In the construction world, resource planning is the backbone of project success. The ability to efficiently allocate labour, materials, and equipment is crucial for keeping projects on schedule, within budget, and up to quality standards.
Construction projects are complex and need precise project planning, strategic allocation, and careful control over resources. Whether it's managing the availability of skilled workers and capacity planning in general, tracking the delivery of construction materials, or ensuring that heavy machinery is optimally utilised, the ability to orchestrate these resources can make or break a construction project.
Why use resource management software?
Resource management software tailored for construction offers a powerful solution to the challenges we mentioned earlier. Without effective resource planning software, you can face a whole host of issues with project progress, a lack of centralised visibility and a budget spiralling out of control. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits:
Enhanced resource allocation:
Resource management software allows you to automate the allocation of labour, materials, and equipment, ensuring that each resource is used optimally. This precision minimises resource wastage and reduces your operational costs.
Such software provides real-time visibility into resource allocation, allowing your project managers to see who is working on what, where materials are in the supply chain, and how equipment is being utilised. This transparency facilitates better decision-making.
Construction projects often involve complex schedules and build stages. Resource management software helps in creating and managing these schedules, aligning resources with project timelines. This leads to on-time project completion and better project planning.
The software can automatically identify and resolve resource allocation conflicts, preventing delays and disruptions. It ensures your resources are deployed smoothly, reducing project hiccups.
Effective resource management leads to better cost control. By reducing overallocation, underutilisation, and the need for rush orders, it helps construction companies stay within budget.
Resource management software collects and analyses data related to resource allocation and utilisation. This data provides you with valuable insights for making informed decisions about skill development, resource allocation, and project planning.
Compliance and security:
Modern resource management software often includes robust security features to protect sensitive project data. This is vital in an industry that frequently handles confidential information.
Top 5 resource planning software for construction
We know resource planning software for construction is a game-changer, so let’s dive right in to the top 5 solutions on offer.
Fluid is a comprehensive, all-in-one project portfolio management and collaboration tool that caters to the unique needs of the construction industry. It combines scheduling, resource allocation, and real-time communication, providing a holistic solution for construction project teams. Fluid is perfectly set up for project stakeholders and managers to have a high-level view to understand project statuses too; this makes it ideal for the entire project team.
Suitability for construction:
Fluid is designed to streamline resource planning in construction by offering features like real-time collaboration, project tracking, and resource allocation. Its focus on scheduling and optimisation makes it ideal for managing construction projects where efficient resource utilisation is crucial. Fluid can also be used alongside other software which is specifically designed for construction management. For example, Procore and P6 are commonly used, but the sheer complexity and details of these tools can be difficult for the whole project team to get a full rounded view of a project. Using Fluid alongside other software is particularly beneficial for PMOs with multiple portfolios which can also include construction.
Fluid provides customer support through a knowledge base and a responsive team for specialised help. Its support system ensures that construction teams can get assistance promptly, enhancing the overall user experience.
- Customisable around construction use cases
- Comprehensive project portfolio management and collaboration features as well as timesheets
- Real-time communication and updates
- Not specialised for construction management
Smartsheet is a versatile work management platform that empowers teams with tools for project planning, tracking, and collaboration. It integrates seamlessly with various apps and offers a range of templates to suit diverse project requirements.
Suitability for Construction:
Smartsheet provides a collaborative platform with features like Gantt charts, resource management tools, and project tracking. This makes it well-suited for construction projects where timelines, resource allocation, and team collaboration are vital for successful completion.
Smartsheet offers customer support through a comprehensive knowledge base, community forums, and personalised assistance. Its robust support system helps construction teams navigate challenges effectively.
- Versatile work management platform
- Integration with various apps
- Diverse project templates
- Advanced features may require a learning curve
- Dependency on integrations for certain functionalities
Procore is a specialised construction management platform that centralises project information and communication. It is tailored to address the challenges specific to the construction industry, offering features that streamline project workflows.
Suitability for Construction: Procore is a specialised construction management platform. It facilitates resource planning through project management, scheduling, and budgeting tools. With features like centralised communication and document management, it ensures that resources are allocated effectively, reducing delays in construction projects.
Procore is known for its responsive customer support, including phone support, live chat, and an extensive knowledge base. The platform ensures that construction teams receive timely assistance for their queries or issues.
- Specialised for construction management
- Centralised project information
- Streamlined project workflows
- Higher pricing, potentially less suitable for smaller projects
- Can be more complex than necessary
- Steeper learning curve for some teams despite being industry-specific
- Not well suited for the entire project team
Wrike is a flexible project management and collaboration platform suitable for various industries, including construction. It combines task management, reporting, and real-time collaboration to enhance project visibility and team productivity.
Suitability for Construction:
Wrike's flexibility makes it suitable for construction resource planning. It offers task management, real-time collaboration, and reporting tools. In construction, where adaptability to changing project requirements is key, Wrike's agile approach allows for efficient resource allocation and project tracking.
Wrike provides customer support through live chat, email, and a knowledge base. The platform is committed to helping construction teams make the most of its features with responsive and informative support.
- Flexible project management
- Real-time collaboration
- Powerful reporting features
- Steeper learning curve for comprehensive use
- May lack certain industry-specific features
Asana is a widely-used project management platform known for its simplicity and powerful features. It helps teams organise work, collaborate effectively, and achieve project goals with its intuitive interface and diverse set of tools.
Suitability for Construction:
Asana is known for its intuitive project management features. For construction projects, Asana's task assignment, timeline tracking, and collaboration capabilities are beneficial. It ensures that construction teams can allocate and manage resources effectively while maintaining clear communication.
Asana offers customer support through email, a knowledge base, and a community forum. While Asana is user-friendly, its support channels ensure that construction teams can seek guidance when needed, fostering a positive user experience.
- User-friendly interface
- Intuitive task management
- Robust collaboration features
- Limited advanced project management capabilities
- May not be as suitable for larger, complex projects
Each platform has its strengths and potential drawbacks, and the choice should align with specific project requirements, team expertise, and the desired level of complexity.
How to choose the right software for you
Choosing the right resource planning software for you needs careful consideration. The last thing you want to do is rush this decision and choose a software that doesn’t quite fit. Take a look at these five essential steps to guide your decision-making process:
- Industry-specific features:
- Prioritise software that caters to the unique demands of your industry. For construction, features like project scheduling, equipment management, and collaboration tools tailored to construction workflows are crucial.
- Scalability and flexibility:
- Assess the software's scalability. It should accommodate your current projects while having the flexibility to adapt as your business grows. Consider whether it supports both small-scale and large-scale projects.
- Integration capabilities:
- Check for integration options. The software should seamlessly integrate with your existing tools, be it CRM, financial software, or other project management systems. This ensures a smooth flow of information across platforms.
- User-friendly interface:
- Opt for a tool with an intuitive interface. A user-friendly design reduces the learning curve for your team, facilitating quick adoption. Look for features that enhance collaboration and communication. You will also need a tool that can be accessed and updated on-site.
- Customer support and training:
- Evaluate the quality of customer support. Comprehensive training resources, responsive customer service, and an active user community contribute to a positive user experience. A vendor that provides excellent support ensures smoother implementation and problem resolution.
By following these steps, you can narrow down your options and choose resource planning software that aligns with your industry requirements, supports your projects at various scales, integrates seamlessly with your existing tools, offers a user-friendly experience, and comes with robust customer support.