There are many elements that are important for completing a successful construction project on time, on budget, and most importantly, to the satisfaction of your client.
Effective construction workforce management is not only critical to the success of a project, but also impacts your overall business health. Bridgit’s workforce management tool, Bridgit Bench, is an important part of this as it provides an easy way for your operations team to visualize your workforce plan in relation to your project timelines. It includes the ability to:
Visualize your projects with real-time dashboards and reporting
Streamline your allocation processes via editable project list and gantt views
Easily identify and correct over-allocations to mitigate risk
Capacity plan for upcoming and bid-stage projects
In addition to the standard features of Bench, our customers have the option to track as much information on their projects as they would like, with up to 80 custom fields available. Custom fields are easy to create and edit. During onboarding, we work with you to determine what custom fields you’d like to use and create them for you. However, it’s very easy for you to edit existing fields or add new ones, with many different types of fields to choose from. You can make custom fields mandatory or optional, private or public. For information about resource allocations, visit our guide to construction resource allocations.
Below, I will describe the 4 main custom fields used by our customers and how it has optimized their construction resource planning and impacted the success of their projects.
But first, why does it matter?
Having more information helps you make better decisions for your business and allows you to not only better understand what’s happening today, but also plan for tomorrow. Bridgit’s custom project fields can be sorted one at a time, or in tandem with other fields to get exactly the information that you need to make informed, timely decisions. It also allows operations teams to pull reports to share with construction team members like Project Managers and Site Superintendents, with information specific to their projects and locations.
With the continued expected growth of the construction industry, using modern, easy-to-use tools that give you the information you need, pays for itself many times over.
Information is power. Information is insight. Information keeps you ahead.
Here are the top 4 custom fields our customers use for tracking project information:
1. Project status
This field can be labelled ‘contract status,’ ‘stage’ or any term that you use for understanding what point in time the project is in. The options are listed in a drop-down menu and can include things like bid, awarded/upcoming, delayed, active and complete. This helps you sort your projects and plan for allocating the appropriate resources.
For example, you may want to sort to see which projects are in the awarded and bid stages so that you can check to see if you will have enough resources available:
2. Project build type
This field allows you to note and sort the type of projects that are active, upcoming and in bid stages based on market sector. Our customers who work in several sectors have a drop-down field to select High Rise Residential, Hospital, Retail, Senior Care, Commercial. etc. This field is set up according to the naming conventions you use to categorize the types of projects you generally work on. You can then sort and filter to dig deeper into each category of project.
For example, you may wish to view all your active high-rise residential projects and make changes to project phase dates, staffing allocations, notes, etc.:
Much like the previous field, most of our clients use a “region” field , which allows you to tag your projects to your various regions and gives you the ability to filter to see project status by geography. Also, if you have managers responsible for various regions, they can set up their view in the system to reflect only the projects in their particular region, and leave out the rest for a more focused view.
For example, your South Atlantic Regional Manager may want to review and edit all his active and upcoming projects in North Carolina:
Oftentimes, project information isn’t as simple as a drop-down menu selection and more information needs to be captured and shared with your team. The notes field is a free-form text field that allows you to read and update pertinent information to each project, to make sure everyone is aware of key points regarding each project.
For example, if there is an important issue you need where you need to raise awareness, you can describe it within the notes area and view it from both the Project Gantt and list views:
Once your custom fields are ready to go, you can sort based on them in both the Project List and Gantt views. For example, in the Project Gantt view, there is no need to navigate away from this view to see details about the project. A simple click on the project bar and a pop-out window appears where you can view and edit the information in your custom fields.
Custom fields in Bridgit Bench are just one of many features that our construction customers rave about when it comes to simplifying the management of their people and projects, and quickly being able to pull up the information they need to understand the current state of affairs and plan for upcoming projects and company growth – both from their desks and when on the go via our mobile apps! For more information about resource management, check out our guide to construction resource management.
And new functionality is being released regularly, like the new Employment Dates, which gives you the ability to set hire and termination/retirement dates, as well as periods of unavailability for team members that can’t be allocated to projects for an extended period of time (like vacation, parental leave, sickness, etc). If you want to see Employment Dates in action, check out our Bridgit Minute video.
Bridgit Bench provides construction executives with the information they need to execute at higher and higher levels of effectiveness. Mike, from GE Johnson, sums it up nicely:
“When we walk out of the workforce planning meeting with Bridgit Bench, everyone is clear on what is happening. The information gets put into Bridgit Bench – it’s the gospel – and we act on it that day. It gives us the ability to quickly analyze where we’re at and the immediacy of where we need people. Our HR group knows what they need to in terms of how many new hires we need and what skills we are looking for.”
— Mike Dennis, Operations Manager @ GE Johnson
Isabella has been helping organizations evaluate software solutions for over 15 years. Her customers appreciate her engaging personality and zero-pressure approach during the sales cycle, bringing value every step of the way. If you would like to learn more about Bridgit’s #1 workforce management tool for construction, connect with Isabella on LinkedIn.