Construction Resource Management – The Key To Your Business’s Success

The construction industry is a resource-heavy one and efficient resource management is crucial for you to succeed here. If resources like equipment, material, labor and finances are mismanaged, it could unfortunately mean a delayed or even a failed project! This is where construction resource management comes in – it is simply the process of planning, allocating and scheduling all available resources keeping their capacity and the project needs in mind. This would lead to the completion of the project on time and within budget.

What is Construction Resource Management?

For any project to be successful, it must be delivered on time and within a pre-determined budget. Construction projects are no different; in fact, a lot of them come with a financial penalty clause in case of delays. This makes efficient management even more critical.

Construction projects have specific resource demands and are heavily dependent on the resources used, which include:

  1. Heavy equipment
  2. Construction materials
  3. Human resources – skilled workers like architects, engineers, surveyors, etc, as well as unskilled construction workers 
  4. Time  

The project manager bears the onus of ensuring that all the required resources are available for the project to be completed in time. However, external factors like government regulations, volatile prices, labor shortages, rising insurance costs, unpredictable weather, etc can all have an impact on the project’s progress. It can be a tough task for the project manager to juggle all the allocated resources effectively and efficiently to deliver the project.

Construction resource management is a must – it equips the project manager to plan, allocate and manage all the resources efficiently to fulfill the goal of completing the project successfully. Resources are utilized optimally, productivity is maximized, tasks are completed effectively and the project is delivered on time.

Why is Construction Resource Management Important?

Construction resource management facilitates proper project resource planning that ensures that all demands are met, resources are utilized optimally and projects are delivered on schedule. It essentially encompasses all the areas of project planning which include:

  1. Monitoring the availability of all resources like equipment, materials, workers and time.
  2. Ensuring that resources with the required skills are available.
  3. Allocating resources to various project tasks and across projects.
  4. Creating resource schedules to meet the project needs and timelines – worker schedule planning is a key aspect of construction resource management.
  5. Tracking to ensure all resources are optimally utilized and none are wasted.
  6. Reallocating resources to meet the changing demands of the project.
  7. Increasing resource productivity is most cost-effective.
  8. Reviewing resource needs from time to time so that new resources may be acquired in time without hampering the project’s progress.

Challenges Project Managers Face in Managing Construction Resources

Construction projects are different from each other. Certain challenges are unique to this industry:

  1. Shortage of construction workers – There is a spike in construction activity post-COVID, leading to a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers. Project managers need to plan for potential human resource shortages by having access to a larger resource pool.
  2. Lack of right skills – The available resources may not have the skills needed for the job.
  3. External factors – Poor weather conditions and natural calamities can slow down or halt construction.
  4. Inventory management – Construction equipment and materials are expensive and companies keep limited inventories. Shortages or delays in procuring these can often slow down the project, adding extra workload to the existing resources. 
  5. Change in government regulations – This can lead to a change in the project scope as well as delays.

Importance of Implementing the Right Construction Resource Management Tool

All these challenges underwrite the fact that using a good construction resource management tool would be extremely beneficial for project managers. Efficient resource planning and management can have manifold advantages for a construction company. It can lead the way to a successful project. Construction resource scheduling software like the eResource Scheduler equips the project manager with the right tools to make their job easier.  

Benefits of Adopting a Construction Resource Management Tool

Here are the benefits a company reaps by adopting a construction resource management tool.

  1. Centralized pool of available resources: Details of all resources including equipment, workers’ skills and experience, costs etc. are available on a single platform. Managers can use the resource identification feature of eRS to tag and even relocate resources from other locations to the project location if it is more cost-effective or if the scope of the project changes.
  1. Lower construction costs: Efficient resource planning ensures that there are no delays due to resource shortages. Resources are procured based on project needs and no extra resources are sitting idle and adding to costs. Project financials can be tracked and it’s easier for the manager to control costs by comparing actual and forecasted expenses.
  1. Fewer delays: Effective allocation ensures that resources are spread across the project based on their capacity and in tune with the task’s needs. Tracking them continuously helps the manager to reallocate resources (using the drag-and-drop feature) as soon as there are any changes in the project demands. There are fewer snags and tasks are completed on time.
  1. Greater productivity: Streamlined allocation and scheduling ensure that the right resources and skills are assigned to the right tasks, based on the resource capacity. Resource capacity and utilization reports ensure there are no scheduling clashes and that no resource is overworked or underutilized. This maximizes productivity and efficiency.
  1. Increased transparency and visibility: The reports of eRS gives project managers the flexibility to track the project progress in real-time and check resource availability at a glance.
  1. Ease in adapting to changes: Project needs can change and may require additional resources. Having access to real-time data can help project managers quickly identify and source these resources to ensure that the work continues uninterrupted.  
  1. Facilitates future planning: Managers can hire and develop the right set of skills in their workforce which helps them forecast requirements for future project demands too.
  1. Increases team collaboration: The availability of all relevant information on a single platform keeps all team members in the loop about the project goals and scope. They can see the real-time progress of the project and use personalized chat rooms for team-relevant discussions. Communication and collaborative trouble-shooting is more effective and effortless, fostering a more conducive working environment.

Technology is being increasingly adopted in the construction industry, with automation taking place in many areas, from designing to planning to execution. Using software like the eRS keeps project managers on top of their game. Projects are dynamic and their scope can change or expand during their lifecycles. Knowledge is power and being able to get all relevant information at the click of a mouse equips managers to easily adapt and make the necessary changes in resource allocation or timelines to maximize productivity. eRS provides the tools project managers need to plan their resources so that they are utilized optimally and the project is completed successfully, increasing the company’s profitability. Contact our team for a customized demo to see how eResource Scheduler can help your business.

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