One of the biggest struggles in construction workforce planning is keeping teams working at capacity, or fully utilizing their time. If a team member isn’t being utilized, they’re essentially “on the bench” and waiting to get in the game. Having team members on the bench creates an overhead cost that will negatively impact your bottom line. If you’re looking to effectively manage your workforce capacity, it’s critical to calculate and understand your workforce utilization rate.
Without question, construction generates a lot of data. In the past, the bulk of that data would be project specific and stored on paper, whiteboards, and spreadsheets. Once the project was completed, that data would often be filed away, moved to a “completed projects” spreadsheet, or worst case scenario – deleted. In most of those instances the historical data would never be seen again.
The culture around construction employment has made a dramatic shift in recent years. As baby boomers begin to retire and millennials now comprising 35% of the workforce, many general contractors are wondering how to make their organization more attractive to younger workers that don’t see construction as a fulfilling career choice.
Construction manpower planning meetings are one of the most important processes your operations team will undertake on a regular basis. In this article, we’re going to discuss three strategies you can use to run more effective construction manpower planning meetings. Getting out of your spreadsheets, setting an agenda, and using data to plan ahead.
As the construction industry continues to move forward and embrace the digital transformation of their core processes, putting a focus on data analysis as a skill set will continue to become more important for all leadership and construction management positions. Construction is making the effort to shift from manual processes to cloud-based, automated software and technology. That shift will inevitably result in a wealth of project and workforce data being captured from every phase a project goes through.
When executed properly, manpower meetings are one of the most effective ways a general contractor can keep their operations team aligned on project allocations, capacity planning, and overall workforce management. These meetings are where information is shared, feedback is offered, strategy is discussed, and most importantly – decisions are made.
Capacity planning is one of the pillars of great construction resource management. Ensuring you have enough people for your projects at any given time can be the difference between profitable projects and finding projects suddenly at risk. It’s no easy task to juggle your entire workforce while being mindful of your project timeline, but if you’re ultimately looking to turn a profit on every project… it’s time to start juggling.
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.
When it comes to manpower meetings, the last thing any general contractor wants is to have drawn out, unorganized meetings that result in ill-informed construction workforce planning being pieced together. Especially when gathering your full operations team for a meeting is likely creating the most expensive meeting your organization can have.
Construction KPIs can be a little bit confusing at first, so let’s start with the basics. What is a KPI? A KPI is an acronym for “key performance indicator.” These indicators function as signs that your company is functioning according to plan. It involves prioritized metrics that are “key” to your business and the way that it functions and operates.