In today's competitive business environment, it is imperative for construction firms to set themselves apart from the pack by implementing new strategies for managing their operations. As profit margins shrink and competition for key projects grows more intense, finding hidden ways to increase a company's bottom line is not only good business - it's a requirement. One trend, construction resource management, stands out as a key method for reaching such goals.
The term construction resource management encapsulates the complete process of managing tools, equipment, consumables and materials throughout a construction organization. Tracking, managing and leveraging these important assets has become increasingly important as companies compete and try to succeed in this fierce marketplace. Companies who adopt an effective construction resource management system improve not only warehouse and job site efficiency, but also key business processes and overall operational efficiency by tracking and managing critical business resources.
Companies have long understood the impact mismanaged resources can have on an organization. From homemade spreadsheets to professionally designed software, companies in the know have used tools to help manage these assets for years. But improvements in enterprise level construction resource management systems now let companies not only manage these assets, but also leverage them for company success. And, sophisticated construction resource management systems allow companies to meet OSHA regulations and stay Sarbanes-Oxley compliant.
Construction resource management systems give companies a leg up in company-wide process management by putting the information each department needs to do its job into the right hands. Tool locations, replacement costs, repair information and billing rates are easily accessible through a secure central database, allowing the accounting department, for instance, to easily retrieve information that helps them create accurate job costing projections. Other departments like purchasing, project management, and equipment maintenance benefit as well with the ability to access information that helps them make better business decisions. And, today's systems can easily integrate into existing departmental software. The result is companies that can better plan budgets and projects to utilize financial resources for maximum yield.
Benefits from adopting the right system include:
- Improved job site efficiency
- Increased field productivity
- Fewer costly interruptions
- Improved employee safety
- Improved financial performance
- Minimized unnecessary tool, equipment and material purchases
- Lower insurance premiums
- Improved asset history that enables more informed purchasing decisions
- Greater purchasing power through the ability to combine orders
- Improved regulatory compliance
- Improved financial controls and regulatory compliance
Finding a Construction Resource Management System
There are a wide number of options available when putting a construction resource management system into place, from those with basic functions only to enterprise level solutions with an abundance of features. Implementing an enterprise-wide system can seem a daunting task in a busy work environment, especially with a workforce not used to working with technology on a day-to-day basis. The right system will offer options to ease this process, ensuring minimal disruption. It is important to strike a balance between features like tool, equipment, material and consumables management at multiple locations and visibility of inventory to the entire organization. The system should also offer ease-of-use at a reasonable price.