for production work. One remodeler even outsourced project design to a designer in Canada!
- Are there labor saving tools, equipment, technology, communications that would free up time for yourself, your office, or field staff? Save an hour here and an hour there and soon you won’t have to hire another person.
- Check with your suppliers for products they will install (i.e. windows, fireplace units, siding) or products that can save you in-house time (pre-primed moldings).. Use their labor instead of yours and benefit from the expertise they have in doing one task really well.
- Check with subs to see if there are additional functions they can take over.
- Have your own carpenters? Keep them but consider subbing large jobs such as decks, siding, insulation, drywall and roofing which can be economical to outsource.
- Are your field personnel equipped with state-of-the-art labor-saving tools and equipment? If you have 10 field employees and can save 20 minutes a day for each, that’s 1000 minutes a week or 867 hours a year. That’s 867 hours you don’t need or 867 hours you can sell profitably to another client. One remodeler keeps a stocked trailer on every job site. It’s good looking and well signed but it also saves time and running for materials.
- Increased training for your field personnel will save time in installations. Check with your in-house expertise, manufacturers, subs and suppliers for help in developing short training sessions.
- Develop a cross-department team to research ways to reduce in-house work.