Last Updated on December 2, 2021 by Construction Digest
Construction is a business where quality can mean the difference between a high profit and a high loss.
Thus, it makes sense that construction site planning managers should be well-versed in how to approach this process as best as possible.
What follows are 13 tips for managers about their role in construction site planning so they can ensure the highest level of efficiency from beginning to end.
1. Know your customer
Before taking any other steps, development planners should survey all of the requirements laid down by the customer who will be using the finished product or service.
These requirements may include specifications related to colors, materials, size, budget and schedule – among other factors – which must be taken into account when formulating a plan for construction site set up.
For example, if the finished product must be fireproof, it may make no sense to construct the building out of wood.
2. Order your supplies in advance
A central part of construction management is ordering enough necessary materials ahead of time so they can arrive on site at approximately the same time.
This way you don’t end up with a door that needs to be installed but which nobody brought the hardware for, or have to stop work because there are not enough screws available.
Before making any decisions about what tools and equipment need to go on site, managers should check with their suppliers to ensure that all requested items will arrive when needed most.
Specifically during construction hours, so work won’t have to stop for lack of certain equipment.
3. Assign different roles to different team members
For all construction projects, managers should assign one person whose responsibility it is be in charge of the overall plan.
Other key positions include assigning one person to be in charge of safety on the site, one person as lead carpenter (whose main task will be supervising other workers), and another as assistant lead carpenter (whose main task is to follow instructions).
Each of these individuals needs to have their own hierarchy below them so that decision making can quickly take place when problems arise.
4. Develop a floor plan
As with most business endeavors, drawing up an organizational chart – or floor plan – ahead of time will save you considerable amounts of time by creating clear lines of responsibility during any hectic periods that may arise during construction.
As mentioned above, one person should be assigned as the lead carpenter whose main task is to oversee a team of carpenters and ensure that they are implementing the drawings correctly.
Line managers below this person can oversee specific departments such as engineering or electrical installation, for example.
5. Select your site manager carefully
As with any business, you will automatically want someone who possesses experience and know-how to take charge of your project – specifically when it comes to construction management.
Therefore, you should use this position as an opportunity to hire someone who has worked on similar jobs in the past and can bring valuable knowledge about what works well and what doesn’t work well into play during the setup phase.
This ensures a higher chance of success on the project.
6. Establish a good reputation among suppliers
Even though some supplies may be available immediately at your construction site, you will probably need to look beyond your immediate surroundings for anything that doesn’t come within the realm of standard equipment.
In this case, it is important for managers to select vendors who can provide quality materials and products in a timely manner because certain supplies may have to be brought from long distances away – which takes time during busy periods.
If you establish a positive relationship with multiple well-respected vendors who know you are a reliable customer, they will usually make an effort to move mountains to help you out when necessary – even if it means going slightly above and beyond what is normally expected of them.
7. Invest in a forklift
Even though a rental may seem expensive, a forklift is an invaluable tool that allows workers to move bulky items around the site much more easily.
It can save you considerable amounts of time when compared to other methods such as using rollers or dragging materials along the ground with ropes and dollies.
In addition, it also leaves your worker’s hands free so they don’t have to stop working on one product to go get something from another part of the building.
This you do not want them doing during busy periods.
8. Don’t forget about safety
Although many construction sites are very hazardous environments for workers who do not respect safety protocols, managers should always place a premium on this aspect because if even one worker is injured.
Not only can your whole workday be disrupted but lawsuits and fines could also incur in the worst-case scenario.
As such, managers should always make safety a top priority in any construction project because it will protect both workers and company assets when implemented properly.
9. Have all equipment serviced regularly
Ensuring that all power tools and other types of equipment are in optimal working condition is vital during construction projects because without them, productivity can quickly decrease to zero.
This is what you want to avoid at all costs.
If an appliance breaks down on a job site during peak periods, not only will your workers have to wait for it to get repaired before they can resume working but you may also forced to hire outside help or cut corners.
Both which can be extremely costly to the company.
10. Go for quality over quantity
One of the biggest mistakes that construction managers make during busy periods is trying to cut costs by purchasing cheap materials or not hiring enough workers to complete the tasks at hand.
Although saving money sounds like an attractive proposition, it will usually burn you in the long run because it will result in subpar products and services.
Which means a loss of revenue and clients. Instead, managers should ensure they have a firm grip on company spending habits even if it means going slightly over budget initially because this ensures better returns on investment down the line.
11. Schedule all meetings well ahead of time
Even though no one wants wake up early during weekends or put in extra work after hours, managers should always try to accommodate workers with flexible schedules who want to take time off for personal reasons or attend meetings.
To ensure your employees are able to make it on time, you should schedule all meetings at least a few days ahead of time so they have enough time to adjust their schedules accordingly.
Especially if the meeting will require them to travel long distances from site.
12. Keep an up-to-date inventory list
As a construction manager, you need a clear record of company equipment and supplies which allows you to estimate how much is available during various times throughout the day.
If you don’t have an accurate memory bank that documents what was used yesterday and what wasn’t, chances are your company will run into huge problems such as running out of materials or having an insufficient number of tools to complete the tasks at hand.
As such, it is vital that you keep your inventory updated and current on a daily basis because it will help you run projects more smoothly and ensure there aren’t any mishaps down the line.
13. Try to delegate some tasks
Although project managers should always work closely with every team member and iron out all details before starting a new venture, making everyone feel like they contribute something instead of pushing everything off on one individual will make them feel valued and appreciated.
This can go a long way in how dedicated they are to their jobs.
If workers believe they do not have influence over how projects are run, there is a much higher chance they will become unhappy and leave.
Meaning it’s up to you to create a harmonious work environment so everyone can enjoy their time on the job.