TL:DR – Bridgit Bench is the only workforce planning platform built to actually manage, track, and forecast your entire team. From salaried project admins to craft and hourly workers, Bench is your all-in-one platform for workforce planning that’s easy for everyone on your team, and flexible enough to work for your business.
Is it even a workforce planning tool if it can’t support your entire workforce?
The problem with a lot of the options for workforce planning software in construction is – they aren’t actually equipped to manage your entire workforce. They all tend to lean one way or another. Some are better for planning project admins and salaried staff over long periods of time and are ill-equipped to handle the needs of the craft workforce. Others are better for handling trade and craft workers and shorter allocations, but things get more complicated when you start adding in the professional staff.
For a workforce planning platform to support your entire team, attention to detail is required. Ignoring those details leads to a messy strategy with bad information rolling up into your forecasting, projections, and decision-making. It’s like shooting an arrow with a bow. Being slightly off at the point of release might feel minimal, but the farther out the arrow (your strategy) flies, the less and less accurate it gets. More often than not, contractors wind up using workarounds that don’t quite work, or their workforce planning winds up being split into different tools.
Attention to detail is where Bridgit shines. We understand there are subtle differences in how your project admins and craft workers are staffed, tracked, and forecasted. We also understand that not everyone on your team needs access to every corner of your workforce strategy. More on this to come.
One team. One tool. Seems obvious, right?
Bridgit Bench is the only platform built to handle all of your workforce planning needs. That’s right, all of them. We built Bench with the flexibility to meet your team’s unique needs and to be user-friendly so that everyone on your team feels comfortable enough to log in, make updates, and find the information they need.
Flexibility means understanding the subtle differences needed to plan project admin and craft teams effectively and accurately.
Easy means making sure that if you’re familiar with planning one, the other doesn’t require you to learn an entirely new tool.
Subtle differences in your planning require attention to detail on our end – did I mention that’s where we shine?
So what are those differences? Let’s start with the most important one.
We’ve all been there before. We’ve all shared a document or spreadsheet with multiple people and thought “view-only, or edit access… might as well just give full edit access to everyone, just in case”.
Full edit access is basically the modern-day Pandora’s Box. You know. We know it. We built careful permissions in Bench to make sure your other users can never open that box up.
While it’s important for some of your people to have access to everything in your workforce plan, there are also plenty of people whose focus should remain on their work, their teams, and their projects. Bridgit Bench gives you complete control over the transparency of your workforce strategy.
Want your Field Ops team to plan, track and manage your craft labor, but not see the project management side? You got it.
Want your Operations Team to plan, track and plan your project management team, but not get distracted by the craft side? No sweat.
Tom and Debra over in HR need to see everything, but don’t need to be making any changes at all?
Tom, Debra, have at it.
Bridgit Bench can help make sure that everyone has the information they need to do their best work, but will always make sure you get the final say on their level of access.
When adding people to Bench, you have the option to add them as an “hourly” or “salaried” profile.
Each profile type has its own customizable skill sets. They also have their own respective cost rates/role values, both of which will inform your different reports and forecasting. This is where that attention to detail comes into play. More on the reporting later.
An hourly profile in Bench.
A salaried profile in Bench.
Look pretty similar, right? That’s the point. Time off, project resumes, certifications, attachments, notes, and contact information… all work the same. Catering to both sets of team members doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. It means understanding what needs to be different from project admins to field staff, and then helping to draw clean lines between them to keep Pandora’s Box closed.
We also have our People Gantt view, where you can visualize your entire team and their respective utilization and/or assignments. From the People Gantt you can see team members with availability for work or, on the flip side, team members that might be spread too thin. The Gantt is customizable and great for creating reports for your project admin or field staff. Don’t need to see both? No problem, you can easily apply a filter and create the view that works best for you.
Let’s take a look at projects.
I was going to write a long section here about all the subtle differences you need to pay attention to when planning your projects with so many screenshots (so, so many). But in reality, planning either role type in Bench is so intuitive you’ll pick up on them instantly.
Here’s the gist of it.
Can you plan hourly craft workers and salaried admins on the same project? Yep.
Will you ever need to duplicate a project in Bench so your Ops and Field Ops can be kept separate? Nope. Not ever.
Can you control who has access to make changes? 100% yes. Give your operations team access to manage their people and your field ops team access to manage theirs. That way everyone has the access they need, and you still have a holistic view of your entire workforce whenever you need it.
Can you create custom views that only display your admins or craft workers? Look below. That’s the Project Gantt in Bench (I know, screenshot. I couldn’t help it). Using the Gantt settings, you can hide the craft/hourly staff to reduce the clutter during staffing meetings.
See this one below? These are all the roles on this project, but instead of having to scroll past all the admins when you’re talking about labor requests with Field Ops, they’re collapsed so you can keep the focus where it’s needed.
This is where shooting that arrow accurately really comes into play. This is also one of the main reasons that contractors will use multiple tools to track one workforce. They need some of their team to roll up into one report, and some of their team to roll up into another. If there isn’t attention to these details, everyone gets grouped together and the arrow you thought was aimed true is suddenly miles off course.
The Hourly Workforce Report
The Hourly Workforce Report is where data from your field teams and labor will roll up. This report gives you an overview of each project in your pipeline and the ability to look at the planned hours and cost of your people over the duration of the project. The report can be viewed in weekly or monthly intervals and will also let you know the remaining cost and hours remaining on your projects.
Just want an overview of the people or the numbers for each role on your projects? Yea, you can do that too.
The Strategic Workforce Plan Report
The Strategic Workforce Plan Report is where data from your project admins and management will roll up. It will consider all of the roles you have on your projects and compare them directly against your supply of people. This report will include, but keep separate, any roles you’ve added to your pursuit projects (pictured below in purple). That way you can get a sense of your upcoming project demands and even run scenarios with specific pursuits to see their impact.
Workforce planning for your entire workforce
The tech boom in construction is still in full swing. There are new solutions popping up every day for problems that contractors never know existed in the first place. In some cases, contractors have already started creating metrics around reducing or consolidating their tech. The tools they use can’t just be a one-trick pony anymore. They have to be versatile. They have to be flexible. They either have to solve multiple problems, or they have to solve one problem for multiple teams.
Having to continue planning your workforce with multiple different tools is only solving half the problem and for only half of your people. There’s still the disconnect, still the silo, still the time-consuming manual work. With Bridgit Bench, we can help get your entire team aligned, using the same tool, and making sure that when that arrow gets fired, it hits its target every time.