What You Need To Know About Resource Management in Construction?

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Construction resource management

Looking for a way to set your construction company apart from the pack? We know it's a tough market out there, profit margins are shrinking and competition for key projects continues to be fierce. How about we tell you that instead of implementing every new "trend" to managing your operations, the actual hidden way to increase your company's bottom line is by implementing a construction resource management software.

Hear us out. Much like other industries, but even more prevalent in construction, are your resources. And without proper resource management, projects can fall behind schedule, become unprofitable or never see the end of the tunnel. You might have been using homemade spreadsheets or personally designed softwares to manage resources, but often these tools operate in separate silos and don't have the capacity to give an enterprise-level view of resources.

Let's take a deeper look at the role resource scheduling plays in the construction field and understand why implementing a resource management solution might be the hidden key to your company's longevity and success.

Importance of Construction Resource Management

In any construction project the stakes and risks are high. Why? Projects are tied to predetermined time bound objectives, material and resource costs are volatile, there's a high influx of contract workers and external factors like unpredictable weather. Project managers must take critical decisions to minimise conditions that can extend tasks beyond scheduled duration.

A construction project also requires highly specialised talent, alongside temporary labour. Some of prominent players in a construction projects are:

  1. Architect: The main man behind the scenes who brings the client's vision and develops the blueprint for the project.
  2. Estimator: The estimator is incharge of determining the total cost of a construction project based on the Scope of Work. The Scope of Work is a document that lays out the entirety of work that needs to be done in order to complete the building project.
  3. Supervisor/Shift Manager:The supervisor is the link between the field workers and the management office. The supervisor oversees the day-to-day management and functioning of the construction site.
  4. Quality Surveyor: Quality surveyors keep tabs on the contractual and financial aspects of a construction project. They review the architect's blueprint and calculate the cost of the materials required.
  5. Engineer: Any construction project requires multiple engineers – building, electrical, mechanical, and civil — each specialist managing their respective domains. For example, a civil engineer will oversee the technical  and safety aspects of the project, while an electrical engineer will focus on designing, testing, installing, and maintaining large-scale electrical systems for the job site.

At any given time, a construction site can face the following challenges -

  1. Shortage of skilled labour due to poor resource planning or key resources going on unplanned leave.
  2. Changes in scope due to external factors such as weather or materials not getting delivered on-time which can add additional workload on existing resources Poor communication about project scope and responsibility that results in employee burnout and disengagement.
  3. Inefficient planning tools (legacy systems or spreadsheets that have just basic HR-related data) that lead to key resources being over or under utilised or double-booking errors.

In addition to human capital, construction sites have to manage equipment and raw material inventory as well, which adds another jigsaw puzzle in the mix. The result from having multiple prominent players and moving inventory is that construction projects are dynamic, interdependent and ever-changing. There are multiple moving parts and it's easy for a project to get delayed or overshoot budget, even if one piece isn't planned or performing up to the mark.

This is exactly where a construction resource management tool can prove beneficial. A resource management tool will build a comprehensive process that will allow for proactive planning, scheduling, and managing of enterprise-wide resources for the construction industry.

5 Benefits of Using a Construction Resource Management Software

Resource management provides an array of advantages to construction project managers. Here are is a list of some of the benefits availed from adopting the right construction resource management system are:

  • Improved job site efficiency - A construction management system will allow a manager to monitor staff schedules, including their skill set and leaves, account for changes in demand, and even prepare a resource forecast model. All of this will make the functioning of the job site smoother.
  • Increased field productivity You can see which resources are available in real-time. eRS construction resource management solution provides a centralised view of skills, qualifications, experience, cost rate, and other vital information. One no longer needs to reconcile multiple spreadsheets to identify and allocate appropriate construction resources for the project at the right time.
  • Fewer costly interruptions. Using a dedicated construction resource management system, over a DIY system like a spreadsheet, reduces any chances of planning or human errors. How? The system automatically alerts you about availability and capacity of resources based requirements. eRS also has resource capacity planning capabilities that will identify any resource gaps; these projections can help the management take data-backed decisions on how to plan for and manage shortage. With a resource scheduling tool, you can build a buffer on resources. For instance, if a civil engineer has to leave for a personal emergency, the system will show you the backup resource who is available so the project can keep moving forward.
  • Improved financial performance. With KPI (key performance indicators) such as resource utilisation, costs and billable tasks, it becomes easier for managers to keep the project in the green. Project managers can also control costs by tracking and comparing forecast vs. actual spending. If there is a variance, necessary corrective measures can mitigate project risks ahead of time. The eRS software can be used to create an accurate estimate of designs and labour, and the time period required to carry out a project, so that the deviation between the actual costs and the projected costs doesn't surpass the allowable limit.
  • Easier for remote collaboration. Your team might be overseeing multiple construction projects at one time, that too across different geographic regions. In construction, tasks are interdependent. The quality estimator can only plan for resources once the architect has delivered the blueprint. It's essential that everyone is on the same page. Through eRS, everyone has access to all project timelines and progress and thus remote collaboration becomes easier. The single-screen dashboard provides real-time statistics on resource allocation, finances and utilisation rates. It eliminates any guesswork and also builds accountability.

Construction Needs Resource Management & Planning

Resource planning and management is one of the most important ingredients for competitiveness and profitability in today's construction industry. Haphazard planning of a construction project can affect the outcome of the project and your company's stature. Therefore, planning for optimum use of labour, raw materials, architectural design, and schedules is essential for the proper distribution of resources and a successful project completion.

Established in 2004, eResource Scheduler has helped more than 800 businesses across the globe, manage and execute projects with minimal errors and disruptions. Our team of experts can provide a customised demo of how our planning software can help your organisation so you too can hit your goals, stress free.

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