Increasing the productivity and efficiency in managing a construction project is vital to any project. Let’s dig in depth!

There is a lot going on in a construction project with many different phases in the construction project lifecycle. From inception to completion of a project a lot of time, money and labour is put into bringing a construction project to life, from paper to an actual structure standing before you.

Due to this, one would hope they get it as right as possible as there are many things that can go wrong in a construction project and rarely does a project finish without any hitches. Based on this, the best thing one can do is aim to commence and complete their projects with as much efficiency and productivity as possible.

This blog aims to look at the construction process and practical ways to increase efficiency and productivity in a construction project. In analysing the construction process we can already pinpoint an important area to focus on and that is the use of construction management softwares. 

The reason for this is the main area where there can be a dramatic increase in efficiency in a project. Contrasting a manual construction project versus a project that utilises an adept and functional construction management software and why going digital can save a construction company from the pitfalls and errors that can be easily avoided utilising more manual methods.

This is because construction projects contain many facets, each almost as crucial as the other and the project or construction manager must be on top of all of these areas. A lot of careful planning must be conducted before arriving at the final product or even commencing the construction of the project, with various phases such as estimation and finances, scheduling and planning/workflow of the project, managing and rostering labour, quality and safety as well as communications with the client, any potential stakeholders, sub contractors, suppliers and employees. With so much to juggle, going digital can take off a lot of pressure and help you get on top of things.

A construction management software is a platform where different members of a construction team can collaborate on different areas of a project respectively. It can contain those aforementioned factors we have just mentioned that are part and parcel of a construction project, however some softwares specifically specialise in one area such as a software specifically for construction estimation, sometimes even a software specifically for construction takeoffs.

It is much more preferable to find a software that can combine all the different areas of a construction project such as a software that contains the ability to schedule a project, estimate a project, do takeoffs, create building recipes and price lists, hold a contact list of clients and suppliers and the like and communicate with different parties, manage active jobs and keep track of financials with contract variations and invoices managed in the system and integrated with 3rd party accounting tools. The software should bring all these aspects together effectively.

Increase the productivity and efficiency in managing a construction project

This blog will highlight and showcase why construction softwares are much more preferable to manual construction project management methods and why utilising a construction management software can increase the efficiency and productivity of a construction project in various ways. 

The first area to touch on is project management. A software essentially ensures a project manager has access to estimation tools, quality and safety protocols, workflows, calendars, financial/accounting tools, scheduling tools and production calendars for managing time and scope constraints, secure cloud storage for file transfer and document uploads and lastly an efficient communication platform for ease of communication with team members. All of this in one place creates convenience for a project manager or construction manager saving them a lot of time having everything online in one place as well as saving them continuous trips to a site as they can be updated more efficiently through a software.

The next area to touch upon is construction estimation. Let us analyse construction estimation as a case study on how a construction software can greatly increase the efficiency and productivity in a project. Of Course we could look at all the different facets of a construction project like construction scheduling, but for the sake of brevity we’ll deep dive into construction estimation to highlight the benefits of going digital.

There are various skilled individuals involved in the construction process among them is the construction estimator. Construction estimation is crucial to the success of a project. In the first place, how does one go about constructing a structure with no idea of how much it will cost? That is a sure fire way to burn time and money.

Construction estimation, the way it is practised today can be dated to the 18th century albeit it would be in a more primitive form than it is now. In reality it was effective then and it is just as effective now as it is still clearly being utilised for the success of a construction project. However, compared to the past the process would be a lot smoother and would have evolved significantly since its early days when it was introduced.

Let us first be clear on what construction estimation is. Construction estimation is a core part of the construction process. It is effectively the estimation in an accurate as possible manner, the expenses of a construction project. It is important to note that no estimate can be 100% accurate and there is plenty of room for error, however a software can most definitely aid in this. 

Construction cost estimating includes the project scope and project construction costs and the allocation of costs. There are several reasons to have cost estimates. The cost itself is important in the bid process, cost estimates help increase the accountability in a project and make sure everything is transparent. 

The costs expected to be incurred in a project are related to various elements such as the materials, labour and equipment. The quantities and costs of these must be calculated. The labour estimates are found from the takeoff list which details the amount and cost of the labour required to complete a project.

There are in reality different methods that might be used to conduct the estimation for the project. We will look at a few examples and see why a construction management software that contains an estimation tool is more preferable.

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are an outdated way of conducting the construction estimation. Surprisingly it is still a common method of conducting the estimation for a construction project, a lot of builders still utilise this and while seemingly reliable, it is not the most effective way to conduct a construction estimation and hence we can increase the efficiency in a construction project beyond using a spreadsheet. 

Builders will record all the materials, labour and items separated by categories in a spreadsheet, complete with their margins and calculations and formulas of their own they put in a spreadsheet. So why would using a spreadsheet not be preferable? 

The simple answer is first and foremost it is greatly prone to human error as people can make many mistakes in entering data into the spreadsheets field and more than just a few mistakes can be very hard to rectify. A lot of human errors are more common than one would believe in using spreadsheets. The errors grow exponentially with the size of the project too.

Spreadsheets are also more time consuming than using a construction estimation software. Laboriously entering data is time best spent on other endeavours. Spreadsheets also do not allow you to standardise your estimation process as you cannot save information from previous projects to reuse. Due to this the process is very manual and repetitive and is not very time efficient. 

Construction management Software

We now arrive at construction estimation software. A centralised construction managed software as opposed to more traditional or manual methods of going about a construction project should enable builders to far more efficiently estimate the costs of the project, schedule a project and manage different aspects of a project including the communications involved with different members of a project including the client. It should essentially streamline and really push along the different processes of a construction project. Just looking at the estimation aspect of the software the estimates should be created based on labour, materials and other cost factors of the project with line-by-line and quantity estimates of the materials utilising pre-determined formulas and calculations. 

A construction management software should allow you to re-use data once you have it in the system. For example by having your supplier price lists in a construction management system, a good system should allow you to re-use the information in a price list throughout the system. To expand on that when you are creating an estimation, and you are adding items to different categories, you should be able to have information from price lists pre-filled through suggestions. 

Building recipes and other information that may be standard for your construction business should be able to be saved and re-used very easily throughout different parts of the project, saving you a lot of time and effort. This includes costing category templates and other relevant information one may need on hand. A platform that can enable standardisation to this degree can also allow other team members to participate in the estimation process and make it more collaborative.

The above are simply a few reasons why implementing and integrating a construction management software in your business can take it to the next level, boosting productivity and efficiency. Wunderbuild is such a construction management software that aims to provide all of these functionalities and more to bring out the best outcomes for your projects. Enquire here, to receive a demo of Wunderbuild.

pexels-photo-242124
The Impact of Population Growth on Urban Planning and Construction in Australia
Australia is experiencing rapid population growth, driven by factors such as natural increase, immigration,...
Read Article
pexels-photo-8005397
Exploring Opportunities in Building Trades: From Bricklayers to Electricians
Are you someone who thrives in a hands-on environment, enjoys problem-solving, and takes pride in creating...
Read Article
pexels-photo-586093-2
Building Beyond Earth: The Future of Construction in Space Exploration
Humanity’s relentless pursuit of knowledge and exploration has been a testament to our capacity...
Read Article