4 Things You Need for a More Efficient Prefab Shop
11 January 2023Construction, Digital Transformation, Electrical, Fabrication, HVAC, Mechanical, MEP, Plumbingcommunication, efficiency, prefab, prefabrication, software
If you’re in the mechanical, electrical or plumbing (MEP) space and want to improve the operation of your prefabrication shop, you may need more than a full workforce or the latest equipment and software. It can help to keep your workers equipped with the specific information, tools and training they need to do their jobs well.
With that in mind, following are 4 things you need for a more efficient MEP prefabrication shop:
- Procedures: To complete jobs most successfully, there should be established procedures. Everyone on the project benefits from understanding what is expected in each business process: purchasing/receiving, fabricating components, handling documentation, and transporting finished components to the field. There also need to be safety measures in place for workers so they can perform at their highest level safely. Procedures are a framework for your shop’s portion of the larger job. Planned correctly, you can keep installers informed and ensure each job is finished well.
- Technology: Today’s prefabrication shops are continuously changing. According to an article on Forbes.com, new technologies can affect the quality and speed a prefab shop can achieve. The article described a new wall material – LG HI-MACS – that competes with drywall but performs better and requires less labor to incorporate into a job. The acrylic solid surface is painted, prefinished, antibacterial, and it resists stains, scratches and mold.
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- Tools: Your entire workforce should be aware of the status of the tools used in your business. For equipment in the shop, regular maintenance and required updates should be tracked and performed when prescribed. This is another opportunity to establish a procedure so you can avoid problems down the road – a fix in time saves nine. If it’s not you, assign someone to stay informed about advancements and options for tools in your industry. Remember, training is a tool you should take advantage of. When your staff is adequately trained on the tools they use – be it software or equipment – they will be more efficient and safer in their work. Be sure to partner with an experienced company so you can stay up to date on your tools and your staff’s training.
- Communication: Open communication among team members is key. It keeps them informed about the projects in process, the changes that affect their individual tasks, and even timelines for upcoming projects. Staying up to date saves time and avoids errors. It also makes everyone feel like they are part of the company’s journey. Designers, fabricators and installers should validate designs, confirm specification and code requirements and discuss potential issues. Open lines of communication – so designers and fabricators can communicate about jobs in real-time – combined with established shop processes will help solve problems before they end up costing you time and money.
Improving the operation of your prefab shop becomes easier when you encourage communication and stay well informed on the procedures, technology and tools that can give you the competitive advantage you need.
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