Statista’s report reveals, “The global construction market is expected to reach $14.4 trillion by 2030.”
This growth of the construction industry is attributed to population rise, rapid urbanization, need for infrastructure development, etc. So, construction firms are looking to expand and diversify their workforce to secure more multi-faceted projects and make the most of this upward trend.
However, managing such a construction diverse resource pool poses numerous challenges, such as sub-optimal workforce utilization, project delays, budget overruns, etc. This is where effective construction resource management comes into the picture.
This article highlights its benefits and how SAVIOM’s advanced resource management software can help manage the construction talent pool.
But first, let’s understand:
What Is Construction Resource Management?
Construction resource management encompasses planning, allocating, and managing construction resources to ensure successful project delivery. It ensures that the right number of skilled resources are available for various construction operations. Its primary purpose is to enhance resource utilization, ensure successful project delivery, and boost business profitability.
Here are some standard resources in the construction industry:
Estimators: They are responsible for calculating and determining a construction project’s required budget, materials, and workforce.
Architects: They transform clients’ visions and ideas into detailed blueprints that guide the construction process.
Supervisors: They are the intermediaries between field workers and project stakeholders, ensuring open communication and transparency between the two groups.
Engineers: They are technically skilled professionals who actualize the project plans while upholding safety standards.
Construction Workers: They are the backbone of every construction project, diligently performing the physical tasks required to turn plans into reality.
Equipment: Construction projects require heavy equipment like bulldozers, excavators, cranes, trenchers, etc., selected based on the project’s time and cost.
Materials: They are physical substances such as timber, clay, bricks, etc., selected for their properties, suitability, and compliance with safety standards.
Now, let’s understand how efficient resource management can help the construction landscape.
What are the Benefits of Efficient Construction Resource Management?
As discussed earlier, the construction industry requires a massive workforce with diverse expertise. However, managing it well can be challenging.
Here are various ways in which construction resource management can prove advantageous.
3.1. Provides enterprise-wide visibility into AEC resources
Most AEC firms rely on traditional spreadsheets and homegrown tools that store information in silos and cannot provide real-time visibility into resource data. But, with efficient construction resource management, supervisors gain a centralized view of resource skills, competencies, experience, cost rate, and other vital information.
This enables managers to identify and allocate the best-fit AEC resources, i.e., laborers, architects, etc., to projects, thus enhancing productivity and engagement. It also provides visibility to the equipment and ensures the availability of necessary tools throughout the project.
3.2. Forecasts resource excess/shortage ahead of time
A lack of foresight into the construction pipeline projects can cause supervisors to scramble for competent resources at the eleventh hour, leading to unnecessary hiring/firing costs. However, effective construction resource management helps assess existing resources’ capacity and determine any excess/shortages before a project’s commencement.
Accordingly, managers can implement necessary solutions to bridge the capacity vs. demand gap. For instance, if there is resource excess, supervisors can bring forward the project schedules or sell the extra capacity. Conversely, in case of shortage, they can apply appropriate measures, such as training or planned hiring, to ensure they have adequate resources to start projects on time.
3.3. Minimizes project resourcing costs
Since the construction sector utilizes specialized resources such as architects, civil engineers, etc., their resourcing costs are relatively high. Effective resource management helps managers identify and allocate cost-effective construction resources to different activities.
In addition, it allows firms to analyze the project’s nature and create the right workforce mix, comprising contingent, permanent, senior, and junior resources to optimize project resource costs. Therefore, by carefully considering their cost rates, firms can strategically allocate resources to ensure project delivery on time and within budget.
3.4. Maximizes productive utilization of construction workers
Failure to optimize construction resources’ utilization levels can hamper productivity. If workers consistently work beyond their capacity, it can cause exhaustion and burnout. Conversely, if the workers are underutilized, they may become disengaged. However, with robust construction resource management software, supervisors can track and optimize workers’ utilization.
In case of underutilization, they can bring forth pipeline projects. Alternatively, in the case of overallocation, they can implement resource optimization techniques such as leveling and smoothing to maintain the project’s health. Moreover, they can mobilize workers from non-billable to billable/ strategic work to maximize productivity and enhance profitability.
3.5. Helps control resource-related risks
Construction projects grapple with resource-related risks like skilled labor shortages, sub-optimal workforce utilization, unplanned absenteeism, high turnover, etc., leading to project delays. Construction resource management enables supervisors to allocate resources to projects that match their skill set, interests, and availability.
In addition, it helps managers conduct scenario-based modeling and simulation to explore various outcomes. It allows them to form different resource mixes, identify the most viable resource plan, minimize disruptions, and ensure the timely completion of project deliverables.
3.6. Enhances collaboration among construction teams
Construction projects are multi-faceted, involving many tasks, milestones, dependencies, and workers. Thus, it is important to collaborate between different departments to streamline the project workflow and ensure timely completion.
Construction resource management facilitates real-time collaboration among relevant stakeholders and ensures alignment with overarching project goals. For instance, it helps structural engineers coordinate with architects to create a blueprint to guide the building process. This nurtures trust, simplifies problem resolution, and cultivates a positive work environment.
3.7. Facilitates training and upskilling opportunities
The AEC landscape is undergoing tech-driven transformation, which has resulted in widening skill gaps. To address this challenge, managers must actively diversify resource portfolios to improve billability. Robust construction resource management enables firms to provide appropriate training/upskilling programs like IDPs, on-the-job training, workshops, etc.
Moreover, this approach ensures the workforce is equipped with modern technologies such as BIM, SketchUp, Autodesk, etc. Therefore, these initiatives keep resources updated on industry best practices and stay relevant in the face of technological advancements.
Now, let’s understand how resource management tools can assist in meeting the above benefits
4. How Can Advanced Resource Management Tool Help?
Saviom’s advanced resource management software enables AEC firms to manage their workforce with precision and agility.
- The tool provides an enterprise-wide visibility view into the resource pool, aiding the competent allocation of personnel or equipment based on attributes, like skills, competencies, location, etc., to suitable projects.
- The software’s forecasting capabilities and capacity vs. demand reports help foresee skill gaps and reduce last-minute resourcing hassle.
- The utilization reports and color-coded heatmaps enable firms to optimize workloads and improve the resource health index.
- The What-if analysis feature helps create and compare scenarios to determine the best-fit workforce plan in a resource-constrained environment.
The practice of effective construction resource management offers a multitude of benefits. It ensures that projects are completed per client expectations, boosting the firm’s brand reputation.
By following the abovementioned strategies coupled with the right resource management software, supervisors can set their projects on the path to success and thrive in the competitive market.