Construction projects take a long time to finish – that’s natural unless you opt to use the 3D printing method which should complete a simple structure in just 24 hours. For these highly-technological firms, time isn’t an obstacle to achieving a successful project. But for most construction firms who’d rather stick with the traditional building methods, “time is money.” The sooner they finish the order, the higher the chance they avoid going over budget.
But what can they do to make sure that their construction project doesn’t drag out of time and go above budget?
As we mentioned in one of our blogs, discussing how to minimize delays and construction over budget, there will be bumps along the way that can’t be avoided. But there are surely things you can do to manage the issues and proper time management is a big factor in coming out successful in these bumps.
Today, we look at a few key elements of construction project management that you can do before the construction phase begins so you can save time and stop wasting money.
1. Improve your planning
Once the design is already deemed perfect, planning shouldn’t be that hard. However, there are still a lot of construction companies that don’t take a strategic approach to plan. Improving your planning process will help you minimize unpleasant surprises during your operation and will also help you enhance your business’s ability to confront unforeseen circumstances.
However, one construction project takes a long time. With so many moving parts, you need to use some construction projects scheduling software to help you plan tasks efficiently.
For instance, during design and commissioning, you should think about a variety of different scenarios for how the project might proceed and map out the task schedules accordingly. This is better than preparing a single optimal template where you can’t adjust easily when you encounter a problem that impedes you from following the original plan.
Talk to potential construction subcontractors and suppliers about their needs and any problems they anticipate too and include them in your planning.
You should also plan for your risk management as accidents at the site are one of the biggest factors that cause project delay. Assign key people to handle issues too. Have a person take responsibility for key deliverables. Assign a person who will handle crew member management and one who aligns the interests of everyone on the project. This way, it will be easier to find the person-in-charge and get better overviews of what the problem really is about, how it happened, and how it can be resolved.
Construction companies that develop robust planning procedures at every stage of the project are able to roll them out over and over again.
2. Focus on collaborating instead of wasting time on arguments
A dispute is another thing that always happens in construction. Payment is one of the major causes of disputes which can lead to delays. For many construction firms, the problem is two-fold – they waste time chasing their own customers for payments and also struggle to administer their own pending payments.
The solution to this is to not let these kinds of disputes happen in the first place. And they can be prevented through collaboration. Put your application processing and payment approval systems in better order. This means coming up with faster and more efficient processes that connect you with your client or with your supplier, as well as using new technology in areas such as application for payment.
Apart from saving time, construction companies that are able to move past disputes regarding payment can build much stronger relationships with their clients and suppliers. Consequently, when the firm and the client are in good terms, they can talk out doing a new project in the future that can be more profitable with more solid ideas on what both camps want and expect from each other.
3. Simplify the organization
Organizational hierarchy can add to amounts of delays in projects with more people getting in the way of delivery and control. Focusing on building a leaner organization and assigning key people that you really need like a project leader, a foreman, a safety engineer, an accountant, and admin will cut the process down. The passing of information will also be shorter, enabling the person-in-charge to receive notices or important messages right on time.
Finding the right construction scheduling programs with collaboration features like Pro Crew Schedule will help each team member connect with the right person to help them with their concerns immediately. This replaces the old procedure where members go to their leaders, leaders to foremen, foremen to project managers and so on until the message is passed on to the person-in-charge. And it consumes so much time to do so.
Construction scheduling and project management programs make this process almost in real-time and there’s the option to attach important files to the message so even if the people involved are from the office and from the field, they can still connect more effectively.
Remember, when issues arise, they should be confronted at once to avoid them from turning into bigger problems. And automation and IT-driven process transformation like construction software can deliver substantial efficiencies.
4. Focus on visibility
Poor transparency can lead to miscommunication and delays in your construction projects. Not enough visibility hinders leaders to see what’s really going on at the site. They fail to recognize problems in their early stage until they grow big and cause costly delays.
So to save time in recovering from these mistakes, you need to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the reports you receive from the field. This is why many construction companies are already relying on construction scheduling and management programs, drones, and surveillance technologies.
Likewise, an open relationship with the client, suppliers, and construction subcontractors will deliver benefits too when it comes to time-saving. Well-managed construction companies have performance indicators and dashboards in place so they can quickly take action where pinch points are developing. Strong communication channels ensure a constant flow of relevant information between all relevant parties so make sure to invest in your communication tools. Today, construction management tools already come with messaging functions to make reporting quicker and more efficient.
5. Invest in technology
There are a lot of ways on how technology can help you save time in your project. We discussed how robotics and automation can practically speed up the process tenfold. The 3D printing technology, for instance, has made months of construction possible in just a few weeks. Robots can take on heavy tasks where humans are hard up, hence making the work lighter. The team is then able to meet deadlines or even complete tasks earlier than scheduled.
Technology also helps in minimizing accidents at the site, hence making the work more efficient. Consequently, delays and extra expenses are avoided.
Digital technology also plays a big role in saving time in construction. Simple scheduling programs for construction like Pro Crew Schedule can help speed up the process of planning tasks and setting deadlines. The program even has a monitoring function, making project management more effective.
Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, helps leaders in coming up with wise decisions by giving them logical and organized data from the site. For instance, AI can be used to determine which equipment can be taken off the site to save rental money and space.
BIM is another digital tool that shouldn’t be taken for granted. This high-tech means of making 3D images of the project can give an in-depth presentation of the structure including other important details that weren’t usually included in older 3D models like piping and electrical systems. BIM is also a way for firms to determine possible construction scenarios so they can prepare for the worse or plan on how to prevent possible problems from happening.
There are, actually, so many ways firms can do to save time in construction. It all starts with proper planning, organized execution of these plans, constant communication, and investing in the right technologies. Preventing delays is the best way to plan on steps on how you can save time so early on your project planning stage, brainstorm with your stakeholders, subcontractors, project managers, and other key players on what they know can impede them from finishing the project on time, based on their previous experiences. It will be helpful to refer to past documents too of your previous projects.