“Plan your work, and work your plan.” This old adage is strikingly simple, but today’s construction projects require that the concept be updated slightly: “Plan your work, work your plan, and communicate early in the process.”
An April 2019 article on BuildingConnected.com describes how important it is to do indepth planning before construction begins. “The effect of preconstruction planning on project outcomes,” describes five overarching benefits to getting everyone on the same page early in the life of a project.
- Increased efficiency. From the simple to the complex, planning ahead reduces rework. Time spent in preconstruction planning increases worker efficiency, thus decreasing the time spent on actual construction. Part of that planning needs to be collaborative, with all of the job teams looped in early in the process and giving feedback about the specifics of their portion of the overall project. A Journal of Construction Engineering and Management article on preconstruction planning stated in 2010 that construction planning is considered to be one of the most critical steps toward project success.
- Schedule integrity. When teams are working efficiently, they don’t bust the schedule that’s been set for phases or for final job completion. If the schedule is maintained, team members aren’t standing around while on the clock waiting for other teams to finish, and less overtime is required. According to Travis Voss, Leader of Innovative Technology at Mechanical Incorporated, during his August 2019 MEP Force keynote address, overtime on a project rarely pays off in more productivity.
- Successful budget. Time is money, and both are being squeezed tighter and tighter on modern construction projects. Teams are being forced to perform their work faster and at a lower cost than ever before. Since most cost savings are identified in the preconstruction phase, thorough planning can reduce job materials waste, inefficient use of labor, quality issues, and safety concerns.
- Better profit margins. This really is the bottom line. Saving money naturally increases the profit on the job, with a downstream positive contribution to the economy. An Associated Builders and Contractors article in July 2018 reaffirmed, “Businesses, markets, developers, and financiers all prefer certainty.” Preconstruction planning provides more certainty about a job meeting its profit objectives. The JCEM article referenced earlier pointed out that the sheet metal trades, in particular, can realize double digit profit margins from preconstruction planning but negative margins from poor planning.
- Customer satisfaction. When the job comes in on schedule and within budget, owners are not only surprised, they’re happy. A happy customer can be a repeat customer and a satisfied referral.
An important part of any job these days is using the right tools to plan your work and work your plan. For anyone in the MEP trades, eVolve MEP is one of those tools. Built by a team of mechanical and electrical industry experts, eVolve MEP makes project collaboration fast, simple and more productive, significantly reducing project cost and risk. Contact eVolve MEP today to discover your pathway to better efficiency, schedules, budgets, margins, and owner satisfaction.