I have just been through the very painful process of building a factory. Despite an amazing and highly experienced builder, the enormous consumption of unnecessary and wasted energy, time and resource was a thing to behold. To add to the sheer frustration of it all, and despite the construction taking place in a secure industrial estate, we also still suffered theft!
We had contractors arriving when they could not work, because another contractor had not completed their jobs. Some contractors arrived with – and installed – the incorrect or defective products, only to be told they had to remove them and redo the work with the correct products. This caused even more delays. Then of course, when the work was completed, the relevant fire, health & safety inspectors moved in – only to advise the work had not been adequately completed or installed. Further delays, further costs and a heap of admin work to reschedule everything was the natural result.
My experience led me to ponder on why, with the awesome software solutions available on our smartphones, we accept such enormous waste and inefficiency – especially in these cash starved, COVID riddled times. Here are some suggestions as to how controlling construction site access can help to remove some of these inefficiencies.
The Right People at the Right Time
Site access software solutions allow you control who is allowed on your construction site and when. So for example, you can make sure that the contractor installing doors cannot access your site before the bricklayers have finished their work. You can send notifications should there be delays to your contractors as and when they occur – thereby allowing work dependent contractors to better plan and reschedule their services. You can also ensure that fire, electrical, health and safety inspectors are notified as to when their presence is required, so inspections can be done proactively – allowing time for the necessary adjustments.
An example of a great access solution is Rapid Visitor Access, offered by OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd. This is a simple sign-in solution for your site that keeps all records visible in real-time. You can add all your contractors, and their employees, to the software. They can see who is on site and when, thereby allowing them to understand when they will be required to work. You can do all this off an app on your smartphone, or on your laptop, sitting in your car, your office or in a coffee shop.
OHS Pre-qualification of Contractors & their Employees
As anybody in the construction industry knows, making sure contractors on site are OHS compliant is very time consuming and often the result of delays in work on site. One missing document can bring construction to a halt, costing an enormous amount of money and resulting in dreaded delays.
Imagine being able to ensure contractors are approved BEFORE they arrive on site and being able to use your access control solution to ensure only pre-approved contractors may enter. This helps you to make sure that your contractors are approved when on-site, minimising OHS risk. It also gives you sufficient warning that your contractor is not approved, thereby allowing you do deal with the possible delay proactively.
You can also use your access system for contact tracing – so you are fully COVID compliant!
Workforce Management Software solutions like Rapid Visitor Access and Rapid Contractor software, offered by OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, can assist with both ensuring your contractor is approved well before they are due to be on site, and ensuring only compliant contractors may enter the site. A convenient dashboard allows you to see who is and is not compliant. All this is easily accessed from anywhere as the software is cloud based. Solutions like this improve communication – which saves money and time at the end of the day.
It is estimated that stolen equipment and material account for up to $1 billion per year in losses in the construction industry – so it’s worth investing in on-site security. Some steps you can take to ensure your construction site is secure include:
- Scheduling timely deliveries – when the right people are there to take the delivery and check what has been delivered is correct;
- Keep record of every person who has been on site and when – so if there are any incidents you know exactly who was there at the time of the incident;
- Requiring anyone on site to register as being there using geo-location, so you know contractors and their employees are/were there;
- Keep valid ID’s, contact numbers and address records of everyone on your site – so you can find and contact them if needed.
Keeping track of all these people arriving at and leaving your site and having their documentation on record can be daunting and a seemingly impossible task. With solutions like Rapid Contractor, the contractor is responsible for uploading all their documentation and all you need to do is verify it for compliance. This allows you to improve your security with minimal input. Solutions like Rapid Visitor Access will geo-locate anyone arriving on site, ensuring they can only sign-in when they are physically there, and of course approved to be there.
Train your Contractors
A key part of effective communication is making sure your contractors know what is expected of them, so that they will comply with your operating procedures and meet your quality standards. This can be difficult when dealing with multiple contractors, of multiple sizes, who will offer a variety of skills and services.
Fortunately, with workforce management software solutions like Rapid Contractor, you can add any training manuals and/or communications to the system, and your Contractors will be required to complete the training or read the communication before they can become compliant and are therefore allowed on site. The system can also require that each of their employees answer questions on the information supplied, to ensure proficiency and understanding. Training and/or communication can be delivered based on the size, location, or type of service the contractor will offer – ensuring your contractors are compliant only where they need to be.
Training could also include detailed specifications on the product and services they are required to deliver, so you are confident these requirements have been communicated to the right people.
With the multiple challenges any construction business faces today, cost effective tools that allow proactive work methods are essential. Using software as a service tool can make what was an enormous administrative burden far easier, allowing your staff to concentrate their skill and energy in other areas of your business.
Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award-winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering Health & Safety software solutions for over 20 years. Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. All their solutions come with mobile apps.
OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also have a great support team who are available to assist with live or online demonstrations, user guides, and relevant information you may require. They can help you with the expected ROI calculations and can share their tips on how to best maximize user adoption and can help you deliver on your plan!