How Efficient Are You at the Job Site?

Keep these tips in mind when considering ways you can be as productive as possible with your time spent in the field

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Time is money, so finding ways to make every minute count on the job site can go a long way in enhancing your productivity and potentially your bottom line.

For example, say you work an 8-hour day five days a week for 50 weeks out of the year and lose just 10 minutes of productivity from going back to your vehicle for a forgotten tool, to charge a battery or to locate client information you can’t seem to find when you need it. That will add up to almost 42 hours of lost productivity a year — or a week’s pay.

To help reclaim some of this potentially wasted time, here are a few ideas for enhancing job site efficiency:  

Assess and restock service vehicles

Keep a standardized list of tools and products for each service vehicle and make that list available to your team for regular reference to ensure routine items are stocked and at the ready.

Refer to the list at the end of each day and restock any needed items so you are ready to go at the start of the next workday. Taking those few moments at the end of the day can improve productivity and minimize delays getting to a job site. 

Prepare teams for upcoming projects

Just as you make sure your service vehicles are stocked and ready to go, ensure your team is prepared for the day as well. Whether it’s a quick meeting at the beginning of the day, a team email on who’s doing what or a group text with key project notes, sharing details about what is planned for the day can be beneficial in making sure team members know exactly what’s expected of them when they get to a job site.  

Minimize trips to the truck

How many times have you gotten started at a job site and suddenly realize you’ve left a key tool in your vehicle and must run back outside to grab it? Keeping standard tools and supplies — you know the ones that you can’t live without — in a toolbox or storage container that you bring into every job regardless of the project can minimize trips to your vehicle.

This also goes beyond tools and project supplies. Bringing materials needed for invoicing clients into a home at the beginning of a job so that you don’t have to run outside to grab it at the end can also be a timesaver.  

Maintain your tools

It sounds simple, but taking routine care of your tools can minimize downtime for tool repair.

Many newer tools will alert you to upcoming service needs, allowing you to plan for maintenance, whether that’s swapping in another tool while that one is in the shop or planning for projects that don’t require that tool while it’s out of service.

Investing in some of these tools with diagnostics may make sense if unexpected maintenance or repairs are a regular pain point in delaying your work. However, understanding how to properly use your tools, keeping them clean, and if needed, charged and lubricated, can keep them ready for the next project longer.

Make technology work for you

Technology can be a powerful tool in enhancing efficiency — not only immediately, but also down the road.

While no one is encouraging nonwork-related cellphone use, allowing crew members to keep their phones with them so they can call you the moment they run into an issue — and not have to run out to the vehicle to grab their phone — has its benefits. Smartphones and iPads can also be used to store images, video and project notes that can be uploaded to a client’s file back at the office for future projects, giving those team members a head start on what they may run into on the job site, whether that’s a year or 10 years from now.

These are just a few ideas that can help you and your team get more quickly from one job to the next. And whether that productivity means getting to head home a little earlier at the end of the day or being able to take on a few more projects each year, these small tweaks can have a huge impact. 

About the Author: Christopher Burton is director of brand strategy and marketing communications at RIDGID, a global manufacturer of more than 300 dependable and innovative tools, trusted by professional trades in over 100 countries. Learn more at


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