There's always a goal in construction to eliminate or minimize waste at every opportunity. A fancy term used for this is to "Lean" things out, but the reality is you're just running a better business which translates to happier customers and employees, and more profits to you. While the construction trade is inherently chaotic with lots of things never going as planned, you can eliminate the unnecessary risks to your business by standardizing what's expected of your teams and creating processes to sustain quality and performance, but even more so, for what to do when things don't go as intended. Most of what's discussed below can be addressed with prior planning and training best practice that are repeatable and sustainable for company growth.
Defects: Defects are anything that is not done correctly the first time, resulting in rework that wastes time and materials. Whether it's bad cuts or bad craftmanship, any time you have to rework is either time, money, or material wasted. With lumber prices the way they are, you don't want to do this.
Waiting: The most common scenario that leads to waiting in construction is when workers are ready, but what's needed for the work to be completed hasn't been delivered, cut, or that prior tasks have not been completed. Guys standing around = wasted time = wasted money and unnecessary delays.
Choosing Proper Talent: Workers on a construction project have a range of skills and experience. When the right person is not matched to the right job, their talent, skills, and knowledge go to waste. Think of putting the wrong guy on the saw and having to make several cuts for one board. The result is wasted material, wasted time, and your guys now waiting for that board.
Transport: The waste in transport happens when materials, equipment, or workers are moved to a job site before or in some cases after they are needed. Proper planning and timing are important in ensuring no delays.
Inventory: Materials that are not immediately needed are considered excess inventory. They tie up
Motion: Movement that is not necessary, like
Each of the above areas are unique issues and should be addressed during pre-job planning, but also daily/continuously reviewed once the job is underway. If you have put the time in to creating your standards and processes in these areas and have clearly stated your expectations while monitoring adherence, you've set yourself and your team up for success. You'll have reduced some of the expected chaos that will always occur and eliminate waste in your business.