How much is admin really costing you?

There are certainties to be faced in every business — from taxes, to hiring and firing, and of course, admin.

In an industry as mobile as construction, admin is made even more complex. Coordinating an entire field workforce is a huge undertaking.

As one of the most time-consuming aspects of a business, have you ever thought about how much admin must really be costing you — especially over the course of a year?

In any business, but especially in a growing business, the slightest inefficiency can create a massive knock-on cost that continues to add up over time. And ideally, you want every single staff member to be utilising the best of their skills to get projects completed on time.

But that’s not likely to happen when they have to spend such a huge portion of their time chasing up admin and paperwork.

Have you calculated the real cost of admin in your business?

With all the paperwork and scheduling that happens in construction, there’s always going to be some admin that you have to deal with. But what about the admin tasks that you shouldn't have to deal with?

Let me illustrate the incredible time drain that manual processes can have on your organisation:

Time drain #1: Whiteboard scheduling

Potential time lost in a year: 78+ hours per full-time employee.

A huge number of businesses still function on schedules and rosters that are mapped out on whiteboards in the main office.

While this does make it easy for management to make changes, it can cause serious difficulties for field workers.

At best, they can access a photograph of their schedule. At worst — and most commonly — they have to travel to the office to view their schedule and job information. And from the office, they then have to travel to the site.

From conversations we’ve had with clients, they’ve told us that it’s not uncommon for this to add at least 20 minutes to work travel time. Based on an average that we’ve seen in many clients’ businesses, there’s a strong possibility that your field workers could be spending 1.5 hours each week (at minimum) on non-essential work, just travelling to check in with the office schedule.

Not only is that even more time that your employees are away from home, but it's a huge staff expense — especially if you’re paying by the hour.

Time drain #2: Chasing up emails

Potential time lost in a year: 130+ hours per full-time employee.

Using email is a step in the right direction towards automation and efficiency. But they’re not quite all the way there yet — especially when it comes to inductions and workflows. The average office worker spends up to 2.5 hours a day checking emails. In the construction industry it’s less, but in many of our clients’ companies we’ve seen scanning, sending and filtering through emails take many field workers and project managers at least 30 minutes a day. It can be a huge drain on productivity, and having to chase someone up only makes it worse.

When a job is delayed because someone hasn’t checked their emails or processed an induction properly, this can also lead to potential major issues with invoicing and overall customer satisfaction.

Time drain #3: Paper documents and forms

Potential time lost in a year: 1,106 hours per full-time employee.

Putting aside the obvious environmental consequences of using excessive paper — manual paperwork is far from ideal. Whether you’re filling out forms on a clipboard, mailing documents, physically transporting documents, filing or retrieving important information, there’s a significant amount of unnecessary tasks that contribute to the 56% of employee time that's dedicated to paperwork.

56% is huge, and it means that you’re potentially spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per year just so your employees can do paperwork.

As I said earlier, forms, inductions and official documents are an inevitable part of every business. But when almost all of them are available digitally, there’s no excuse for wasting time on manual processes.

And what happens when these are digitised and can be actioned immediately and efficiently?

You’ll see a huge boost in productivity and a colossal reduction in the hours spent completing, sending and catching up on paperwork.

The effects of excessive admin on your business

Obviously, there’s some cross-over of tasks and time in the categories I spoke about today — you are still running a construction business, not a library. But it’s fairly clear that manual processes are a huge drain on expenses and productivity and could be sucking up over half of your field workers and project managers work time.

Manual processes ultimately mean you’re getting a low ROI on your staff, because all that admin time prevents them from actually contributing to the revenue generation side of your business.

There’s also the delays and inaccuracies that happen during back-and-forth — causing project dates to get pushed back, as well as delayed invoices and an overall low quality of data, documents and induction information.

When it comes down to it, there are far better things your business could be investing in than excessive admin.

What's preventing streamlined admin?

The easiest and best way to streamline your admin and construction management is to adopt some sort of project management system. But there’s one key issue with that:

In a lot of industries, particularly construction, there’s a great deal of fear surrounding the adoption of new technology.

Even the initial cost of installation is enough to scare some people off. But there’s also the potential hassle of managing the change and transition. And then there are others who are afraid that jobs will be replaced entirely with technology.

Project management systems: lift your staff performance

Streamlining your admin doesn’t mean that you have to replace employees, go through a huge, painful transition or fork out a huge expense that you can’t afford.

What it does mean is that you can rapidly reduce inefficiency.

Using an integrated project management system can boost your business performance and allow you to achieve an unprecedented level of productivity. With an integrated system, you gain:

  • Scheduling and planning that’s accessible remotely by your entire field workforce
  • Immediate, real-time notifications of any project changes to all involved in the project
  • Project information all in the one place, including employee qualifications and inductions
  • Easy assignment of people to projects, tools and equipment, ensuring you’ve always got the right people in the right crew.\

To learn more about the massive time savings and efficiency that you can gain with Kontrol4, check out our client stories. If you want to keep hearing about ways that businesses have streamlined their project management and boosted productivity, subscribe to our blog.

To talk to us about how an integrated project management system can be tailored to drastically reduce admin time in your business, call Kontrol4 on 1300 99 67 67 or email