Why you should look ahead when managing your resources

Why you should look ahead when managing your resources

With a reduced workforce, the construction industry is constantly faced with the challenge of doing more with less. Being able to recognize when it’s time to take on new projects, or when it’s time to expand your team is paramount for thriving in an increasingly competitive industry. With most companies opting to use spreadsheets and whiteboards to manage their workforce, it’s no wonder why so many operations teams struggle when it comes to identifying gaps where a new project can fit into their workforce plan. The ability to predict how busy your team will be when looking ahead is extremely difficult to do out of a spreadsheet – and just as difficult with a whiteboard.

Taking on projects when your team is already spread thin can lead to projects falling behind schedule and inevitably ends with your teams feeling overworked – all of which result in money being lost.

Adversely, not knowing when your company is available to take on more projects can lead to hesitating on achievable bids and underutilizing your team – again, resulting in money lost.

Using Data to forecast and better plan your workforce

Being able to accurately peer into the future of your construction resource management in relation to projects will allow you to set your teams up for success and ensure you’re getting the most out of your workforce. To successfully look ahead at your construction resource management, you will need to be able to identify the following key pieces of data:

  • The amount of work being performed on a team and individual basis.

  • Periods when the company has taken on more work than there are workers.

  • Periods when the company has team members that are being under-utilized and need more work.

Life before & after Bridgit Bench

Watch how leading ENR 400 contractors have leveled up their workforce planning by leaving their spreadsheets behind.

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Want to take it one step further? Recognize opportunities for qualified team members to step up and take on a new project role. This will keep them engaged with meaningful work, while also showing a path and opportunity for career growth.

How Bridgit Bench leverages data for proper planning

Keeping track of these data points will help to improve the efficiency and utilization of your workforce over the long term by retaining an experienced workforce, adjusting the flow of new hires to meet company needs, and hiring more capable and experienced workers by offering them more stable employment than your competition. With this information, construction companies can confidently invest in new projects knowing they have the available workforce to deliver the project on time and on budget.

This is one of the many ways that Bridgit Bench can impact your construction resource management and planning. Bridgit Bench users regularly express how much being able to look ahead at their workforce plan has helped them when making new bids. For more information about resource scheduling, check out our guide to construction resource scheduling.

“Our construction resource planning meetings are now easier than ever, and predictive. They’ve changed 110% in terms of looking ahead. The three to six-month look ahead gives us the ability to make quick decisions with our estimating departments.”
— Jeff Olafson, CEO at Gardon Construction

How does Bridgit Bench help? Let’s reflect on the data points we referred to earlier.

  • The amount of work being performed on a team and individual basis.

  • Periods when the company has taken on more work than there are workers.

  • Periods when the company has team members that are being under-utilized and need more work.

Bridgit Bench is the leading construction resource management solution that provides accurate insight into the amount of work being done by your individual employees. It provides you with one simple visual that lets you see exactly what percentage your team members have been allocated at any given time, and anyone that may be over or under allocated. Having this clear visual allows for construction companies to look 6 months to 3 years ahead and identify gaps in their workforce plan that indicate where a new project can be taken on. It also allows for you to identify trends in your workforce utilization – if you see lots of green you may want to pick up another project, seeing too much orange means you might be spreading your team too thin.

You can search for an individual directly or any field associated with a person in the search bar, or apply filters like title and next availability to isolate specific groups you want to focus on. The People List is synced with your People Gantt, meaning you can search, sort, and filter from the People List and have those settings carry over to your People Gantt, and vice versa.

We also mentioned that recognizing opportunities for growth within your staff will help keep them more engaged in their work and excited for upcoming projects that provide meaningful work and experience. It just so happens you can access an individual’s profile directly from the People Gantt in Bridgit Bench. This allows you to check in on any number of people details including custom fields you’ll be encouraged to add. Details like “certifications” and “willingness to relocate” provide valuable insight when offering someone the opportunity for professional growth.

Bridgit Bench is the #1 construction resource management tool for a reason. We take every aspect of your workforce plan as seriously as you do – from understanding the importance of effective manpower meetings to having the ability to look ahead at your company timeline to make realistic changes to your workforce plan to align with company strategy.

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Lauren Lake

Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more.

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