As a technician in the field, every single second of your time on a job site has a value to it. If you are self-employed, that value directly affects your wallet. If you are wasting time on a job site, that is money out of your pocket that can’t be made somewhere else. If you work for someone else, and you are wasting the company’s time, it effects your company’s bank account and therefore your ability to grow with the company. Nothing frustrates an employer more than a technician that is inefficient on the job site and burns up job hours.
Wasting time on job sites can be simple things like not making good use of your trips to your work vehicle. For example, if you are arriving on a job site to troubleshoot a problem with a security camera system, some guys will go into the job site empty-handed with a clipboard and the mentality of finding out what the customer’s problem is first. A more efficient step would be to grab a volt meter, Rapport Tester (monitor), and some basic hand tools for your first trip in. Sure, there is a possibility you won’t need them, and it is something simple, but why not be prepared? If half of the times you grabbed your tools, you ended up needing and using them to resolve your issue, you would be saving a lot of time. How much time? Think about the trip to the elevator or stairs, the trip to the parking structure a block away where your truck is, multiply that time by two and that is the time you saved in one trip by being efficient.
The above also works the same way when you have all your tools on the job site already. If you have to make a trip out to the truck to grab another tool, a ladder, or a piece of equipment, be efficient. Look at all the tools, wire, and equipment you already have on the job site and see if there is anything you no longer need. This will be one less trip you have to make when you are loading your truck up to leave the job site. No extra work, no extra time, just pure efficiency!
One of my personal efficiencies that I used to constantly get teased for as a technician were my hardware boxes I kept on the truck with me. These boxes were loaded with all the types of hardware relating to the type of jobs I was doing. For example strut hardware for hanging TVs, various nuts and bolts, numerous drywall screw sizes, panel locks, stand offs, and anything else I used on a regular basis. Where my co-workers would make a 20-60 minute trip to the hardware store and just use the company credit card when they needed parts for a job, I would make a quick trip out to my truck.
Like a boy scout, technicians need to be prepared and be efficient. When I go to a hardware store for specific nut, screw, or other part for a job, I buy two boxes/packages. Chances are in the future I will need them again, and at the cost of a couple bucks, the time it will save me is 50 times the value of the hardware. To this day, I still have several shelves full of hardware and I still operate under the same mentality. This past weekend was a great example of eliminating a trip to the hardware store. I was doing an access control system and needed a special M10 Cap Screw; sure enough, I had one in my hardware box from a trip several months back. It is a great feeling to know you dodged a uneeded trip to the hardware store because you thought ahead on a past trip. Having the screw probably saved me easily an hour of time going to get one.