- Published: Tuesday, 07 April 2020 12:12
Construction Resource Management: 3 Ways To Prepare Now for The Post COVID Tidal Wave
By Shannon Corgan, Director of Marketing
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to construction resource management. Some construction projects have been shut down because of city and state mandates, while other states are continuing to work as an essential service. Industry consultants are warning the construction industry that it’s the calm before the storm and anticipate a tsunami of construction work in the next month or so. With about a month to prepare, contractors need to focus on how to improve their current business processes and look for solutions to make them more efficient, reduce labor costs, and allow them to accurately track project progress in real-time while keeping employee’s safety as one of their concerns. They need to bring the leaders from field operations together with the business operations leaders and take a look at their business from beginning to end to see how and where they can leverage technology to help them prepare for the massive tidal wave heading their way.
Now is the time for contractors to lean on your technology partners. We can share our best practices from working with thousands of contractors that have been in this position before and have been able to not only survive construction booms and busts but thrive in the midst of uncertainty. Business leaders have the opportunity to bring together the whole company to improve business processes now with a real-time, cloud-based, construction resource management platform to make their companies more profitable, efficient, effective, and safe. Getting accurate live field data and collaborating with all of your internal and external stakeholders is critical to survive and thrive post COVID-19. How can we help you prepare now? Here are three ways contractors can prepare now:
The most important factor in improving the performance of all your projects comes down to simplifying and streamlining your field data collection. Your field employees and supervisors need to provide critical business information to project management, HR, health and safety, accounting, payroll, and finance. It’s imperative to make it easy for your field employees to provide the information. According to the Dodge Analytics Report, 42% of contractors are using paper and spreadsheets to collect field data for project performance (cost and schedule), payroll and man-hours, productivity, safety, and equipment tracking.
If you’re part of the 42% using manual processes to manage your most important project data, you need to look at a construction resource management platform that brings all of your project data together and works the way your employees work. When you use a construction resource management platform like WorkMax that collects live field data and integrates with your back-office systems, you can make it easy for your employees in the field to provide you the information you need. Contractors can make a simple change in how they collect their field data, which can have a huge impact on their project’s performance and profitability.
When you choose WorkMax’s construction resource management platform, you not only get live field data, you can also collect all of your field reporting for safety and progress in the same app as your labor hours and asset tracking. All of this field data easily flows into your back-office applications like HR, payroll, and ERP in real-time to keep your entire team on the same page, no matter where they are working. Because the WorkMax platform is integrated, field employees only need one app on their device, because it can collect time, mobile forms, equipment tracking, completed work and allocate labor hours by project or task. It does it all and works together to allow your employees to clock in, select the right project and task, select the right equipment for their work for the day, all with a few clicks all in the same app. WorkMax TIME talks to WorkMax FORMS, which also talks to WorkMax ASSETS. Employees don’t have to remember to click on the FORMS icon to see if they are supposed to fill out a form that day. WorkMax prompts your employees after they clock in to watch a COVID-19 safety training video and sign the mobile form with a follow up COVID-19 Health screening form to keep your job sites safe. There’s also no shuffling of papers or everyone touching the same clipboard and risking COVID-19 transmission in order to track the project data you need to manage your projects to profitability and efficiency. Contractors that made a small change in how they collect their field data were able to:
- Complete projects at/under budget better
- Increase productivity and profitability
- Improve safety
- Win more new work
- Finish projects on time or early
Document Project Status for Shut Down Projects
You’ve always documented your daily progress and safety, but with some construction sites closing down due to city and state mandates, contractors need to protect themselves now by properly documenting the status of their projects. With a cloud-based construction resource management solution like WorkMax, contractors can easily upload the job site photos or videos while they’re doing a walk through with a representative from the developer or owner. The photos and videos can help alleviate any disputes regarding the current state of the project and how the site is being secured during shut down. The mobile forms can also include notes and a signature from both parties agreeing to the validity of the photos and videos to protect both sides. These mobile forms can also be shared with anyone on your design team for review to make sure the job site doesn’t need any structural reinforcements to secure the job site because the duration of the shutdowns is unknown. The mobile forms can help document COVID-19 project and budget delays when subcontractors are not reporting to job sites for contracted work.
Track COVID-19 Related Costs
Contractors need to set up COVID-19 cost codes to track activities impacted by COVID-19. Due to the social distancing, contractors will also have to re-work their schedules to address multiple workers scheduled at the same time in a confined area. They’ll also have additional labor hours for employees to complete health screenings and for the supervisors to document that their crews are working with the appropriate 6-foot social distance and wearing their personal protective equipment. When you have a cloud-based construction resource management solution, you can quickly add the new COVID-19 cost codes to your ERP and it’s automatically available for the field employees, remote employees and office employees to track their activities to these COVID-19 expenses. The mobile forms will have photos and videos for the supervisors to document all of the COVID-19 social distancing precautions on the job site and the PPE on the employees for COVID-19 safety precautions all in the same app that the labor hours can be allocated to COVID-19 cost codes. WorkMax is flexible and allows the labor cost allocations to be performed by the employee or supervisor in real time or after-the-fact all in the same app as the mobile forms documentation for COVID-19 safety. By documenting COVID-19 safety forms in real time, job sites are safer and job costs are more accurate. Though COVID-19 will definitely have impacts on construction schedules and budgets, contractors need to anticipate the additional costs and properly document how COVID-19 is affecting their schedules and budgets to show they are making reasonable efforts to mitigate any potential contract performance delays or defaults.
Contractors need to act now and make a change to their field data collection and learn how to leverage a cloud-based construction resource management solution or they may not survive the construction tsunami on its way. WorkMax can be implemented and integrated with your ERP in less than a week. Click here to schedule a demo to prepare your business today for tomorrow.