Workforce management software is a staple when it comes to any construction company’s tech stack, helping to oversee employee work, manage labor requirements, and plan employee schedules. Using the right software platform, you can optimize a project’s workforce to save your construction firm time and money through increased efficiency.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of workforce management software, the benefits of using it, and the 10 best software platforms on the market.
What is workforce management software?
Workforce management software (often abbreviated as WFM software) are solutions that help companies coordinate personnel and ensure optimal labor productivity. They’re used during the planning, forecasting, and construction phases to not only streamline internal processes and reduce the time spent on resolving workflow issues but also allow companies a more organized approach to labor management.
These programs aren’t necessarily standalone solutions. Rather, as you’ll see on our list, individual workforce management apps often integrate with others to provide companies with the most ideal suite of tools for the best access to features.
Workforce management software solutions help by:
- Assisting with forecasting labor demands
- Allowing users to develop more comprehensive workforce contingency plans
- Giving users quick access to workforce capacity calculations and labor reporting
- Tracking attendance
- Letting accounting more easily manage PTO requests and worker schedules
Workforce management platforms are most frequently used by companies with large workforces—and usually those that hire a lot of contractors and part-time workers, but businesses of all sizes can benefit from better employee tracking. This type of software is used in every industry, whether it’s healthcare, hospitality, or manufacturing, but is all the more important in construction due to how many hands are often involved in projects.
Labor is the backbone of construction projects, and any role that deals with overseeing labor will need to use workforce management tools, including project managers, estimators, and finance and accounting.
Importance of effective workforce management software solutions
Effective workforce management is important to the success of construction projects. Here are some reasons why construction firms need to implement these solutions.
Improved information accessibility and communication
Having a centralized location for all information not only improves accessibility (therefore speeding up core operations), but also enhances communication. Having one source of truth gives you a greater chance of conveying and exchanging accurate information.
Optimized project management processes
Knowing how much labor will be needed and how much is available at your disposal can help with optimizing project management processes. Feasibility estimates will be that much more accurate.
Possibility to track multiple metrics
Manually tracking metrics, especially for larger projects, can quickly become overwhelming. With workforce management solutions, you can track multiple metrics simultaneously, simplifying how you plan and oversee labor.
Looking to be more strategic with your people?
We partnered with Construction Dive to outline the steps any contractor can take to be more strategic with their workforce management.
Benefits of using construction workforce management software solutions
Next, let’s discuss why efficient construction companies choose to invest in workforce management solutions.
Reduces labor costs
As we discussed in this article, labor is typically a significant expense for construction companies, comprising between 20% and 40% of any given project’s budget. Workforce management tools help professionals keep those costs under control by making it easy to visualize current personnel allocations and determine whether they align with company objectives.
More efficient staffing meetings
Case studies of Bridgit Bench users have revealed that good workforce management systems and software can reduce staffing meeting times by as much as 50%. Ray Cisco, Vice President of Operations at James McHugh Construction, reports our software helped them with their meetings from an hour and a half to 20 minutes at most!
Workforce management tools offer employees assurance that their contributions and productivity won’t go unnoticed. On a more acute level, these applications also avoid scheduling mistakes that can leave employees feeling like they’re spinning their wheels.
This is about more than just creating a positive work environment for the sake of it. At a time when construction labor is in short supply relative to demand, keeping good employees is essential for maintaining your company’s workforce capacity.
More accurate estimation
Construction workforce management software solutions allow you to more accurately estimate the amount of labor needed for a project, as well as how much a project’s total cost of labor will be. Accurate estimates mean less waste, which can save your construction firm a significant amount of money.
Downtime can be defined as inactive periods of work, or time in which production stops. It can occur because of site, equipment, or labor-related issues. For workers, it’s often caused by low morale and worker fatigue. Workforce management solutions allow you to optimize utilization rates so there’s less downtime, which can help you control costs.
Proper distribution of construction workforce capacity
By properly distributing your construction workforce capacity, you can identify and avoid under and over-allocated staff. Using such solutions lets you fix problems before they have a significant impact on your construction project.
What to look for when choosing a construction workforce management software
Here are some key things to look for when choosing a construction workforce management software.
- Cloud-based data storage – How secure will the data be? Will the system automatically create backups in case of mishaps?
- Integrations – Does the software platform offer a lot of integrations? How seamless are these integrations? What additional features will be made available?
- Ease of use – Will the software platform be easy to introduce to workers? What extent of training is required for successful implementation? How much maintenance will be needed?
- Recurring costs – Is the platform a one-time cost, or is it subscription-based? How feasible is the cost for the size of your construction firm?
10 Best construction workforce management solutions
Next, let’s discuss 10 highly-rated construction workforce management solutions for construction professionals. Here are the top workforce management solution companies.
1. Bridgit Bench
- Balfour Beatty
- Andersen Construction
One of Bridgit Bench’s most powerful features is its ability to help construction professionals forecast workforce needs and make confident data-driven scheduling and hiring decisions. Other features include:
Bridgit Bench also integrates with various project management, HRIS, and CRM platforms, including:
You can use this platform to plan your workforce strategically, leverage historical project data, and make more informed decisions. Features for tracking, reporting, and custom permissions ensure that your workforce will be optimized, and general contractors can use Bridgit Bench to stay ahead of staffing needs and more effectively plan their resources.
You can, for example, view which project roles are unfilled, see workforce utilization rates, and track your workforce allocation on current and upcoming projects.
Request a demo to learn more about Bridgit Bench.
While Bridgit Bench and Procore are ideal for higher-level tasks like workforce scheduling, Timecamp is all about time tracking. It’s among the top-rated tools of its kind for subcontractors in industries such as:
The wild part? Timecamp’s free tier offers functionality, including:
- unlimited users
- unlimited projects
- PDF report exporting
- desktop and mobile applications
You can track employee time and create both reports and timesheets from the collected data. The platform lets you see how teams are performing, if teams are meeting productivity metrics, and whether the project has remained within budget.
3. Autodesk BIM 360
BIM 360 is part of Autodesk Construction Cloud, a suite of applications designed for not only general contractors and subcontractors, but also project owners. BIM 360 is akin to Procore in that this construction workforce management software offers a suite of powerful features aimed at systematizing processes such as:
- RFI management
- document management
- safety management
- quality assurance
Autodesk is a major driver of innovation in the construction management space, even beyond its own products. For example, the company led a strategic $7 million investment in Bridgit Bench last summer.
Some particular features include:
- Team coordination
- Communication tools
- Information centralization
An interesting aspect of BIM 360 is its emphasis on mitigating the risk of clashes. This platform can auto-detect clashes, sending change notifications to allow experts to work more effectively. Other analytical and collaborative features also prevent overlapping work.
Learn more about BIM 360 and its functionality.
ExakTime is another workforce management software and construction time tracking application. What sets it apart from competitors is its ability to curb fraudulent time theft practices, such as buddy punching.
ExakTime exists as a mobile application and rugged physical device that can be placed on job sites. ExakTime also comes with a feature called AccountLinx, which syncs with payroll software, making it a great all-in-one solution for time tracking.
Some key features of ExakTime include:
- Geofencing and photo capture for clock-ins and outs
- Payroll syncing
- Data reporting
The platform also integrates with:
ExakTime eliminates the need for contractors to chase their employees down for time cards, offering automation that can easily be scaled for small to large construction ccompanies.
Learn more about ExakTime here.
5. Paychex Flex
While workforce scheduling and time tracking are crucial, so are payroll and human resource administrative tasks (i.e., health and benefits). Paychex Flex is an award-winning application designed to help in those areas.
Its payroll service offerings depend on whether you’re a small, midsize, or enterprise business. Nevertheless, some key features include:
- Online and remote access to payroll software
- Automatic calculations, payments, and tax filing
- Benefits administration
- Management of payroll options (e.g., direct deposit, cheques, paycards, etc.)
In addition to offering payroll and HR administration software, Paychex also offers consulting services (i.e., a dedicated HR provider for clients), hiring services, and employee onboarding.
They’ve also started offering a cloud-based time and attendance solution. Their time clock works through iris recognition and finger scan, and the data syncs with their platform for payroll.
Learn more about Paychex Flex.
6. When I Work
If you’re looking for a lightweight employee time tracking and communication tool, When I Work is well worth considering. While you’ll likely want something more robust for scheduling field workers and resources, When I Work is very popular among companies managing office employees.
When I Work offers these features:
- Employee scheduling
- Time clock
- Team messaging
The company’s product is built with the intent to improve communication, make time tracking easier, and ensure faster scheduling.
Pricing options include a standard and advanced plan, with the advanced plan offering more features for a few additional dollars per user. Since pricing is based on a per-user basis, it’s probably best for small to mid-tiered businesses.
Learn more about When I Work.
Procore offers a full suite of tools. This construction workforce management software can also serve as a central hub, allowing you to connect multiple applications (including Bridgit Bench) and create the ultimate tech stack.
Procore’s standalone features include:
- tender management
- quality and safety assurance
- design coordination
- building information modelling (BIM)
- invoice management
The platform is suitable for owners, general contractors, and subcontractors, and can be used for:
- Preconstruction planning
- Project management
- Financial planning
- Overseeing labor
- Data analysis
For workforce planning in particular, Procore lets you access real-time insights into labor availability. You can view skill sets, conduct proper scheduling, and communicate through their platform.
8. Enterprise eTIME
Enterprise eTIME is a workforce management software and workforce data collection and analysis tool developed by ADP. It includes finger-scan time clocks and card-swipe mobile devices that curb all-too-common time theft issues in construction.
Enterprise eTIME is a no-brainer if you already use ADP’s human resource management services; the data collected will easily sync, as you’d expect.
Some key features include:
- Attendance tracking
- Absence management
- Time-off management
- Email notifications
- Task management
User reviews praise the platform’s ease of use, while negative aspects point to bugs, clutter, and lack of user-friendliness.
Learn more about Enterprise eTIME’s features.
Zenefits is a human capital management platform and workforce management software designed to help you streamline employee compensation, benefits, taxation, and more. As of late, the platform has even introduced features that help companies coordinate COVID-19 responses.
The platform focuses on:
- Payroll administration
- Tax filing
Zenefits is designed to speed up onboarding, help with tracking part-time off, and assist with managing benefits. Payroll also becomes easier, with faster payments that can be scaled as a company grows.
Learn more about Zenefits’ pricing and features.
Last but certainly not least, we have Quinyx, an AI-powered workforce management system used by countless Fortune 500 companies, including McDonald’s and Hilton. While Quinyx’s broad scope arguably limits its usefulness for scheduling construction field workers (as with When I Work), it’s quite useful for scheduling office personnel.
Some features of Quinyx include:
- Time and attendance
- Strategic planning
- Demand forecasting
- Labor optimization
- Advanced analytics
The platform’s AI component claims to help workforce managers optimize allocations in a highly systematized way. Automated calculations and forecasts in particular help with creating schedules.
Workforce management software makes your job easier
No matter the size of your construction project, workforce management is a complex, but crucial part of ensuring the project’s success. Software solutions can ease the burden and streamline core processes, reducing the likelihood of error while helping you achieve organization in labor management.
We hope this article has made you aware of the many workforce management systems and software programs available. For more tips on choosing the right construction management processes and programs for your needs, you can also visit our blog.
Whether your construction project is big or small, your construction firm will benefit from enlisting the help of workforce management software solutions.