Common Challenges in Construction

By: Joseph Evans

Managing large scale construction projects is hard work. It’s a daily balancing act of managing men, materials, and equipment all while meeting tight deadlines, adhering to strict building codes, and working with the union representatives. Construction companies and their project managers have a lot of information to send and receive daily so keeping it organized and available is important. There are three common problems in construction that every company faces, no matter how big or small they are.

Construction worker writing

Accurate Estimating

The goal is to get the estimate as close to perfect as possible so that the customer can make informed decisions. Underestimating will lead to unsatisfied customers and battles to recoup that money while overestimating could mean lost opportunities. Are estimates based on history and acquired industry knowledge or is it a good guess? Is there a standardized process or is each case handled differently? Ideally the company should be collecting and analyzing data from past projects including cost of materials, employee wages, project timelines, and more. A gut feeling is no substitute for hard data used in an automated process.

 

Job Site Safety

Safety managers walk a fine line between keeping employees safe and interrupting the workflow. It’s important to make sure everyone is working in a safe and responsible manner but if workers are stopping a dozen time during the day, they aren’t working and the project will fall behind. Large companies that have full time safety managers might have an application available that keeps track of incidents and regulations but even that is rare. Smaller companies are left cobble together multiple apps and resources that might be useful in an emergency but there are no guarantees. A custom safety application will gather all the regulations and training into one spot that is accessible by everyone company wide.

Job Status, Employee, Equipment, & Incident Tracking

With some many moving parts spread out to different job sites, keeping track of everything is a challenge. Manpower and machines shift from job to job frequently. Knowing who is where and what needs to be where is important to keep the job moving forward. A file box on the front seat isn’t good enough anymore and a manager keeping track of a spreadsheet isn’t much better. Manual processes for tracking men and machines have a high risk for human error. Are employees in the field able to track their own equipment and job status electronically or are they still relying on these manual processes?

 

Tackling These Challenges

To help take on some of these challenges, alligatortek created a custom timecard application for Leopardo. They are a construction company that has over 450 projects a year in multiple markets. They realized their time tracking process was lacking as they were inputting time sheets twice. The new application resulted in a 67% reduction of time spent weekly on double data entry which meant the process went from 4 man-days to 1.5 man-days per week.


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