Construction projects are won and lost in the planning process. Informed planning and optimized scheduling on projects is key to delivering client satisfaction. Scheduling team members and understanding how they’re being utilized across the organization helps to not only create a more efficient workforce planning process, it also allows electrical contractors to plan more effectively.
A strategic labor schedule on electrical projects helps electrical contractors set and maintain the pace of work. The schedule helps to define the project details and the sequence in which materials, tools, equipment, and people will be needed on the project.
One of the key advantages of preparing a well informed project schedule before diving into any electrical work is the ability to foresee any potential problems or roadblocks. With proper planning, should any issues arise, electrical contractors are better equipped to adapt their project and workforce schedules with minimal impact to project profitability.
When taking on bigger projects, putting together accurate scheduling also gives your designers, technicians, and other stakeholders more time to strategically plan their own activities and resources. With the right scheduling software for electrical contractors, operations teams are able to increase the visibility of their workforce strategy and allow relevant stakeholders to stay up-to-date with the entire project pipeline.
Workforce and labor planning tools like Bridgit Bench are built specifically for the construction industry to help maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your project and resource schedule. In this blog, we’ll outline 3 labor scheduling tips for electrical contractors to help ensure they’re getting the most out of their team.
4 labor scheduling tips for electrical contractors
1. USE SPECIALIZED CONSTRUCTION SOFTWARE
In construction today, labor scheduling is mostly a spreadsheet driven process. While they can be a powerful tool, spreadsheet systems typically result in operations teams and field managers spending countless hours each week manually updating labor requirements and making schedule adjustments.
The leading workforce planning software provides not only help to streamline and automate tedious spreadsheet-driven processes, they also help to create a more effective, strategic planning process. Bridgit Bench, for example, is the leading workforce intelligence solution for electrical contractors.
Bridgit Bench is not only intuitive, it also helps you answer three very important questions about your workforce at any time:
- Who on your team is available for more work?
- Which projects need people?
- How does my labor scheduling strategy look into the coming months and years?
When allocating a team member to a project, tools like Bridgit Bench will filter your team by title and availability to help you ensure you’re allocating the right person for the required project role. When project dates shift, Bridgit Bench helps to quickly adjust the entire team’s schedule and visualize any scheduling issues a change may create by leveraging the People and Project Gantt views. To learn more about Gantt charts and why they’re important in construction, read this blog.
2. PLAN AHEAD AND FORECAST PROJECT DEMAND
Workforce schedules for electrical contractors should be planned well ahead of any project, but should also be adaptable to any changes in the project pipeline. Delays happen, work gets done ahead of or behind schedule, and your project allocations will need to shift accordingly. Understanding how a change on one project will impact the project pipeline and respective resources helps eliminate reactive planning and helps stay ahead of future projects, bids, and any and all scheduling issues.
Accurately forecasting project demand helps to identify trends in your workforce utilization rates and can help inform recruitment strategies. Automated scheduling software, like Bridgit Bench, provides clear-cut summaries of workforce utilization rates into the coming months and years. These reports can also be filtered and broken down by region or title to help identify skill gaps that might cause issues on future projects.
3. BREAKDOWN PROJECTS INTO PHASES
Breaking down a larger project into multiple phases can help to keep track of how a project is progressing. It also helps to keep labor schedules organized by attaching project roles and allocations to specific phases. With this approach to scheduling resources, electrical contractors can quickly make adjustments to phase dates and understand the dependencies that may be impacted.
Phase based resource planning helps to identify if specific phases are bottlenecks on the project. By identifying bottlenecks, contractors are better equipped to handle them by allocating additional resources or offering training to specific team members that might be slowing a project down. Bridgit Bench supports phase based scheduling and helps contractors make swift adjustments to their phases and their respective allocations.
4. COLLABORATE WITH THE LARGER TEAM
Workforce scheduling is often the responsibility of a single member of the operations team using a series of spreadsheets. That isn’t to say that managing a workforce schedule in a spreadsheet is impossible, but they do tend to amplify the complexity of what is already an incredibly complex process. Add to that the risk of human error and a lack of sharing controls and suddenly your entire workforce strategy is being developed by a single team member with little to no input from the larger team.
Automated workforce planning tools can help to bridge the gap between departments and eliminate corporate silos. Bridgit Bench has system and custom permission groups that allow you to control the level of transparency regarding your workforce plans. By granting view-only access to the software, your team can stay up to date with the workforce strategy without risking unwanted errors. For more information about the benefits of collaborative construction software, read this blog.
Cloud-based construction scheduling software also allows contractors to reference their workforce plan and make updates while on the move. Many web-based software solutions will also have mobile apps that allow you to update and manage your workforce in real time from your mobile device.
The people are the pulse of every organization, and managing a workforce effectively is critical to organizational success and driving profitability. Having the right insight into your team’s availability can help inform which projects are pursued more aggressively, help your HR team develop recruitment strategies, and reduce overhead costs for your team.
Bridgit Bench is the leading workforce management solution. It’s incredibly user friendly and allows electrical contractors to create an efficient and effective workforce strategy. In short, moving away from spreadsheets is going to help save time, money, and help create a data-driven, strategic workforce plan.