Construction is a much more volatile industry than others that are climbing out of the pandemic sales slump for several reasons. Site shutdowns because of pandemic restrictions or lack of skilled labor, supply chain interruptions, and skyrocketing raw materials due to supply shortages have left much recovery to be done in the construction niche.
However, this is an opportunity for many construction companies to take advantage of new technology, or simply “new to them” technology. After the 2008 financial crisis, many construction companies expanded their technological reach and knowledge, giving them a leg up on post pandemic recovery. Resource planning software, known as ERP software, has been making an enormous difference in the daily construction operations of businesses from small to global in size.
The key selling point of ERP software is the ability to create a marriage between all aspects of your construction business. Every facet of the construction business, from job estimating to payroll, to heavy equipment maintenance, can be managed from a single platform. ERP software, sometimes it replaces five or six software suites, and it is a simple solution to getting all departments on the same page across the board.
By centralizing everything from start to finish, jobs can be completed in a more timely fashion, and final invoicing can be done from the field, expediting the payment process.
How much more could your construction supervisors take care of if they could handle contract management in the field? What about multi-site management issues? Are your construction supervisors able to move resources, equipment, and staff to the site from one software platform?
The ability to find out the raw materials, send heavy equipment to the site on time, and ensure that skilled labor reports to the job site to start the project, is a reality for construction supervisors using resource planning software. ERP software makes planning projects and navigating equipment a simple task, and the ability to route everything from the job site means construction planning can be performed quickly and efficiently, in most cases.
Construction management and construction company owners know that there is more to human resources than simply hiring someone who can operate a front-end loader. Human resources in construction companies also include ensuring that all staff that reports to the job site is fully trained in site safety, fully trained and, in most cases, licensed to use the heavy equipment, and clad in their personal protective equipment.
Site safety can never be taken lightly, due to the risk of injury and death that construction workers face every day. Not only is there mandatory OSHA training that must be performed before an employee reports to the site for duty, but there are safety equipment checks and reports that must be handled before the equipment can be used or operated for the day.
A failure to document safety equipment inspections and heavy equipment maintenance can lead to major issues if there is an accident on the job site. It’s vital that they handle the safety management in a construction company with strict attention to detail, and it must follow the letter of the law.
Effective project management occurs when a full snapshot of the project can be obtained in real-time. Labor, costs, materials, and adherence to the timeline are all factors in a complete overview of the project. If you’re missing any of these components, you don’t have a clear picture of where the project stands at this moment.
Once a project is allowed to run off track, it can be nearly impossible to rein it back in successfully. By closely monitoring every aspect of the project, from start to completion, costly mistakes and oversights can be avoided with minimum interruption to the staff and client.
Clients value consistency in the construction business. When a job is estimated, and they submit a job scope with the proposal, the client expects that scope and proposal to be etched in stone. Effective project management ensures that the scope doesn’t walk out of allowance, and that the proposal encompasses all the necessary costs, from materials, to permits, to site labor and clean-up.
If any one of the billable components isn’t managed carefully, someone is going to have costs to eat. If that someone is your client, you just lost a client. In addition, lien releases and permit closing need to be attached to the final project billing to ensure that no oversights are made.
One of the worst ways to derail a project is with equipment breakdowns that could have easily been prevented. Just because a backhoe is in the field, that doesn’t mean that it should miss its preventative maintenance work. Resource planning software takes the guesswork out of equipment maintenance, allowing dispatchers to view the equipment downtime status, and provide updates to the client about the machinery that is on site.
Parts, warranty issues and machine history can all be accessed easily from one platform, so that everyone stays informed at all times. Mileage reporting, fluid levels, and even battery condition can be reported in real-time, so that equipment maintenance issues don’t put a hold on the most important matter at the job site- the project.