In terms of process improvements, it seems electricians have trailed behind the mechanical sector for a long time, always playing “catch-up.” And yet, to fully enable companies in the electrical sector to catch up, the playing field needs to be leveled. That’s where technology can make a difference.
Multi-trade tech options, artificial intelligence for example, can help level that playing field. But before you jump into tech adoption, make sure your company has the right workflows in place to take full advantage of that technology.
Experts with industry experience are advising companies to standardize their processes first before trying to implement tech to address an issue. Process improvement is the most important first step to becoming better than you were.
Electricians need to focus on optimizing their untapped potential. After companies begin to standardize, they can see how much their processes are improving. While it is not easy to standardize, the results provide a big return on the investment of time to achieve it. Small changes can make a big impact. Once you get your process fine-tuned, then you can implement the complementary tech to support it.
Many companies refer to the “secret sauce” of doing their jobs faster and more profitably. But the reality is that a company’s workflow, its process, is the secret sauce.
Using prefabrication as an example, the end product for every company is basically the same. The difference is how they got to that end product – the flow, the stations, the people, the work process. Every company’s “how” will be different.
Within your company, be realistic when introducing and implementing fundamental changes like standardization. Choose just a few things to implement at first. Focus on them, make adjustments as you go, and get good at them. Don’t try to do everything at once. Start small with easier changes so you and your workers won’t get overwhelmed. Even under the best circumstances, things will go wrong. Some of the best lessons come from failures. It’s all part of the learning process.
Your workers are extremely important to the company’s long-term success. So, involve them in your process improvements. Effective communication between management and employees plays a vital role in making a company successful.
Establish a way to gather input from everyone in the company, particularly field workers. Give them a way to submit ideas for improving processes. Make them part of your company’s efforts to become better than you were. When you give them an avenue to share the tricks they use to make their own job easier, others will be able to benefit from that. Then acknowledge their input in order to encourage them. Creative ideas need to be shared to change workflows and mindset.
Quickly evolving opportunities are affecting every company’s long-term success. Whether it is prefab processes or some type of tech, there are hurdles facing electrical workers today. The important thing is to work toward improving processes for every electrical company to elevate the industry as a whole.
Tune in to episode 196 of Bridging the Gap Podcast, recorded during Advancing Prefabrication 2023, to hear from Jared Christman about improving processes in the electrical industry.