Optimizing Construction Resource Scheduling: Best Practices for Contractors

Construction resource scheduling is an essential aspect of project management that should not be ignored. Without it, projects could quickly derail. Construction resource scheduling entails identifying who will receive what materials and equipment, when and why; this can often prove challenging as many resources are limited in supply.

Company downtime costs millions. Maximize productivity by managing equipment, people, and scheduling in one straightforward team calendar with the help of construction scheduling software.

1. Ensure that you have all of the necessary tools in place

Construction scheduling software solutions can assist in making sure all pieces of a construction project come together smoothly, such as creating work breakdown structures (WBSs) that highlight dependencies and critical path method (CPM) schedules with tasks and their durations.

CPM is an intensive method that requires complex calculations; however, using the right tool can make it simpler. CPM can also be used to create visual timelines – Gantt charts.

Construction schedules can involve numerous variables, from weather conditions and material delivery issues to unexpected delays that require costly rework. Therefore, it’s advisable to allocate enough buffer time in your schedule in case unexpected events arise that cause these delays or disruptions in progress.

2. Manage work distribution

Avoid over-allocating labor; overdoing it can result in two costly issues:

Trade stacking – when too many workers are assigned to one task.

Idle time – leading to lost productivity from those workers.

Resource smoothing provides an effective solution that evenly distributes workload evenly while engaging all workers throughout their shifts.

3. Keep track of time

An effective construction schedule enables you to plan for the long term and empowers teams to be proactive rather than reactive in solving problems that arise. When issues arise, data-driven decisions can help resolve issues more swiftly than by reacting.

Pouring a concrete foundation is one of the key activities needed before steel can be erected, which makes understanding how long each essential task will take an essential

element of planning for steel construction projects. Once this data has been accumulated, a sequence of activities can be generated.

Scheduling becomes even more challenging when available resources are limited, making a resource-oriented schedule essential if the project requires timely execution and multiple demands on common resources such as equipment or manpower.

4. Keep track of money

Construction projects present particular difficulties when using time and material pricing models and progress payments as cash-flow management measures since contractors must front the entire cost upfront before waiting long periods to recoup expenses and profit.

Progress payments require additional financial and accounting work, such as invoicing and tracking payments, which can strain construction firms that don’t have dedicated accounting or finance departments. Delays in progress payments can hinder work until resolved.

5. Be sure that everyone is on the same page

By implementing project management software, the construction process can be more effectively managed, ensuring all involved remain on track and concentrated. It can reduce waiting times for materials or equipment and prevent unnecessary delays during the building process.

Many field supervisors avoid formal scheduling procedures and prefer an informal, “wing and a prayer” approach instead. With today’s user-friendly computer programs and improved methods for displaying schedules, it has never been simpler than now to switch from paper documents to software-based management tools.

Important to keep in mind when scheduling is that scheduling is a dynamic process, and the results of one activity may impact negatively upon another. Therefore, it’s essential that everyone involved with each project remains up-to-date as to where each one stands and any necessary changes are implemented timely.

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