What is Resource Management in Construction?

In the construction industry, time is always of the essence. It’s vital for construction businesses to meet project deadlines and ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

A successful construction business is one that has everything sorted out before project initiation. Devising the best possible strategies, understanding available resources, and managing them in an efficient manner will yield excellent outcomes.

After all, construction firms usually face a multitude of internal and external problems, both of which can obstruct project progress. Internal issues may include process delays, while external problems could be weather or price fluctuations. 

Another prominent external issue includes construction companies finding it increasingly difficult to hire skilled labor, which is a crucial part of quality project delivery.

Considering the ever-present and looming threat of these issues, it goes without saying that project managers should go about resource management wisely. 

What is construction resource management?

Construction resource management is the act of planning the proper use of resources and the implementation of plans to meet individual project demands. Appropriate resource management translates to optimized resource utilization, ensuring it’s in line with project objectives. This, in turn, helps with on-time project completion and an adherence to established budgets.

Many construction firms utilize platforms like ALICE to help with construction resource management. Using these platforms, you can make the best of your available labor, material, and equipment through efficient resource allocation.

The construction resource management process is based on three pillars: planning, scheduling, and management, which allow companies to avoid delayed delivery of supplies, understaffing, and overstaffing. 

The benefits of resource management

Proper resource management has numerous benefits, including the following.

On-time project completion

Ensuring that you have the correct people on site, the right amount of people present, and enough equipment available can significantly increase productivity. Additionally, mishaps are sometimes inevitable, but resource management can prepare project managers in advance to mitigate its effects. 

This results in minimal downtime and smoother operations, which means you’re less likely to miss any deadlines. 

Cost reduction 

Starting a construction project without being certain of how many resources are required can lead to issues like delays and double work due to either over or under-allocation. More often than not, equipment and material mismanagement result in exceeded budgets.

Reducing the cost of a construction project is a continuous process. Optimized resource management requires continuously monitoring different processes, which lets you take corrective measures at the right time to mitigate future risk, saving you extra costs. 

Having a resource management plan

It’s important to prepare a resource management plan before the project actually starts. 

The plan should include a comprehensive project timeline and associated activities, identifying all the resources required, proper resource allocations, and a confirmation of the required approvals while leaving enough room for re-optimizations according to situations that may arise.

Factors that make resource management challenging

To implement the kind of resource management that brings you the best possible results, you’ll need proper planning. Regardless, you’re likely to encounter a few challenges along the way.

A shortage of skilled labor

It comes as no surprise that the construction industry has seen a considerable shortage of skilled labor, with the vast majority of contractors reporting trouble in recruiting qualified workers for their projects. 

To circumvent this, construction firms can invest in regular training and mentorship for workers. You can also empower workers by placing them on projects suited to their interests for better worker retention. 

Poor communication

Communication gaps can be detrimental to construction projects. Ensure communication channels are reconciled to ensure smooth collaboration between all the stakeholders during all phases of the project.

Insufficient resource utilization

Overlooking resource utilization during a project results in a lack of focus and a higher rate of error, with both overutilization and underutilization being detrimental. Counteracting this not only requires mapping out resources, but constant and consistent monitoring of labor, material, and equipment use.

Not optimizing resource planning and scheduling

To remain competitive in today’s digital day and age, you’ll likely need to enlist the help of technological solutions. Construction, after all, involves overseeing and managing a highly complex set of tasks, and traditional methods fail to cater to the intricacies involved in construction projects. 

Stepping up your business processes by making use of available digital tools lets you save time and money while avoiding issues like double booking. A quality resource planning tool can go a long way in making project execution easier and more precise. 

Forecasting, scheduling, and allocating tasks can be streamlined with advanced resource planning and management tools. 

Upgrading your resource management lets you stay ahead

The construction industry is a competitive one, so it’s important to get an edge on the competition. To do so, it’s recommended that construction firms look at their resource management protocols and identify ways to optimize and upgrade them. 

Construction projects that are initiated on the back of proper resource management are much more likely to meet project objectives quicker and more efficiently.

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