What is construction resource management and why is it important?

What is construction resource management and why is it important?

If you are new to the world of human resources or even the construction industry in general, you might not know much about construction resource management (or project management), what it is, and why it’s important for every company to utilize. While the term might seem a little bit vague and undefined, construction resource management is actually pretty easy to understand. Implementing resource management might take a little more work but there are so many benefits to doing so that it’s definitely worth your time and energy! The good news is that we are here to help you with all your questions about resource management in this guide so that you can go from a newbie to a pro in no time!

What is construction resource management?

Let’s start with the basics: what is construction resource management? Resource management is a combination of resource planning, resource allocation, and resource optimization. While there are a few different definitions of construction resource management, it’s basically the process of planning, scheduling, and allocating resources based on resource availability and resource utilization. The resources involved in resource management can be all sorts of things, including:

  • People (or team members)

  • Skill sets

  • Financial resources

  • Machinery

  • Materials

  • Technology

  • Property

While this might seem like a lot to manage, it really doesn’t have to be that hard! The most important thing that you need to do when it comes specifically to construction resource management is to maximize the efficiency of all your resources and plan out everything in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

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Why is construction resource management important?

At the surface, construction resource management might seem like a lot of work for nothing. After all, how in the world are you supposed to individually track everything from people, to finances, to materials, machinery, and more? It’s definitely not a walk in the park but there are things that you can do to make it easier on you and these steps will pay off in no time.

If you still aren’t convinced, let’s go over in detail some of the amazing benefits that your company will enjoy if you start to implement effective construction resource management:

  • Construction resource management is important because it can help you stay proactive throughout the process of a project. You are better able to point out potential issues ahead of time and address them proactively before they totally sidetrack a project in terms of time and other valuable resources.

  • Construction resource management is important because it can help to prevent burnout in your staff because you are better able to manage your team’s workload by applying resource levelling. You can make sure that you have enough people around to handle the busy times, while also making sure to not schedule too many people during slower times – which wastes their time and your money from paying them!

  • Construction resource management is important because it allows you to remain completely transparent with all the players in a project throughout the entire process and in real-time. Resource management can help avoid communication issues between teams and help make sure that everyone is on the same page and adhering to a project timeline.

  • Construction resource management is important because it allows you to take advantage of past project resources by using the data and information that you have gathered from past projects to help you plan out upcoming and new projects based on things that worked in the past versus things that didn’t work as well.

  • Finally, construction resource management is important because it gives you more insight and control into aspects of your business where you didn’t have these things before. Having more control means that you can be better informed when it comes to making conscious decisions about your company’s future.

Construction resource management best practices

Hopefully by now you are convinced that the benefits of construction resource management are definitely worth the investment! So you are probably wondering what good resource management actually looks like in practice. It’s one thing to talk about the general definitions, uses, and benefits – but it’s another thing completely to talk about what it actually looks like in implementation. So here are some construction resource management best practices to keep in mind:

  • The first thing that you need to keep in mind about resource management is that it’s an ongoing process. Everything won’t be 100% perfect right out of the gate so the best thing that you can do is to accept the fact that things will happen and approach any unexpected hiccups cooperatively and collaboratively so that you can minimize any effect on efficiency.

  • Another best practice of construction resource management is to identify which resources are in short supply and make sure to focus more attention on these resources. Every company will have a set of resources that are in higher demand and therefore have the potential to slow down projects if things aren’t planned properly. So when doing resource management for construction, it’s important to consider these resources first when coming up with plans and schedules so that these high-demand resources are available when you need them.

  • Construction resource management can be really beneficial because it allows different teams across a company to come together and truly work as a team. At the same time, it’s important to remember that different teams may work differently than others. When coming up with methods and plans for resource management, you need to take these differences into account and try to come up with something that will translate between teams and be effective across the board.

  • One way to make sure that everyone is engaged and on board with your resource management plans is to agree on a common approach ahead of time based on people’s input and feedback. While it might not be possible to please everyone completely, it’s still important to make sure that people feel heard. Plus, these interactions can often give you different insights and new information that you might not have had before you consulted your teams.

  • Another best practice in the world of construction resource management is to avoid or at least limit multi-tasking. While you might think that multi-tasking is a great way to ensure efficiency, it actually has the opposite effect. Even if it doesn’t decrease efficiency, it could also have an effect on the overall quality of work that is being done.

  • Finally, the last resource management best practice is to really take care of all of your resources and treat them like the investments that they are. Whether it’s people or machines – don’t overwork them! Overworking can lead to turnover which can quickly lead to tons of added costs and wasted time. Especially value your employees and make sure to keep them happy by offering positive feedback, incentives, and training programs to really give them a stake in the direction of the company.

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How to implement construction resource management

So now that you know what construction resource management is, why it’s important, and generally what it looks like in practice it’s time to go over how to actually implement resource management into your company so that you can start maximizing your efficiency!

Here are some of the first steps that you need to take in order to implement construction resource management:

  • The first thing that you need to do when implementing resource management is to make a comprehensive list of all of your resources. Remember to include everything from people, to equipment, to property, and everything that was listed in the first section of this guide to make sure that you have the complete list.

  • The second thing that you need to do when implementing resource management is to figure out how many of these resources you need to actually complete a specific project.

  • The third thing that you need to do when implementing resource management is to sit down and make a schedule for all the resources that you are going to need to complete a project. Some things to keep in mind when completing this task are:

    • Nailing down specific timeframes that each resource is going to be needed to complete a task.

    • Break down your resource needs into daily, weekly, and monthly rotations to really give you an idea of the bigger picture when it comes to your resource management.

    • You will also need to account for the actual time in hours that each resource is going to be needed to make sure that your schedule is as complete and as efficient as possible.

    • Finally, it’s always a good idea to point out potential areas of concern ahead of time. Odds are that there will always be some constraints on a project. The good news is that you can plan ahead for these constraints instead of being caught off guard by them if something happens.

The last thing that you need to remember when it comes to construction resource management is that you don’t have to do it on your own. This guide definitely gave you all the steps and information necessary that you could do it on your own if you wanted to, but there are also many tools and different technologies out there that you can use to help you with construction resource management. These types of tools are called resource management tools or resource management software. By using tools and automation, you can even further increase your company’s efficiency by taking out a lot of the work and also utilizing a system that is specialized in creating the best plans and schedules possible based on your resources. It is also important to consider outsourcing your resource management needs by reaching out to professional services team or by hiring a resource manager or project manager. For more information about workforce management, check out our guide to construction workforce management.

Bridgit Bench is a construction resource management solution that was built from the ground up to suit the ever-changing construction industry. Every construction project is different and so is every project team. Optimizing your resources around different project specifics can be time consuming and, in the case of inaccurate data, costly as well. Bridgit Bench provides clarity over resource management and streamlines the process from manpower prep to assigning project allocations.

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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