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Asian Engineers

Overcoming Construction Management Challenges Using Technology


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Managing construction projects is certainly a complicated process that require specific thorough knowledge, accuracy, and leadership. Undoubtedly, it requires focus and being keen on details towards the project’s concept, crew members, deadlines, resources as well as managing budget and staying updated to any emerging latest builders trends and in fact there are many more things to put into consideration. It is indeed, a recurring challenge for project managers and contractors.

Project managers who often take the role of a team leader are required to avoid mistakes as much as they can in order to make projects more efficient and at the same time achieve the standard goal or if possible surpass the expectations of clients. Construction management is need to be properly organized in many cases. The best way to achieve it is to use a builder’s schedule software that is designed for efficient scheduling processes, tracking, monitoring and other features that are necessary for construction management.

Below are some of the most helpful practical ways that can be used and apply in order to effectively overcome construction management challenges.

1. Contract Types are used in promoting collaboration

IPD or known as Integrated Project Delivery is a promising concept and its very goal is to prevent waste while reducing the conflict to all involved parties. The particular method of IPD is able to identify activities that do not add value towards the project and so it can be eliminated. Since the profit allocation will be determined from the very beginning, all parties that are involved win just when the issues of the project reduced. This will now create an incentive for collaborative problem solving and effective communication. And how more productive the result will be now that advanced software tools are now deployed on-site. Technologies like a construction schedule software productively create a more collaborating environment wherein laborers can be more attentive and focus and also projects are moving forward more effectively and efficiently.

When conditions are becoming uncertain on a construction project, a contract like cost-plus contract having a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) can provide good results. In this kind of contract, the owner will most likely agree to pay to all project expenses with a fee already that could either be percentage-based or fixed.

• As long as the real actual project cost will stay below the GMP, the contractor creates a profit from it

• The contractor will lose money if the costs are being allowed to increase or maximize above the GMP

• In a situation where the GMP and project cost are equal, the contractor himself breaks even

This type of contract is splitting project risk between the contractor himself and the owner. The GMP is capable of providing a safety margin for the contractors in an attempt to assume unexpected costs. Apart from this, it also sets an upper limit that ultimately gives assurance to the owner. Another advantage offered by this type of contract is flexibility since any project modifications can all be handled by a simple method – adding fee and cost to the project. For the very same reason, cost-plus contracts are incredibly beneficial in projects wherein the scopes are usually unclear.

2. Online meetings must be done frequently

To form a meeting is one of many things a contractor regularly do especially when there’s an urgent announcement and discussion. To manage project and meetings are two different things. Note that a project meeting that isn’t supervised properly can badly waste plenty of time. Even online meetings that have become the best alternative for communication, time can also be wasted if not being managed appropriately. The following tips are very effective in transforming online meetings to become more efficient. Note that the following essential information can all be saved and shared using project management software. Any members of the crew can access the information in any location at any given time.

• Create a file sharing resource

Provide precise and clear instructions in terms of how files must be stored and named letting them to find everyone much easier. There should also be a control over the access in any sensitive information and will keep backup files just in case if there’s something that might have been deleted accidentally.

• Avoid unscheduled meetings

This is a must-do unless if it is absolutely necessary. However, this is more important especially when there are several zones involved – a meeting hour that seemingly normal but can be impractical for the other participants

• Provide cybersecurity guidelines

A file storage system that is reliable with a strong password is unbreakable. Consider that most of the team members might be working from home and they’ve done it for the first time. Warn them from any fake websites, scams, and other similar threats.

• Establishing a single collaboration app for all crew

It is necessary to make sure that all features are needed by the involved team. Today, there are numerous collaboration platforms available like construction scheduling software and many others. Take note that using redundant apps can usually cause some confusion.

3. Visiting project sites frequently

Site visits are still extremely necessary, particularly when providing services such as construction administration and team supervision where construction crew management is implemented. Contractors are most likely contact to any of their clients and provide discussions about the project and so on. Avoiding unnecessary visits must be done. Doing some visits without any further commitments must not be tolerated. Either cancel it or rescheduled if necessary.

However, if it is urgent, then the best way to do is contact the office or the project site for any information you wanted to ask. This happens when one doesn’t have a direct access to specifications, submittals and drawings and are abruptly assigned for a few number of tasks requiring these documents.

Using Construction Technology

Construction Technology has been referred to a new modern term – “ConTech”. This term is directly referring to all construction high-tech tools deployed and used today in the construction industry. As a matter of fact, construction management software is one of the rising ConTechs used nowadays. These construction technology tools can basically reduce project costs, improves construction efficiency and make the delivery much faster.

Furthermore, there are several promising technologies that can effectively minimize some of the most common construction management challenges.

1. Construction Management Software

If you are managing a construction project, you are facing a huge complex tasks of ensuring that everything will go as planned. All tasks that are involved with the construction management certainly need expertise, the wide-ranging experience and the best tools. Project manager’s duties will cover various areas as they will need to be consistently in touch with all involved participants in the project.

Having the right and ideal project management tool can absolutely make a whole difference in the streamline of work. A cloud-based scheduling software like Pro Crew Schedule is the leading software tool in the market. Moving further, here are the different features that this tool offers:

• Field Management

• Scheduling
• Time-Tracking
• Cloud-based storage
• Real-time Team Communication
• Crew Management

2. Wearable Technology

Wearables is a universal term for device or equipment a construction crew puts on into his/her body that directly gives contractors or project managers precise details about location, behavior and other factors. Wearable devices can ultimately provide construction employees with a whole lot of necessary and valuable information about health risks and safety protocols that the crew are quite resisting at the workplace. It includes of whether a crew is slowing down, overheating or being present in the dangerous area locations. Even engaging in any risk behavior like sliding down can be tracked using these wearable devices.

For now, here are some of the top construction technology wearables to watch out for in 2020.

• Smart Cap

This particular construction wearable is using brain waves in monitoring fatigue. When the workers are wearing the Smart Cap hard hat or simply the hat, it’ll then measure the fatigue in order to prevent micro-sleeps. There are many instances when workers are tempted to close their eyes due to sleepiness. If that happens, the Smart Cap will automatically send alerts through noise and vibrations so that the worker will be informed. This will literally keep the workers more alert.

• Spot-R

Spot-R Clips designed and manufactured by Triax Technologies are the best construction wearable that is expected to be prevalent on many job sites this year and certainly in the future. This wearable item is able to determine the location and number of workers on the site at any time. Project managers are capable of assigning the Spot-R clips to any participating workers. This is best to use together with a subcontractor scheduling software in order to further track and monitor crew during work.

• Heated Jackets

Heated jackets are utilized already before yet the technology in it is getting much better. These jackets have battery packs and it can able to heat for more than 8 hours or so. Today, the jackets are made much lighter now weighing around 2 lbs. or less.

3. Drones and cameras

These powerful tools are known to be powerful during this period of busy time. Contractors could use this tool by letting it fly higher around the project sites. Walking and roaming around is not anymore necessary. In this worksite wherein all areas require consistent tracking and monitoring, a camera can efficiently be used in order to keep a watch regardless of not being physically present.

Key Takeaways

The combination of collaborative contract types, technology, and effective collaboration can greatly reduce any of the construction management challenges at the project sites and all while deploying advanced tools. Contractors and everyone involved must be actively aware of all guidelines and also keep staying updated in all latest and upcoming trends.

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