Beyond the Build

Continuing Education

Eliminating Gray Areas

Over the years, we’ve done a lot to try to streamline our processes so we’re not wasting time on the information gathering trail. I’ve never put a name to the frustrating searching, or jumping from one platform to another to consolidate research, until I read this article from Construction Business Owner. They call it “Gray work.” 

Gray work is what happens when our team loses (or wastes) valuable time doing work around the project instead of moving it forward. This means visiting multiple locations to find the data needed for tasks like estimating or scheduling. We might be repeating processes or doing work that someone else has already done, simply because you didn’t know the resources were available or where to find the material.

We are in a peer group of general contractors coast to coast. Any of us who have been in this business as long as we have (40 years) are all trying to figure out how to store data efficiently and keep it organized. While we have not found this magic bullet to help us, we are pushing toward a solution so that we can maximize our productivity.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.