It’s almost been a full year since the coronavirus pandemic caused construction sites across the world to be shut down. We’ve come a long way since then, but the impact of the pandemic has continued to be felt, especially when it comes to skilled labor availability.
As a direct result, general contractors have begun ramping up their self-performing teams. While this may be viewed as a negative for subcontractors, it can actually be a good opportunity to evaluate your labor scheduling process, ensure you’re getting the most out of your team, and gain a competitive edge when bidding on contracts.
In this article, we’re going to explore 3 key tips to improve labor scheduling for subcontractors and highlight some of the benefits of automating the labor scheduling process using construction workforce intelligence. To learn more about workforce intelligence, check out this guide.
3 labor scheduling tips for subcontractors
1. Use subcontractor scheduling software
There’s often a few names for this process: labor scheduling, resource planning, workforce management, etc. Whatever your organization calls it, there’s a strong chance that your labor scheduling is a spreadsheet driven process. That means your project operations are spending countless hours each week manually updating labor requirements and making schedule adjustments. Time that could be spent more productively.
Effective subcontractor scheduling software goes well beyond what a system of spreadsheets is capable of, and in much less time. Bridgit Bench, for example, is the leading workforce intelligence solution for subcontractors. Aside from being easy-to-use, Bridgit Bench helps you answer three questions about your skilled labor at any time:
- Who on your team is available for a project?
- Which projects need people?
- How does my labor scheduling strategy look into the coming months and years?
Not only does subcontractor labor scheduling software allow you to streamline your planning process, it also helps to make smarter decisions in regards to your workforce. 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.
2. Forecast project demand
Labor scheduling for subcontractors is constantly shifting. Delays happen, work gets done ahead of schedule, and your team’s availability will need to shift accordingly. Understanding how these changes will impact the rest of your workforce strategy can help to reduce the amount of reactive planning your team does on a regular basis and help you stay ahead of future projects and potential scheduling issues.
Having the ability to forecast future project demands will also help to identify trends in your project pipeline and allow you to make informed recruitment strategies. Automated workforce management systems, like Bridgit Bench, provide game-changing insight into your workforce utilization rates into the coming months and years. Notice that your utilization rate is pushing 100%? That likely means your team is spread too thin and you might need to bring on more team members. Utilization getting too low? Being able to identify the time period of the decline, and who is available to work can help inform which projects you pursue more aggressively. To learn more about forecasting with Bridgit Bench, check out this page.
3. Get your team involved
Subcontractor workforce planning is more often than not the sole responsibility of a single member of the operations team. In the best case scenario, that usually means they’re maintaining a series of spreadsheets. That isn’t to say that managing your workforce in a spreadsheet is impossible. However, due to lack of security and sharing capabilities (not to mention human error), spreadsheets can quickly stifle any collaborative efforts within your team. It’s easier to just do it yourself than to have to locate and fix any unwanted changes to the plan.
Automated workforce planning tools can help to bridge the gap between departments and break down siloed information. 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.
Cloud-based construction scheduling software also means you aren’t tied to your desk. Many web-based software solutions will have mobile apps that allow you to update and manage your workforce in real time from your mobile device.
You might be picking up on a trend at this point. Spreadsheets are a great tool, just not for managing your workforce. Your people are the pulse of your organization, and managing your workforce is foundational to your organization’s success. Having the right insight into your team’s availability can help inform marketing and sales efforts, help your HR team with recruiting, and reduce overhead costs for your team.
Bridgit Bench is the leading workforce management solution. It’s incredibly user friendly and allows subcontractors to create an efficient and effective workforce strategy. In short, it’s going to save you time and money while setting you up for future success.