Guide to construction workforce intelligence

The construction industry has seen a dip in productivity over the years. Construction professionals are about half as productive as they were in the 1960’s. To help combat the productive labor shortage, the construction industry is undergoing a massive digital transformation. Everything from project management to labor requests are being automated to streamline workflows and provide better analytics to boost field productivity.

Resource management is no exception to transformation. For the better part of three decades construction professionals have relied on whiteboards and spreadsheets to manage their workforce. These tools have helped manage scheduling and time sheets, but they lack the insight and analytics needed to maximize field productivity.

That’s where construction workforce intelligence comes in. Everything you need to know to make data driven decisions with your resources now and in planning for the future. Simply put, workforce intelligence is about helping general contractors and subcontractors use their data to leverage their workforce more productively.

What is construction workforce intelligence?

According to FMI, 95% of construction data goes unused. Imagine if you could use workforce data to better predict project outcomes, forecast future staffing needs, and use people analytics to track your team’s skills and experience as they move up the company ladder. Sounds pretty great, right?

The people are the pulse of every organization and the foundation for all future planning. Workforce intelligence helps organizational decision makers create a stronger foundation for resource planning, while providing actionable insights to help drive the efficiency and usefulness of your workforce insight.

Workforce intelligence goes beyond what traditional resource scheduling software is capable of. It allows you to see the big picture by providing a holistic view of your entire project pipeline and respective project allocations, but also allows you to narrow your focus to better analyze how project teams, specific regions, and specific project roles are performing. 

Construction is often fluid and project dates are constantly shifting. Workforce intelligence helps to understand the impact of project changes immediately and surfaces any issues that have been created.

Upload your workforce plan and unlock workforce intelligence from Bridgit Bench.

People intelligence

Plan your workforce strategically to grow and retain your top talent.

Project intelligence

Leverage historical project data to make informed bidding and staffing decisions.

Pursuit intelligence

Forecast your project pipeline to put forward a winning team.

The foundation of construction workforce intelligence

Though workforce intelligence tools for the construction industry are relatively new, there are a few core insights that create the foundation for more effective planning and more efficient data management.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Construction resource management is the process of planning construction resource usage to meet project objectives. Proper project resource planning helps to keep projects on schedule by ensuring that demands are met while maximizing workforce visibility and the utilization of resources from project to project.

Construction resource management is used to:

  • Track resource availability and labor
  • Reallocate resources in response to project changes
  • Ensure project teams have the right skills and experience
  • Optimize resource time, effort, and cost
  • Identify and resolve resource conflicts

In construction, resources range from people to equipment – both of which must be managed effectively to ensure projects stay on track.

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE TRACKING

Skills and experience tracking are what can take your resource management to the next level. The ability to track your team’s skills and project experience as part of your human capital planning can help you build stronger project teams and helps to ensure the right person is being allocated to the right project.

Skills and experience tracking also provide workforce visibility, allowing  you to closely monitor the progression of your team and identify opportunities for career-building tasks. According to a Gallup poll only 13% of employees are actually engaged with the work they do. An IBM study also found that team members that feel there aren’t opportunities for career development are 12 times more likely to leave their current company. 

By providing a controlled level of transparency across departments, workforce intelligence helps organizations put their best foot forward in regards to their team’s overall development. 

FORECASTING

This is where workforce intelligence really starts to pull away from the standard scheduling and timesheet software. Workforce intelligence has the ability to take every aspect of your resource management and stretch it out over the coming months and years to provide forward looking insight into your project pipeline and labor strategy.

One of the biggest challenges with basic scheduling software is understanding the impact on future planning when changes are constantly being made to active projects. While workforce visibility-enhancing software will certainly help to identify allocation issues that arise when changes are made, forecasting helps bring clarity to the bigger picture.

Accurate forecasting takes your project and resource data to make resource planning more predictive instead of reactive. This forward-looking approach to resource planning allows contractors to better understand where new project opportunities can be slotted into the pipeline and which resources will be available to take it on. No more spending most of your time putting out management fires on the construction site!

UTILIZATION

Utilization is a measure of how much of a workforce’s available time is actually spent doing productive work. A better understanding utilization means you’re equipped with the skills to do more with less. It gives a great level of insight into your company’s profitability and hits key workforce visibility points, such as:

  • A consistently high utilization rate means that your workforce is at risk of being overworked or spread too thin. 
  • A low utilization rate for an extended period of time means that you need to bring in more projects.
  • Tracking utilization for each skill and employee type (project, manager. superintendent) helps you plan when you need to hire.
  • Tracking utilization by different skill sets shows you demand for different services.
  • Utilization above 100% can imply that too many projects have been taken on, or a need to expand your workforce.

Understanding your workforce utilization helps to better understand project costs, map demand for different skills and certifications, and develop your team.

CLOUD BASED

Construction planning can quickly become a reactive process if data is outdated. Workforce intelligence provides forward-looking insight, but is updated in real time so contractors can understand the impact of their strategy immediately. This is critical to shift from reactive to proactive planning.

Bridgit is the leader in workforce data solutions construction planning. Bridgit Bench, the #1 workforce management tool built specifically for construction, has set a new standard for data driven, strategic planning with forward-looking insight into resource demands and utilization.