These days, projects have become more complex and have tighter-than-ever deadlines. This means that you can’t just afford incorrect allocation or mismanagement of the resources at hand. The most important task of project managers is to schedule and allocate resources most effectively so that people with the right skills are deployed on each project and stay motivated to do their best. Thus, construction resource management plays a vital role in this industry. Moreover, because of the challenges such as higher labor costs, rise in insurance costs, finding skilled labor, etc. make construction resource management tougher. Other challenges faced by the construction companies include delivering complex projects within a tight schedule and budget and still earning a decent profit. So, read on to find out how you can go about achieving optimal utilization of resources and what benefits you gain from effective construction resource management.
Defining Construction Resource Management
Construction resource management is the process of creating a detailed plan and then accordingly scheduling and allocating resources for construction industry projects required to meet the timelines and key project goals. Effective construction resource management enables project or construction managers to maintain top quality and keep their projects on a pre-determined schedule. For this, they need to ensure that people with the right competency are hired and optimally utilized in various projects. Construction resource management typically involves various tasks such as:
- Keeping a tab of the resources available — resources include workforce, machinery, tools, and equipment, materials, time, finances, and facilities.
- Allocating resources as per their competency, project requirements, and timelines.
- Reallocating or reassigning resources when the project requirement is over or if they are not suitable for the project.
- Monitoring and optimizing the resources and their utilization.
The key objective of construction resource management is to optimize resource utilization and reduce cost and effort wastage. This helps in meeting the project’s overall goals in an efficient way, which means delivering the best quality output within an established budget and timeline. If proper resource management isn’t done, you can lose clients as projects may derail or there may be cost overruns.
Resources in the construction industry include:
- Construction materials
- Tools, equipment, and construction machinery
- Human resources like architects, draftsmen, laborers, technicians, etc.
- Facility and space
- Contractors and sub-contractors
Benefits of an effective Construction Resource Management
Construction resource management provides multiple benefits to project managers. Let’s see some top benefits.
1. Lower construction costs
Imagine you have a big construction project but you have no clue how many or how much resources would be needed for it. If you are unclear, you may either allocate too much or lesser resources than needed to some tasks. This could lead to waste of effort and time, waste of budget and delayed project delivery or completion. All of this would increase your overall costs. For example, if a project manager does inaccurate calculations or estimates of people or material needed, then that can result in additional expenses. Efficient construction resource management could avert such challenges and problems from happening. But if you carefully plan and monitor the utilization of your resources and allocate them as per the project’s requirements and their skills, then your final output will be as desired and within budget and timeline.
2. Gain clear visibility of all your construction resources
At times, you may have a project at hand but you may not have the needed resources at the requisite location. How will you begin the execution of the construction project in that case? One way is to consider hiring cost-effective resources from some other location within the organization. But if you do not have business-wide visibility about all your resources, their availability, skill set, etc. then identifying the right resources can be very challenging. The right construction resource management software offers you a holistic view of availability, qualifications, competencies, experience, cost, and other key information. This saves you from scanning multiple spreadsheets to find the best fitting person for the project. For example, advanced filters of eResource Scheduler help to easily find an employee with the desired skills, experience, and someone who is available on the project schedule. The identified employee can be allocated to the construction project by using the simple functionality of drag-and-drop.
3. Enhance the productivity of your resources
Construction resource management ensures that you choose the right resources in terms of skills, cost, etc. to be aligned to suitable projects. When you do this, you can easily maximize your resource utilization and efficiency, which in turn enhances productivity and profitability. The right construction resource management software can help construction project managers to estimate or forecast the most effective utilization percentage of all resources including tools and equipment, human resources, etc. much ahead of time. Accordingly, they can arrange and schedule resources for billable and critical tasks to increase efficiency and productivity. For example, a construction resource management solution enables to the allocation of skilled resources to projects in just a few clicks.
4. Helps to be more agile and flexible
Projects often have to face sudden challenges or last-minute changes. If you don’t have enough resources to take care of such changes, you could end up with a detailed project. So, how can you ensure that you have adequate resources to handle such changes? A construction resource management tool helps you to avoid such situations by proper planning, allocation, and optimal utilization of resources. It also helps you to keep a tab of your project status and budget, resource utilization, availability, equipment utilization, materials used, etc. which helps in assessing and reallocating resources, if needed.
5. Facilitate seamless communication and team collaboration
Open communication and team collaboration are vital for delivering top-quality output. Imagine if all departments or employees in different roles have clarity about the status of the project and what they are supposed to achieve. Wouldn’t their job become a lot easier? Especially in construction projects, various tasks and sub-tasks are interdependent. Therefore, all the team members should communicate with each other at each milestone and stay updated. A construction resource management tool helps to improve team collaboration and makes communication easy between various people even if they are working out of different locations. Real-time updates and collaboration on the software enable effective communication between multiple team members. This makes solving many unforeseen challenges also easier and boosts the morale of the team.
How can you Identify Accurate Resource Requirements for Construction Projects?
Let’s understand the basic steps to estimate the resource requirement for any construction industry project.
1. Create a detailed project plan and identify all the milestones
Creating a comprehensive project plan enables making sure that everything stays on track. The plan also provides a clear insight into the project scope, resources, timelines, and all other variables. Doing so with a cloud-based and AI-enabled construction resource management tool provides a thorough understanding of all the project phases or milestones and schedules.
It also helps project managers in allocating adequate and skilled resources to suitable projects at the right time. Such software also helps you gauge what is needed to set up your construction project for success. Such a detailed plan also acts as a roadmap of what needs to be done and the skill sets needed to achieve it.
2. Identify resources needed to implement the project
After creating the plan, you need to the tasks or activities that need to be completed. Depending on that, you can determine what resources would be needed to execute those tasks and how many or how much of those resources are needed at each stage. If you do this accurately at this stage, you will be able to plan your hiring and resource allocation in a timely manner, thus avoiding any wastage of time.
Identifying the skills needed for each role is also important as how many people will be needed for each role. This enables avoiding any over or under-utilization of employees. The right construction resource management tool helps to find the best-fit people for each role and project with its advanced filters just in a few clicks.
3. Assess resource availability and reusability
If some of your top skilled employees need to be aligned on more than one project at one time; it is tough to find their availability and schedule them without any misses. However, when you use construction resource management software; it provides you with detailed availability reports. Which help you to find the availability of any resource in your organization and plan their reusability to meet the project schedule.
4. Determine an authorization process to ensure efficient resource planning
Having a seamless authorization process always enables; the construction project managers and all other stakeholders to align to the project objectives. This makes it easy to stay on track, complete project phases or milestones on time; and deliver the final project within the cost and timeline.
Achieve Seamless Construction Resource Management with eResource Scheduler
If you are looking for a solution to manage your resources efficiently in the construction industry; consider AI-enabled and cloud-based solutions such as eResource Scheduler. You can have all your data and important information regarding your projects, resources, billing, etc. on one centralized online platform. This helps in doing resource management effectively and eases monitoring the status of multiple projects.
What’s more? If you are worried about the productivity of all construction resources; such a tool helps to ensure that no employee is over or under-booked and the ideal utilization percentage is maintained. eResource Scheduler can help construction companies to plan; schedule, allocate, and optimally manage their resources.
This award-rated tool’s features such as an intuitive interface; comprehensive reports, advanced filters, drag and drop functionality, timesheet management, etc. help align the most suitable resources to projects. So, if you have questions or doubts about this tool; sign up soon for a free trial and take advantage of streamlined construction resource management.