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Managing Labor Challenges Through Smart Solutions

Nov. 17, 2023

Time is one of the most precious resources on any construction site. Profitability and customer satisfaction depend on meeting deadlines and getting the job done efficiently, which is no easy feat even under ideal conditions. When you factor in ongoing labor challenges and consider that up to 31% of labor units is unproductive labor, this can make or break a project budget.

But how do businesses minimize seemingly unavoidable tasks like unwrapping, organizing, and transporting material that can take up valuable labor hours? The key is with smart solutions. These solutions – and the partners that provide them – handle many of the more mundane tasks up front, helping workers spend less time on unproductive labor and more time on critical work.

Spend less time staging, mobilizing and sorting work onsite

Organizing and sorting materials on the jobsite are just two examples of unproductive labor, and most of the important work can’t begin until they’re complete. Often this doesn’t even happen at the job’s location, meaning even more time is spent transporting the organized materials to where the work is happening. Kitting material by work phase is a simple solution that saves time.

Prefabrication, or pre fab, is another proven solution to optimize labor. A controlled environment is ideal for work that is highly engineered like a BIM drawing.

Be efficient with specialized labor

Labor is expensive, and skilled labor, like electricians or carpenters, is even more costly. You don’t want highly skilled workers spending time on menial tasks such as organizing and sorting materials when they could be better utilized elsewhere. 

Plug and play solutions can solve for this by streamlining the installation process. Specialized equipment, materials or components arrive, as the name suggests, ready for installation. This allows skilled workers to get to the task at hand sooner. These solutions also let managers use their labor more effectively and efficiently.

Utilize innovate solutions on the job

As the supply of labor continues to be tight, businesses are turning to innovative solutions to help improve efficiency and potentially save on labor hours in certain applications. For example, pulling cable can be a time-consuming, inefficient, and even dangerous process that needs several workers to complete. Many businesses have turned to solutions like Insta-reel to meet these challenges.

An Insta-reel consists of a standard wooden reel that has oversized flanges attached to both sides. The inner reel spins independently of the outer flanges, creating a reel with a built-in payout system. It is shipped in its own cradle, so the pallet can easily be moved into position and pulled immediately with no other set up. For added flexibility in tight spaces, it can simply be removed from the cradle, rolled into place, and chocked so the cable is ready to pull. 

Cable can also be cut to length and pulling eyes can be attached, which can be especially helpful in a variety of applications – from solar projects and medium voltage to other electrical construction. Not only can this solution reduce labor costs by speeding up installation and requiring fewer people, it can also help improve safety since workers don’t need to move, lift or set up jack stands.

If your business or construction project could benefit from streamlining labor efficiency, contact your local Wesco sales representative to learn how our smart solutions can help. 

By Wesco

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