Why Entrepreneurs Need Automated Resource Management
The mobilization and distribution of equipment is part of the daily life of any construction company. Today’s construction technology has made the process of managing equipment and other assets and labor resources more efficient, and a comprehensive and in-depth solution for construction resource management – request, approval, scheduling, asset dispatch and workforce teams – has become a must.
Inefficiencies with traditional building resource management
People in the field, in store and in the office are all part of the logistics process across operations. Between the incessant phone calls and the coordination between numerous sites and personnel, it’s no surprise that things are slipping. Asset managers don’t have an automated process for telling people what to do and where they (and their assets) need to be. Without an automated system to help facilitate the process of assigning a dispatcher or worker and asset to a job site, equipment and logistics managers are at a disadvantage. They rely on multiple coordination phone calls to ensure staff know what to do and where to go. Additionally, the labor crews needed for related field work are usually managed separately with a completely different set of systems or calls, which means more inefficiency for field and office crews. Those days can be a thing of the past when a business has the right solution that provides timely updates when plans and/or schedules change.
Field staff – operators, drivers, labourers, foremen, team leaders, etc. – has similar problems. Today, they receive a slip of paper, text, call or email letting them know where to go next, usually without details. They don’t know when things change unless they hear from the dispatcher. Without clear direction and regular updates, their days become chaotic and frustrating. The industry faces a chronic problem of unclosed loops with the field, resulting in very costly (even dangerous) errors, oversights, and/or delays.
For project teams, equipment request forms or site and equipment mobilization lists usually exist on paper or as informal emails or fill-in-the-blank templates. Once completed and submitted to the shop/yard manager, they generally do not receive confirmation of plans to receive the requested asset or workers. This leaves project teams in the dark about when resources will arrive onsite, or if there has been a problem or delay, which has a huge impact on the execution of key operations and path scopes. critical.
At the management level, and from a documentation and risk management perspective, accurate documentation and a “paper trail” of events help minimize losses and avoid missed opportunities. Details such as photos, signatures, time stamps and geolocation when an asset is delivered to a job site, as well as documentation of the asset’s condition are useful for future reference and records.
What Contractors Need in a Resource Management Solution
Two major aspects make up an ideal construction planning and dispatching solution.
- Automation to replace inefficiencies created by paper-based methods prone to human error, manual uploading, and missed or infrequent phone calls.
- Clear visibility into requests, statuses, schedules, updates and details as people working in construction are dispersed across multiple sites and constantly on the move.
Visibility into a trusted system eliminates the need to rely on others for information and updates and reduces logistical and miscommunication risks.
The problem with existing resource management systems on the market is that they are not really designed for building workflows with use cases for the multiple users involved. Many existing products are siled so that most inputs are analog, offline and/or manual and only cater to one type of user, leaving others who are part of the process unsolved.
For example, dispatchers still need to create/add requests they receive from the field via paper, phone, SMS, email or custom form (e.g. Google form) for assets and labor resources . The rest of the team – requesters, drivers, site supervisors, PMs, etc. – has little or no access to the dispatcher’s system, so they are unaware of decisions made (e.g., request approval), changes that take place every day (e.g., a delay in delivery), or what to expect in the future (for example, what is expected to happen in the next two weeks). The dispatcher becomes a bottleneck, which creates stress and forces him to spend time communicating and closing the loop with everyone in the field. Usually, only the dispatcher or staff physically seated behind the dispatcher’s screen has a full picture of what is being requested, where things stand, and where they will be tomorrow.
Contact Tenna to streamline and simplify the equipment request, scheduling, and dispatch processes across your team.