The construction sector is a global powerhouse, accounting for more than 6% of global GDP and more than $10 trillion in annual revenues earned. It’s a key factor in international economic growth and development, and it also provides the foundations upon which virtually every other land-based industry operates.
However, despite the essential nature of this industry, construction is still fraught with challenges and inefficiencies in the modern age. Outdated construction workforce management techniques lead to resource wastage, underutilized workforces, and a general inability to complete quality projects within specified time frames and budgets.
Technology, as always, could provide a workable solution to these problems. Investment in construction workforce management software and workers’ compensation software has boomed over the past decades, and top global contractors have continued to focus on adopting these technologies to optimize their businesses’ profitability and drive improvements in productivity.
Let’s delve deeper into the benefits of construction workforce management software and how it can address common construction inefficiencies in order to produce top-tier workforces and project results.
Understanding Construction Workforce Management
Simply put, construction workforce management refers to the use of technologies, tools, and protocols to improve the efficiency of construction workers and projects and to ensure that all resources and labor pools are being put to optimal use.
Technology is playing an increasingly pivotal role in construction workforce management in the modern age. Tools like mobile tech, wearables and worker monitoring technology are all used regularly in the industry to keep track of project progress and promote ongoing success.
Likewise, software like building information modeling, preconstruction and construction workforce management programs are also being used to streamline training and communication practices and track key performance metrics.
Why Construction Workforce Management Software is Necessary
Research by McKinsey has found that large-scale construction projects are taking 20% longer than scheduled to be completed, on average. These delays result in completed projects that extend more than 80% over their original budgets.
Experts believe that these inefficiencies are tied to a general lack of investment in construction and IT technologies. To illustrate this point, the average construction company’s R&D budget is equivalent to just 1% of its annual revenues.
Under-investments like these result in glaring operational inefficiencies; a sentiment which has been reinforced by workers in the industry. An estimated 35% of construction workers believe that their teams spend more than 14 hours per week on non-productive tasks like hunting for job-related data, addressing errors, and performing reworks.
Thankfully, the tides are beginning to turn for the construction sector. Another McKinsey study discovered that investments in construction technology have doubled over the past ten years. Increased investment in tools like construction workforce management software is enabling leading global contractors to adopt integrated workforce management strategies that put their skilled teams to work in more productive and cost-effective ways.
The Benefits of Implementing Workforce Management Software
Project owners and managers who focus on construction workforce management finish more projects on time, meet budgets more effectively, win more bids, and promote a stronger, more positive worker morale.
These are the benefits that you could stand to gain by using trusted construction workforce management software in your own company.
1. Significant Cost Reductions
Labor costs are one of the largest costs on any major construction project, with some reports noting that they can account for up to 40% of project-related expenses. This means that you can stand to save significant sums of money by using software to implement proper construction workforce management.
Using automated software may result in less rework, fewer change orders, and the more coordinated deployment of labor. Your savings can be reinvested in additional technological tools and better equipment and benefits for your workers to improve their productivity further.
2. Improved Data Collection
Studies have shown that just 0.5% of data collected by construction firms is being used effectively. Your company could be taking advantage of a wide range of labor insights that could be used to improve time and attendance management, scheduling, and workforce productivity as a whole.
Construction workforce management software can gather and analyze this data to assist in this process.
3. Better Forecasting
The vast majority of construction projects are not completed on time or within budget. This is a widespread and persistent problem, fuelled by constant delays, that can lead to hefty cost overruns. Research from the Journal of Construction Engineering found that 61% of contractors reported frequent delays, while a further 28% noted that delays were ‘very frequent’.
The vast amounts of data obtained through the use of construction workforce management software can be used to create more accurate forecasts. Better forecasts will allow CM’s and GC’s to track workers’ movements, mitigate risks, and avoid potentially costly delays.
4. Efficient Task Delegation
Project managers often find it challenging to delegate tasks to employees in a way that maintains the efficiency of the project at hand. You can use management software to easily delegate tasks to workers based on their aptitudes and skills.
The software will also notify you as to which employees are available to work on a project at any given time, and assists those employees in managing their tasks. Staff that log on to the system will receive reminders and notifications to ensure smooth completion of every project.
5. Ensures Client Satisfaction
Client satisfaction is as beneficial for employee productivity as it is for the clients. Construction workforce management software enhances client satisfaction by helping to ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and according to clients’ unique specifications.
Most programs also include specialized tools that improve clients and supplier relationships, which can promote successful project completion through clear, willing collaboration.
How to Streamline Your Workforce and Boost Employee Productivity
Employing the use of construction workforce management software can go a long way in improving the productivity of your team. However, this software works best when paired with a comprehensive labor optimization strategy. Here are some additional steps you can take to streamline your workforce:
- Give your workers and subcontractors the tools and equipment they need to communicate effortlessly so that you can address sources of wastage immediately and maintain pull planning at all times. Most workforce management programs include messaging and real-time collaboration tools to facilitate this cross-team communication.
- Schedule resource recovery using your automated software to conserve resources. Resource recovery involves using the materials from construction and demolition waste for the manufacturing of new materials and products. This prevents counterproductive resource allocations and helps to complete projects on time and within budget.You can also streamline your workforce by using management software for labor deployment. Use your workforce management software to forecast labor demand, create employee schedules, and report on workforce efficiency.
With the right construction workforce management software, you can use real data to align these variables with every stage of your projects’ development in order to achieve consistent, productive workflows.
- Embrace constant improvement in workflows and planning. You can use project management technology to scale these variables in order to facilitate the growth and development of your team over time.
The Bottom Line
Construction workforce management is essential if you want to keep your construction business on an upward trajectory. Modern tools, software and processes are simplifying workforce management to a whole new degree, while ensuring that your employees have the tools and data they need to maintain peak productivity.
When you adopt a trusted software solution to implement streamlined construction work approaches, you can reduce production costs, improve the visibility and accountability of your workforce, and better manage your valuable human capital. All of these factors will enhance your business’s performance and its profits alike.