Mobile workforce management is the practice of coordinating remote workers. In the construction industry, this requires a specialized set of skills and software. Keep reading to learn more about mobile workforce management software and strategies for the construction industry.
What is mobile workforce management in construction?
As mentioned earlier, mobile workforce management entails coordinating workers that fulfill their duties remotely. This has been an essential part of doing business in the construction industry since long before the COVID-19 pandemic; workers have always been spread out across multiple job sites. What’s changed, in many cases, is that remote workers now include office staff that also need to be coordinated using a mobile workforce management strategy.
There are several goals associated with mobile workforce management, including:
- ensuring workers remain productive and accountable for their output even without in-person supervision
- keeping workers safe (which, in the modern age, includes tracking not only standard construction safety compliance but also adherence to COVID-19 precautions)
- maintaining information and resources so they remain accessible and up-to-date for everyone that needs them (which is easier said than done)
The benefits of having a mobile workforce management strategy
Mobile workforce management solutions can be costly. In this next section, let’s explore why savvy construction professionals view these costs as a worthwhile investment.
Improved project outcomes
Put simply, mobile workforce management applications and strategies lead to better construction project outcomes. Work is more likely to be completed on time and within budget when these strategies are in place, which results in very clear benefits for companies that make these investments.
Mobile workforce management software makes it easy to track data related to your team’s productivity. In turn, this makes it easier to see who’s performing in line with expectations and who’s falling behind.
This isn’t strictly about punishing underperforming employees, mind you. Workers underperform for a variety of reasons, including having inadequate resources at their disposal. Good mobile workforce managers use productivity data to inform their resource allocation decisions and ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
More efficient data management
Handling large amounts of digital data is an unavoidable part of working in construction. This can be tedious without dedicated mobile workforce management software. Companies without these solutions typically have to email documents around, ensure everyone has access to the most up-to-date information, etc. With dedicated software, everyone can be kept in the loop via centralized, cloud-based software that serves as a single source of truth.
More confident management decisions
Mobile workforce management software places mountains of data at any construction management team’s fingertips, helping them make confident decisions backed by data. This is crucial given construction’s logistical challenges; once decisions are made, it can be very expensive to change course. Consequently, getting things right the first time is extremely valuable.
Increased stakeholder engagement
When stakeholders feel engaged in key decision-making processes, projects tend to run more smoothly. Mobile workforce management solutions give everyone the tools and information they need to participate in discussions and raise concerns at the right time.
Without a good mobile workforce management system in place, stakeholders may not have an opportunity to raise concerns until they are already threatening project outcomes, which is of course less than ideal.
More future-proof processes
Mobile workforce scheduling software and applications leave construction companies better prepared for the industry’s future. The ability to work remotely has become a key consideration for employees that aren’t required to be physically present (i.e. many types of construction managers). Even in companies where this isn’t expected to continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, flexibility with remote work will help contractors appeal to the next generation of construction professionals.
Important features of mobile workforce management software
Next, let’s discuss the important mobile workforce management software features that make unlocking those aforementioned benefits easier.
Scheduling is among the most foundational mobile workforce management concerns. Software facilitates this by letting construction managers coordinate workers using industry-standard strategies such as Gantt charts.
Remote resource management
The best mobile workforce management software lives in the cloud, letting professionals conduct planning sessions from anywhere. This became increasingly important in 2020 when remote work became the norm not only for on-site construction professionals but also for management personnel that traditionally worked in offices.
Data isn’t very useful unless you can access it at the click of a button. Good mobile workforce management applications facilitate this, letting professionals generate reports that can be easily shared with stakeholders inside and outside of the organization.
The typical construction company has numerous important entities (projects, personnel, equipment, etc) with associated information that needs to be tracked. Good mobile workforce management software enables this by letting construction professionals create and maintain databases that keep information organized.
No construction company’s labor needs stay the same forever. They ebb and flow with the market, which makes forecasting important. Mobile workforce management solutions account for this by providing predictive analytics tools and capabilities.
Integration with other tools
No matter how robust a mobile workforce management tool is, it likely won’t comprise the entirety of your software suite. Rather, it will most likely need to integrate with other systems via an application programming interface (API), pre-built integration, or some combination of the two. Poor integration capabilities can severely impact your workflow and lead to negative project outcomes.
Bridgit Bench is the leading mobile workforce management application
Bridgit Bench is among the most popular mobile workforce management tools in North America. It offers all of the key functionality we’ve discussed in this article and integrates out of the box with a variety of tools, including:
Having solid mobile workforce management processes is an increasingly important part of working in the construction industry. We hope this guide has helped you understand what mobile workforce management is and what the benefits of having these solutions in place are.
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