The Domino Effect:
Time is Money

Dominoes lined up and ready to fall.

As we all know, polishing concrete requires a bunch of steps done in a specific sequence. Much like a domino chain, the cumulative effect produced when one event transitions smoothly into the next creates momentum and productivity persists. When the sequence is disrupted — whether major or minor — the chain topples. The momentum stops and time is lost.

Regularly, I see a broken link in the chain that causes work disruption for no reason.

When a grinder operator on a polishing job site finishes processing a specific area, he or she stops the machine in place instead of thinking/planning out where it needs to be next.

A polishing contractor using a grinder to polish a concrete floor.
When done grinding for the day, the operator should position the machine where it will be used next. Photo courtesy of CFR Commercial Floor Resources in Calhoun, Georgia

Here’s the tip:

Think and then act

The operator should plan where the machine needs to be left:

  • Do not stop the machine and leave it sitting on the just processed floor.
  • The grinder should be placed just outside the area.
  • The machine should be placed facing the direction where the next grit process will begin.

Create a new habit

Added benefits of performing this simple act:

  • The entire processed floor area can be cleaned (always) and inspected (if necessary).
  • The dust from the grinder when leaned back will fall onto the just-processed floor and will be cleaned up as the floor is cleaned.
  • Less chance of creating doughnut/random scratches if the machine struggles to spin when started.
  • The grinder operator will only turn the machine off and on one time between grits.
  • Less times jerking back the machine.
  • Less fatigue and chance of injury to the grinder operator’s back, legs, arms and core.
  • Less time doing things twice and fewer opportunities to lose momentum.
  • Increased productivity.

You may be thinking, “So what? This isn’t a big deal. This is micro-managing.”

Now, think again.

Think about how many times machine operators stop and start their grinder each day. Each stop and start takes a few minutes or more depending upon the situation. Each time a guy stops is a chance for extra conversation, a smoke break, a text or phone call. Now multiply those wasted minutes by the number of machines. Your guys easily waste an hour a shift every day to these minor interruptions.

Now think about an open-store remodel when you’re only allowed a seven-hour shift. Productivity will suffer in all situations, but it certainly becomes more obvious when timing is critical.

So, teach your guys to think while they push that grinder, plan their next task and watch the dominos fall ….

Have more questions or a suggestion for polished concrete topics? Feel free to contact Jennifer Faller at [email protected]

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