As chief revenue officer at CMiC,, Toronto, Ont., Jeff Weiss leads outside and inside sales, solutions consulting, and marketing.

Resource Planning: The ERP Advancement
the Industry Needs

As those of us in the industry already know too well, construction has a productivity problem, and multiple studies confirm that companies are doing very little to help themselves. The idea that your productivity ultimately determines your bottomline pushes firms to fixate their efforts on time—the most quantifiable measure of productivity. But is this focus coming at the expense of other components of an enterprise? In other words, is the industry considering the effect of resources—and its management—on overall productivity?

A study titled, Factors That Affect the Productivity of Construction Projects in Small and Medium Companies: Analysis of its Impact on Planning cites ineffective resource management to be the most significant factor affecting construction productivity. Similarly, manpower was cited as the “most complex resource and usually the most difficult to manage” because of how essential it is to any and every project.

Other resources include the individual training and skill of workers, materials, and equipment. The study concludes with the suggestion that with proactive resource planning, a step function increase in productivity is possible.

The ultimate resource planning tool would be one that leverages a common platform of employees, projects, utilization, and opportunities.

Like the study suggests, firms are not properly managing their resources, in part,
because many of them are still using spreadsheets or paper methods to allocate, track, and manage resources across multiple projects.

Thankfully, advances in ERP and project-management solutions are helping schedulers and project managers find more reliable methods of resource management.

One such example is the introduction of visual resource planning tools that proactively enable the allocation of resources—including manpower—based on skills, availability, and location for greater precision in meeting construction project needs.

The ultimate resource planning tool would be one that leverages a common platform of employees, projects, utilization, and opportunities. This forward-thinking approach allows construction firms to avoid the pitfalls of seasonality, over/underutilization, and conflicting demands—all common contributors to construction’s wider productivity problem.

Construction firms are only beginning to realize how integral resource planning is to a construction platform to make the informed decisions that improve project delivery and reduce costs.

Regardless of company size or project scale, those who continue to use outdated resource management methods, such as spreadsheets, are not only putting the integrity of their data at risk but are choosing the tool with the lowest productivity.