Experience shows that when you enable your contract team to increase their efficiency you begin to experience considerable savings in cost and time

Experience shows that when you enable your contract team to increase their efficiency you begin to experience considerable savings in cost and time.

In this article (the 2nd in a series highlighting the compelling benefits that you’ll enjoy when you apply certain workplace management solutions) you will discover how people, like you, in the construction industry, are saving time and money – as a result of being more effective – right now.

How? By using proven tools and methods to effectively overcome the challenges that come with subcontractors.

Were you aware of the shift in the dynamics of construction projects in recent years? Perhaps you already understand that most main contractors, instead of undertaking to do most of the work themselves, have become more like managing contractors – something akin to project management companies.

Think about it: Is it not unusual for a main contractor to have 5 to 10 salaried employees on site overseeing multiple contractors with 500+ operatives? Of course, this approach provides benefits to main contractors, including:

? You don’t have to deal with industrial relations issues.

? You don’t have to deal with own labour variables by paying the subcontractor a fixed price for work.

? You can deliver quality as a result of using skilled specialists (e.g., groundworks, mainframe, mechanical and electrical).

Unfortunately, this approach also brings the main contractor challenges, including:

? Managing subcontractor attendance on site.

? Managing subcontractor health & safety.

? Managing and sharing project documentation.

? Dealing with subcontractor “claims” for additional payment due to unforeseen project issues.

You may be wondering how you can overcome these challenges or deal with them more effectively. And that’s a good thing to wonder… and to wonder what is important about that… what difference will it make when you do overcome these challenges and deal with them more effectively? How valuable would that difference be to you?

You’ll be happy to know that recent technology gives you what you need to overcome and effectively deal with each of the challenges listed above. I wonder if you can imagine how much more you can focus on the project at hand (and not on managing endless folders of raw data) once you have put the right technology to work for you. If this appeals to you, you’ll want to know about the two key technological developments as well as the solutions they offer.

Two Key Technological Developments:

1) Broadband Availability – Over the years as broadband coverage has grown and continues to grow significantly, so has your ability to have internet (datacards, wireless and satellite broadband) access on site.

2) Internet as a Shared Network – Not only can the internet be used in the same way as a traditional internal network drive, it also has the ability to be used by multiple organisations in uploading and sharing and viewing data in a secure environment. (And any part of it you want to be protected can be easily with a password.)

Solutions Available to You Now:

1) Managing Subcontractor Attendance – Solutions include, swipe/prox-imity cards, key fobs, finger, palm and facial biometrics. Biometrics improves the integrity of attendance information on site by eliminating “buddy punching”. You can also take advantage of mobile enabled biometric solutions which operate free from telephone lines or broadband. On site from day one these “plug-n-play” options provide you with a robust solution. Couple this with advancements in web-based technology and it’s possible to view attendance by operatives / by organisation / by site in real time from any internet-accessible location. This transparent view of hours worked by subcontractor organisation gives you more accurate information (re: contractor claims, future project pricing, etc.) as well as a live register of who is on site in the event of an evacuation.

2) Managing Subcontractor Health & Safety – If you’re a managing contractor then you already know that one of your biggest challenges is accurately tracking subcontractor Health & Safety documentation across multiple sites! The type of information that needs to be tracked includes:

? Company Health & Safety statement

? Employers Liability Insurance

? Public Liability Insurance

? Site specific risk assessments

? Site specific method statements

? Operative skills (e.g. CSCS cards)

Web-based technology allows subcontractors to upload required documentation remotely into a project through username/password access. The main contractor can easily track subcontractor organisations and retrieve any outstanding information.

2) Managing Subcontractor Project Documentation – The contract team can share documentation securely online. Features such as version control, controlled access by organisation etc., ensure that information can be shared easily among all selected organisations meaning that the most accurate information is viewable at all times. By taking the decision to
set up a system (see #1 above) you get an accurate point of reference to support claims for additional payments, stage payments or resources disputes across sites.

If you read the last article, you’ll already have a good idea of just how much time and money you can save by choosing to increase your efficiency. Why is that? Because this puts control of the project firmly back in the hands of the main contractor – back in your hands where it belongs – improving your effectiveness, overall efficiency, allowing more time to be spent on valuable activities rather than administration-based activity.

What would you do with extra time? Extra money? Less stress and hassle?

Now that you are aware that ~

? subcontractors can be managed more efficiently and accurately

? the technology is available to you

? the technology is proven in the construction sector

With increasing competition pushing down pricing, when now would be a good time to… increase project and contract team efficiency… deliver excellent projects with time savings… increase your profitability…

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. In future articles we will deal with subjects concerning time leakage, health & safety, traceability, budgeting and cost management.

So you are planning to have a performance discussion with your employees about being more dependable

So you are planning to have a performance discussion with your employees about being more dependable. What behaviors will you associate with this trait? Will you be able to explain what “dependable” means by giving your employees examples of specific things they do or don’t do? Or will your explanation primarily include more traits. For example:

“Dependability means to be reliable, to be punctual, to be responsible, to be available, etc.”

If you offer examples of what you mean, your employees will have a clear picture of your performance expectations. So you are more likely to get the change in behaviors you want. If you primarily use synonyms (i.e. more traits) to describe what you mean, behaviors are subject to “personal interpretation.” In other words, what represents dependable behaviors to you might not necessary represent the same thing to your employees. So you may or may not get the performance you want.

So why not increase your chances of performance improvement by being specific? Below are seven examples of dependable behaviors. Add these to your list of examples if you already have some; or start with these if you don’t.

1. Arrives at locations, meetings, or events on time

2. Completes individual assignments on time

3. Gives information to coworkers, colleagues, or superiors on time

4.Offers help when personal workload is low, but coworkers’ workload is high

5. Responds to customers’ requests in a timely manner

6. Adheres to rules, regulations, or procedures

7. Works toward the achievement of achievement of team, office, or organizational goals

Customize Your “Dependability” Behaviors

To create your customized list of “dependable” behaviors, think about the areas where you need employees’ support the most, and think about why you need their support. Do you depend on employees to arrive at meetings on time so you can end meetings on time? Or perhaps you depend on employees to respond timely to customers’ requests so you can meet goals of service excellence. Dependability covers many areas. You can create a vast list of examples by identifying the behaviors you want and the impact of those behaviors.

Clear Performance Behaviors Lead To Better Performance

Your management goal is to motivate employees to deliver the kind of performance that will help you achieve workplace goals. If your employees have a clear understanding of your performance expectations, you are more likely to achieve your management goal. When you talk about the importance of being dependable, offer examples that include performance behaviors. If you do, you will increase the likelihood that what represents “dependable behaviors” to you will represent the same thing to your employees.

Any business house having inventories to be managed should install an inventory management system

Any business house having inventories to be managed should install an inventory management system. It helps in organizing raw materials, semi-finished goods and fully-finished goods. This system also prepares the staff so that they can become helpful asserts in inventory management.

It is a helpful tool in the decision making process regarding the inventories. A well framed inventory management system is equipped enough to support in predicting demand and supply of the products. Useful information like warehouse information, suppliers’ links, raw material dealers, customers, wholesalers and retailers can be easily accessed when required. Many functions can be carried out like pre-planning for future business undertakings, sales prediction, raw materials purchase planning, production planning, etc with ease so that the final outcome is in company’s favor.

In the market highly efficient inventory management software are available along with offline resources aids in installing productive inventory management system in business undertakings. Big companies generally hire experts to take care of this system and ensure smooth functioning. Customized software is also used by big shot companies.

Organizations that have huge inventories to manage, for them inventory management system is a boon. Shortcomings like wastage, ill-managed warehouses, unmanaged demand and supply, etc can be overcome through it. However the information system in it has to be updated at regular interval of time according to the changes in inventories. Training courses are also available for imparting knowledge about better usage of the inventory management system. These courses are on short-term basis.

It has many advantages like- saves time, maintains balance between demand and supply of the inventory, act as shield when there are doubts regarding supply and transfer of goods, etc.

Inventory management system plays significant role in helping the employees take relevant decisions. Assurance of required stock availability in the warehouse can be attained through it. Costs can be kept in-check too. It also meets regulations set through inventory management system. If the inventory software is of high quality and inventory managers are skilled, the success of inventory management is guaranteed. The positive results would be seen in the form of increased business profit and revenues, better work atmosphere, customer satisfaction and higher revenues.

Several companies are their in the market selling inventory management software, which enables to manage the inventories through computer. It has become basic requirement for any company that has inventories to be managed. The main aim of this system is to use the available resources to its best use without any wastage.

Copyright © 2008

Revealing the secrets of successful practice management will you be ready

Revealing the Secrets of Successful Practice Management

Will you be ready? I Repeat Will You Be Ready?

Prime Minister Brown says the U.K. will be out of recession by the end of 2009. Will you be ready to take on the extra workload? You will have to know if you are ready to serve the good people that have also decided that the recession is over as far as they are concerned, and to have their problems sorted that have been there for months. You have to be sure that you get your percentage of patients that need your treatment to get them back to full health again, and as you know from your training, when a condition has been there for a while there can be secondary problems that also need to be corrected.

Will your practice be ready, will it be decorated, will your equipment be up to the standard so you don`t have any breakdowns when you get busy? Have you got rid of that squeaky old couch that your grandma gave you, and replaced it with an electric or hydraulic one? Plus check anything else in your practice that may need some attention, go through your practice and give it an early spring clean.

Once all these have been done you must then look at your appointment book, have you been lacking the volume of patients because of the recession?

I have mentioned this in my previous articles. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE WHERE YOU ARE, IN YOUR OWN PRACTICE! And don`t let anyone tell you anything different. All practitioners have felt the pinch over the last twelve to eighteen months

When I was in practice I went through several recessions, and cannot say any one was worse than the other. But one thing that helped most of all was my practice management, which I used constantly through good and bad times. I studied practice management for over thirty years, and decided to write two e-books to prevent practitioners like you making the same mistakes as I did during normal years and the years the country was in recession. If you want to know more about these e-books and to read my other articles please go to my site www.jrlinformation.co.uk

How are the books going to help you get your fair share of patients?

They will give you a number of ways to get new patients, and show how to get more referrals from your existing patients, and ways of meeting people and introducing your practice to them. These books will show you how to get back to growth again, hoping another recession doesn`t arrive too soon!

There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to outsourcing your company’s payroll systems

There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to outsourcing your company’s payroll systems. These depend on the size and nature of your company. However, for most small to medium sized companies it can prove beneficial to make use of a completely outsourced payroll service. This article will outline some of the key reasons.

Resources

In many small and medium sized organisations, the payroll function can consume a large proportion of your staff resources, especially if the staff in charge of the payroll are not trained specifically to deal with it or have the payroll function as a smaller part of their overall responsibilities.

The benefits of an outsourced payroll service include freeing up these resources allowing your staff to get on with more essential tasks. Outsourced functions also give you better scope for expansion of your company with scalable services suited to your business model.

Training

It can often be expensive to employ staff with the necessary training to operate a payroll system. Often this is exacerbated if there is not enough work to generate full time employment for said employee, which is common for many smaller companies. This is further compounded by the need for your payroll staff to keep up to date with the latest tax procedures and legislation.

Experience

Certain types of employment can lead to complicated payroll structures, in these cases it often pays to have a wealth of experience at your disposal, which is something you are unlikely to have with a small in-house payroll department. However a large payroll company is likely to have a wealth of experience in most employment scenarios.

Staff Turnover

When dealing with your payroll in-house, there is always a risk that you might lose one of the key members of staff that deal with your payroll. If this happens you could find it extremely difficult to train and replace him or her, thus causing a logistical nightmare come payday. Larger payroll companies have systems in place so that they can deal with their clients regardless of their own staff turnover while still maintaining a high level of service.

Technology & Security

Larger payroll companies are well equipped and have the latest payroll software to enable faster, more accurate processing of your employees’ information. This software is often expensive and requires specialist operators, something that a smaller company wouldn’t be able to justify purchasing for their own relatively small payroll functions.

Payroll service providers also have stringent measures in place to make sure that your companies data is safe, secure and always backed up so that in the event that your data may be lost, it is always retrievable, in-house departments may find it more difficult to keep sensitive staff data safe from accident or theft.

Packages

Many payroll bureaus can offer small and medium sized businesses total payroll packages in which all your payroll requirements can be met. With outsourced solutions, these packages are often flexible to meet your specific business model so you don’t end up paying for something that includes services you don’t need or that misses key features that you do need.

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