Construction projects is the careful coordination of a lot of moving parts. Managing people and equipment among different projects and locations can be difficult to keep track of. When any piece of the construction puzzle is not in the right place it creates a cascading effect of challenges which can result in lack of productivity, idle equipment or wasted materials. As a result, resource management issues causes a company to lose time and money on projects. So, it’s important that the right resources have to be at the right place at the right time.
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Challenges in Resource Management
Growing number of projects – As a result of increased residential and non-residential construction projects, contractors are taking on more and more projects. Managing multiple projects with various deadlines can provide resource management challenges. Unfortunately, an overburdened workload can be more damaging in the long term in terms of liquidated damages or the production of ow quality work.
Shortage of skilled labor – While there is a large demand for construction services, there is a shortage of skilled labor especially in trades. Managing a limited workforce against a large project workload is due to create additional strain for construction companies. Scheduling your team becomes a complex puzzle of ensuring resources are utilized in the most efficient way without overburdening their schedule and workload.
Poor scheduling – The combination of project overload and shortage of skilled labor is perfect recipe for poor scheduling mistakes. Overworked employees result in large overtime costs for a company. In addition, overworked employees will become fatigued. The danger companies have with fatigued employees is that they are are less productive and at a higher risk for accidents and injury. Proper scheduling and resource management provides for owners to realistically examine project schedules and workload given the current availability of resources.
Materials not delivered on time – Careful planning and scheduling must be made to ensure that the right materials are delivered at the right time. Many construction sites do not have adequate storage or are zero-lot-line projects. So, careful planning and scheduling must be made to ensure that materials are delivered at the right time. If delivered too early, they will not be able to be stored securely. If delivered too late, the project can be delayed overall or you will need to double your labor in order complete installation according to schedule.
Changes in project schedule and scope – One small change in a project can change scope and cause a delay. When managing multiple projects this can create a disastrous domino effect. As a result, a change in one project will cause other projects to make adjustments to their schedules and resources.
Outdated workflow – Many companies use paper forms and spreadsheets for resource management. While this is a low-cost alternative to resource management software, this manual process is prone to errors and inefficiencies. It becomes easy to miss key resources and mismanage the schedule by working on outdated documents.
Benefits of a construction resource management software
Inefficient workflows and manual processes is a scheduling nightmare. Many construction companies are implementing resource management software to manage and track the schedules of resources and projects. Benefits of implementing eSUB resource management software include:
Visibility – Resource management software provides visibility of all projects, labor, and equipment to plan effectively. With visibility of all projects and schedules, users allocate resources based on employee skill level, equipment availability and project needs. Users can view the availability (or lack thereof) of resources among long-range construction project needs or short-term service requests.
Accountability – A centralized, comprehensive view increases accountability among your team members. Users will be able to instantly access information regarding the assigned location of all employees and equipment. Users track missing equipment to its last jobsite location and employees that were at the jobsite.
Grow strategically – A resource management system provides management important information to determine areas and projects where they must schedule more labor. Any deficiencies will be transparent to management and decision could be made to either subcontract more labor or increase headcount. Balancing growth in labor force will allow a company to take on more projects and increase revenue.
Manage costs – Viewing labor allocation allows management to review the utilization (or under/over utilization) of employees and equipment. Management makes adjustments accordingly to reduce overtime costs for employees or rental fees for equipment.
Today’s construction company has a limited number of resources among a growing number of projects. Resource management software will allow a company to have increased visibility into resource availability to plan more effectively. Most importantly for construction companies that want to grow, determining the under or over utilization of employees will allow management to make informed decisions in order to take on more projects, increase revenue, and grow strategically.