In its basic definition, resource scheduling in the construction industry is the process and methodology that general contractors will use to allocate their resources to tasks and projects. Given the ever-shifting nature of construction projects, effective construction resource scheduling can be a difficult and time consuming task for any operations manager.
Scheduling resources also becomes increasingly frustrating when the process and methodology includes maintaining and exporting important decision-making data from a series of error-prone spreadsheets. This often leads to operations teams making decisions about their resources based on gut-feel or potentially inaccurate data. That’s where construction resource scheduling software comes into play.
Construction resource management software allows general contractors to consolidate all relevant resource scheduling data in one centralized location. This helps to streamline the allocating of their resources, but also help to ensure that the right person is being assigned to the right project at the right time.
This construction planning software also allows general contractors to take a strategic approach to their resource allocations to help mitigate project risk due to under or over allocating their project teams. They can also optimize their capacity planning to ensure the supply of resources is aligned with project demands, and help forecast their workforce allocations to ensure informed recruitment decisions are being made.
High level construction resource scheduling runs much deeper than scheduling your workforce and basic labor tracking. Construction projects have a lot of moving parts, the complexity of which good construction employee scheduling software can help manage. On top of scheduling, great resource scheduling (including construction resource scheduling) should include:
Unlike most industries, scheduling in the construction industry isn’t a straightforward, repetitive process. Optimizing for efficient construction management scheduling can often result in headaches for the individuals tasked with creating a strategic resource plan to improve their organization’s bottom line. Team members can spend weeks or months on a specific project and then quickly need to transition to another project once their work is complete.
The tricky part is that most resources required to complete an entire project don’t all wrap up their work at the same time. This creates a lot of moving parts that can require operations managers to do mental gymnastics to effectively manage their team’s time. Migrating construction resource scheduling from manual processes like spreadsheets and whiteboards, to automated construction employee scheduling software can help to:
The construction industry is collaborative by nature – especially given all of the moving parts of a project. However, operations managers will often hesitate to share their workforce data and analytics due to a lack of control over other users. Construction resource scheduling software, like Bridgit Bench, will allow organizational leadership to set specific permission groups for different team members. This allows easy access to workforce analytics and forecasting without risking any unwanted changes or errors.
Commercial construction scheduling software that allows for such access will also help general contractors see an improved collaborative effort in regards to their resource scheduling. With construction timeline software, project management will be able to reference historical data and team member experience to recommend stronger project teams. Human Resources will also be better suited to predict future hiring needs or potential layoffs with access to your workforce forecasting data. Providing your team team with easy access to your workforce analytics and forecasts will also help to:
Cloud-based construction software provides general contractors the ability to manage their business from anywhere. Stakeholders are able to easily reference workforce and project progress, data, and metrics from their mobile devices through web or mobile applications. Basically this means – anywhere you can connect to the internet, you can connect with your company.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the construction industry saw an increase in demand for technology that can help support teams working remotely. Cloud-based construction timeline software improves accessibility and supports a more collaborative out-of-office work culture. It also helps to streamline conference calls and remote resource planning meetings by ensuring that all stakeholders are looking at the same information.
Construction is collaborative. If a general contractor is migrating their resource scheduling to a cloud-based solution, it should be one that supports team collaboration with multiple users. Efforts to improve collaboration and file sharing for general contractors and specialty contractors can often lead to sensitive information being overly accessible. Construction job scheduling software should provide controlled transparency with different levels of user permissions.
Can the construction management software work with your existing tech-stack? Resource scheduling software should complement the tools that you already use.
Migrating to a construction resource scheduling solution should result in abandoning the previously used tool completely. If the features provided aren’t robust enough to accomplish what was done with the previous tool, it can lead to duplicate work needing to be done. Resource scheduling features should be useful and run alongside your other programs.
Resource scheduling software for the construction industry doesn’t have to be very expensive. Some resource scheduling tools even allow for unlimited users with no additional fees.
Is the software cloud-based? Does it have a mobile application? Accessibility across multiple platforms is crucial for construction teams that are on the move so we prioritized construction job scheduling software which facilitates that.
Ease of use helps to garner buy-in from users by presenting relevant information in a simple, clean way. General contractor scheduling software should have a simple, intuitive design that provides features to make analyzing data easier, not more complicated than before.
Being able to configure your construction resource scheduling software to your organizational needs is a major benefit for general contractors. This includes customizations like custom people and project fields, construction project phases, and user permission groups.
If you’re looking for a resource management solution that checks all of the boxes, look no further than Bridgit Bench. Bridgit Bench designed their resource management solution to create controlled transparency surrounding an organization’s resource management. This can help to support a more collaborative resource planning process and provides visibility on the construction project schedule. It plays nicely with other industry-standard software (like Procore), offers an Open API, has a mobile application for iOS and Android, and boasts a robust feature set that helps simplify resource management.
On top of all that, its intuitive design often means that users require no more than an hour of training to be able to use the tool effectively, even for complex tasks like construction resource scheduling. Bridgit Bench also has a mobile app and Gantt charts for both people and projects.
Procore offers a staggering number of integrations for construction companies with everything from Zapier, to Outlook, and Bridgit Bench.
This far-reaching compatibility makes Procore a good program to consider as the centerpiece of your software suite. The intuitiveness of those integrations will also make you very quickly forget that Procore isn’t actually a general contractor software program. Rather, its core features are bidding, budgeting, and – of course – project management.
Contractor Foreman is an all-in-one solution built for smaller general contractors that may be new to construction software. As a construction management solution, it provides contractors with 25+ modules to help with estimating, submittals, account, and more. It also integrates with QuickBooks and can be used on mobile devices.
RedTeam is a project management solution suited for midsize general contractors. It is a cloud-based solution with an emphasis on construction financials and document control. It was designed to help with estimating, bidding, scheduling, and construction financials. It can also be used for CRM and bid management.
Spectrum is best suited for commercial general contractors, heavy/civil contractors, and HVAC contractors. It is a web-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution with modules for accounting, equipment and materials, document control, HR and payroll, and inventory. It can be a cumbersome piece of software to use effectively but a wide variety of training and webinars are available to help. If you’re looking for residential construction scheduling software, however, Spectrum is likely not the program for you.
Buildtools is best suited for custom home builders and remodelers. This residential construction scheduling software helps users organize their project scheduling, budgeting, purchasing, and client communication. It integrates with Quickbooks to reduce duplicate work, and has a mobile application to provide accessibility from the office to the jobsite.
WeBuild is a project management solution built to promote collaboration. It supports document control and bidding, but can fall short if you’re looking for estimating and budget tracking. If you’re looking for a tool that makes project management a collaborative process from the top down, WeBuild may be a good choice for you, but without full buy-in from your whole team it may result in additional work to keep data updated and maintained.
Primavera is a web-based project management solution that offers project scheduling as well as tools for prioritizing, planning, and managing projects from project controls, portfolio management, document management, and analytics. With the robust feature set, Primavera can be incredibly cumbersome and difficult to learn. If you’re new to construction software, this tool can be quite complex and present a large learning curve.
Construction is a stand alone industry given its dynamic nature. Software built specifically for the construction industry should support that and be fully configurable to meet the needs of the individual businesses. One-size-fits-all software that are designed to service as many industries as possible often fall short and become a temporary “band-aid” solution that doesn’t let them escape their previous resource scheduling process.
What are your organizational goals and objectives? Are you a growing company that wants to better track a larger workforce? Are you a large company that needs a resource scheduling solution that will allow them to focus on specific divisions and offices? Are you a smaller company that wants to be more productive with fewer resources?
Different solutions might be better suited for your organization depending on the number of trackable resources and short/long term company goals. Check out our construction budget template for more information about budgeting for resources.
The first indicator that a resource scheduling solution is a bad fit for your organization? Simple – will it get used? Before investing in a software solution, ask for a demonstration of the tool and invite potential users of the application to sit-in. Ask them questions about how intuitive they find the tool to be, how simple it is to use, and if the information is being displayed in a digestible way.
If you’re looking to improve the collaborative efforts of your team, make sure that everyone is on board with implementing new software. This is an easy way to improve buy-in and engagement with the tool right off the bat.
Having an accurate account of the resources you need to schedule will help to understand if a software solution will benefit your organization and provide a decent ROI. Some general contractors may require enterprise level resource scheduling software to manage their resources, while others may only need a more basic solution built specifically for smaller teams.
It would also be helpful to understand if your team has grown or stagnated over recent years. Investing in a tool your organization will quickly outgrow could potentially be a headache down the road.
If the resource scheduling software you’re seeking is meant to completely replace an existing solution, it should do all the things your previous solution was doing and more. This includes integrating with your existing software stack. Adding new software should help to streamline core processes. If your new software solution isn’t going to talk to your existing software, there’s a chance that it will create duplicate work and have the opposite of the desired effect.
Choosing the right construction resource scheduling software for your organization can be a long process and evaluating multiple platforms can lead to what feels like a bombardment of incoming emails from sales reps. However, if you take the time to establish what goals you are hoping to achieve with your software solution, you can quickly narrow down your options to choose what works best for your organization.
Request demos, full product evaluations, customer case studies – software representatives should be happy to show off their solutions and clearly communicate the value proposition for your specific goals and objectives.