A Guide to Effective Construction Resource Management
Construction companies have the unique problem of trying to deliver complicated projects with thin profit margins on time and within a budget. Rising insurance rates and the increasing difficulty of recruiting the type of skilled labor needed to efficiently bring that project to a successful close have made a difficult job even more challenging. Perhaps this is why 53 percent of construction companies reported decreasing or halted productivity over the last five years, according to one survey. This is why resource management in the construction industry is more important now than ever.
There is one distinct way to decrease your costs and remain profitable—companies should move to automated resource management systems. Too many construction companies still rely on outdated data collection methods, such as paper forms, spreadsheets, or even verbal communication. This is highly ineffective and leaves the company prone to loss and inefficiency. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the construction industry suffers $1 billion in losses every year due to theft of equipment and tools and a lot of that stems from mismanagement of inventory.
Costs incurred from this type of loss range beyond replacement fees to impacts on productivity, delays, and even injury.
An automated system combines a company’s assets and material data into one centralized and easily accessible database. These systems can be applied to the warehouse, shop, and to the field personnel to streamline the accounting and tracking for all of the company’s resources. They also provide for automatic data collection, whereas manual data collection is slow and often inaccurate. If incorporated with other highly efficient technologies, like RFID chips, companies can increase productivity, decrease overhead, and maintain accurate accounting for all resources and materials involved in the project or in multiple projects.
Benefits of an Automated Resource Management Program
Better productivity—Automated systems help ensure that tools and equipment for a project are going to the right place, maximizing employee efficiency.
Better accountability—If a tool or piece of equipment goes missing, managers can pinpoint the last employee to handle the item using automated tracking systems.
Decreasing human error—When inventory is proscribed barcodes and RFID tags, management no longer has to rely on verbal communication or memory to know exactly where all of the warehouse items are and how many of each item management has. Making mistakes in inventory can otherwise be extremely costly.
Maintenance—Beyond tracking where items are and how many of them are there, automated systems can track safety information. These programs can tell management what tools and equipment are due for calibrations or inspections without having to rely on manual or physical verification.
Reduce cost—Having the proper tools and equipment at the right place and the right time will drastically reduce project interruptions and increase productivity. These factors unequivocally decrease cost.
Better knowledge of inventory—When management is determining assets and necessities in making purchases, the automated resource management systems can quickly and accurately provide all the information needed to make the best decision possible.
Eliminating paperwork—Automated construction resource management systems can automatically charge customers and departments for resources lost or damaged or for the resources used. This process gets rid of the tedious and inefficient process of printing and delivering paperwork, while simultaneously creating more accurate reporting. It also has the potential to save your construction company up to $5000.
If you want to learn more about how to make your project more efficient by better managing your resources, take a look at some construction management software. Construction management software is designed to help these processes along and help business owners make the best financial decisions for their company.