If you manage a labor force as I did you will understand the need to measure labor by units especially as your labor force multiplies, it’s the only way to communicate goals and find wasted effort.
As a business owner of a labor intensive company founded in the early 80’s, I spent all of my time convincing my team the need for simple units of measure. It wasn’t easy finding the right units to measure, I can only relate it to pushing a chain up a hill, frustrating. Estimating and project management wanted more detail than the field saw value in or was willing to provide.
Accounting could not give me monthly financial statements that I trusted. One month I was rich the next month I lost it all. The team knew we needed a solution but each discipline had a different way to get there. It all came together when we began to measure labor by units. Over the course of a few years we finally determined the right cost codes that were simple enough to communicate goals and identify waste. That was the point of complete transformation of my company. All employees, both field and office understood the driver of profitability and the accountability that was associated with the focus of labor by units. Field workers could see the results of their efforts at the end of each day as well as results from other crews.
Next came other benefits. Estimating and Project Management could reflect on accurate historical data that produced better estimates. Marketing looked for work we were productive and profitable at. Accounting was finally able to create accurate work in progress statements and monthly financials that I felt comfortable with.
After several years of measuring labor by units we developed software that automates this measurement process and creates huge focus, fun, accountability, and profits above industry averages.
If you are not currently measuring production by units I would love to help you transform your company into a fun and production focused team where everyone can speak intelligently about how to achieve company goals. I hope the link to the video will be helpful in understanding how systems can change behavior much easier and more consistent over time than strong personalities.