One more calculation worth noting: Let's imagine that every employee you have spends approximately 15 minutes a day looking for "stuff" such as brooms, brushes, tips, shovels, safety tape, time cards, etc. Now consider you have 10 employees paid an average of $10 an hour. Let's calculate the average cost for one year:
Standing issues How waiting on the job impacts performance and what you can do about it By Brad Humphrey A few years ago the Center for Con- incurred remains painfully in place. It is Let’s imagine that every employee you struction Engineering and Man- easy to state that you can never replace lost have spends approximately 15 minutes a agement at the University of time. “Downtime” in construction, for day looking for “stuff” such as brooms, Michigan conducted a time study to deter- any reason, normally costs you money and brushes, tips, shovels, safety tape, time mine the amount of time construction is not recoverable from the customer. cards, etc. Now, consider you have 10 workers are simply waiting to work. The What are the costs associated with hav- employees paid an average of $10 an hour. average time lost waiting for equipment, ing workers waiting around? Well, let’s Let’s calculate the average cost for one materials, tools, and information varied take a look at one situation that can pro- year: among the construction disciplines. vide you with a method to calculate the 10 employees Bricklayers waited on average about financial costs for waiting for work to 45 minutes, carpenters about 62 minutes, begin or resume. x 15 minutes/day roofers about 75 minutes, electricians about Consider a pavement maintenance con- x 200 work days/year 80 minutes, and plumbers about 83 min- tractor who suddenly finds his five-man = 30,000 minutes/year utes. While these times are not necessarily crew without hot asphalt to lay. There was indicative of the time pavement mainte- a mix-up in the directions given to the nance people may spend waiting for mate- material driver and the crew is standing 30,000 minutes/year rials, equipment, or directions everyday around for one hour before the material ÷ 60 minutes/hour (hopefully not!) this time study does raise shows up. Let’s calculate the potential costs an important issue. Waiting can and does to the contractor having five workers stand- = 500 hours/year cost the contractor and the customer. ing around for one hour using an average Consider how much time each day hourly rate of $20 (includes FICA etc.). 500 hours/year your crews are simply waiting. What are the causes for such waiting? Let’s examine 5 workers x $10/hour a few causes in this article and calculate a x 1 hour waiting = $5000/year possible cost for the waiting period. We’ll = 5 total hours spent waiting then offer some time management tips.
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