The last few years have not been easy for the electrical construction sector. Its recovery from the downturn in economic activity has been slow compared to other industries in the United States.
With fewer resources and a shrinking labour force, electrical contractors are being asked to do more work for customers. This can be combined with more complex building system requirements that make it more difficult to hire qualified workers.
The pressure on electrical contractors to increase productivity and efficiency is greater than that of other tradespeople. This comes down to time savings.
The industry’s balance sheet accounts for as much as 50% of its labour hours. It is therefore crucial for electrical contractors that they maximize efficiency and save time.
Customers are seeking greater functionality and better integration when it comes to retrofitting and lighting control systems. However, job details can be vague and subject to change throughout the project. Contractors require solutions that are flexible and can quickly respond to customer needs without increasing costs. Wireless lighting control solutions and products can be a great help.
The installation of wireless lighting components speeds up projects by 70% compared to a traditional wired job that takes approximately the same time.
This allows you to do more work in a shorter time than your current workforce.
Let’s take a look at the ways that electrical contractors can accomplish this, either with the help of apprentices or using tools and methods that reduce cycle time (CTR).
Practical time-saving and immediate tasks
If business managers maximize productivity per hour, the future of electrical contracting is bright. Electrical contractors find apprenticeships very beneficial as they unlock the infinite potential of youth and allow for company-specific training.
The contractor identifies job tasks when estimating projects. This is done to determine the relevant construction specifications and labour requirements. However, the contractor estimates that raceway installation [and] conductor install with terminations are the most time-consuming tasks in any building project.
Apprentices can be costly and time-consuming. You can save time by allowing proteges to complete tasks.
- Pre-wired raceways are a time-saver. In fact, your apprentice can complete the job in one-third of the time it takes to install traditional component raceways. All wiring and pre-assembly are done and ready to go on the job site. All wiring is labelled, wrapped and ready to be used. The apprentice will position the raceway on the wall and attach the wires between them.
- Cablofil wire mesh cable trays are a solution for apprentice-level electrical contractors who work under pressure. Traditional conduit is labour-intensive. Cablofil, however, reduces installation time and costs. According to the company, Cablofil requires one person to install an entire system. It also needs a bolt cutter and adapts to most installations.
Because of the nature of construction and the tasks that electrical contractors and apprentices are required to perform, it is physically laborious to install all devices and components of a facility, building, or communication system within a building. To streamline the project, automation is used extensively by project managers and foremen to keep an accurate ‘picture of the entire construction project.
It is easy to increase the productivity of electrical contractors by using pre-assembly or installation options. Trimble’s solutions, for example, help electricians and building contractors finish projects more efficiently.
MEP contractors typically wait until the concrete is poured before laying hangers on a new building project. Next, we need to place the anchors and concrete forms on the floor below. Finally, we laser them up to the ceiling. One or two people will then need to climb into a lift and use a drill to drill anchor holes overhead. This is time-consuming and dangerous due to dust and the possibility of a back injury. The Trimble RTS makes it possible to lay out the entire process and have it installed before concrete is poured. This speeds up the electrical, mechanical and plumbing portions of the project and reduces safety hazards.
What about electronic workflow?
CTR is focused on improvement projects over time. When analyzing the Juran Trilogy for electrical contracting, it seems like labour hours are a sign of chronic waste. This highlights the importance of developing tools and methods that reduce the number of project hours lost. Digitization is one of the most talked-about tools.
Even the smallest inefficiency can cause a contractor’s revenue to be eroded. It is, therefore, more important than ever that you explore workflow management systems in order to manage your time and achieve your goals.
360e is a software program that was specifically designed for the electrical construction industry. It provides the following benefits to client relationship managers (CRMs).
- Reduces paperwork
- Improves communication
- Eradicates double entry
- It simplifies scheduling and time monitoring
Due to the low productivity rates in the United States, electrical contractors need to be more creative and savvy. The main focus of the industry is to reduce labour hours and increase productivity. Maximizing apprenticeships is one way to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Another option is to invest in time-saving, user-friendly products.
CTR analysis has shown that tools are needed to reduce the time spent on projects. This can be achieved by implementing advanced, industry-specific CRMs.