A Challenging Year Ahead for the Construction Sector
The construction industry will face new challenges but also plenty of opportunity in 2019. Effective site management is absolutely vital.
The construction sector is often seen as a barometer for the overall health of the UK economy. This has certainly proved to be the case over the past couple of years, as we have seen a gradual recovery from the difficult days of the global slowdown, followed by periods of economic troughs and uncertainty as a result of Brexit.
2019 is going to be a pivotal year. As well as the economic factors surrounding what will happen after 29 March, there is also the changing technological landscape to take into account. Here are five points every construction site manager needs to keep in mind.
Site security is key
A recent industry survey revealed that an incredible 92 percent of construction sites have been the victims of crime over the past year. In the vast majority of cases, that crime is theft, so installing and maintaining effective construction site security systems has never been more important. An alarming trend that is on the rise is the opportunist theft of plant and equipment that is taken, smash and grab style, and spirited out of the country in a matter of hours. Installing the latest camera systems that are monitored 24 hours is a cost-effective alternative to having on-site security personnel.
Manage your resources
Every MBA student should spend a week on a construction site for a real-world demonstration of project management in action. Getting the job done on time and on budget all comes down to managing resources, and having the materials, personnel and skills in the right place at the right time. In this digital age, there are resource management tools that can make this a breeze, giving up to the minute information of who is doing what and where, while also providing advance warning of any potential supply difficulties or bottlenecks. It’s an area in which technology really can be your best friend.
Protect your most precious resource
From a business perspective, your most valuable resources are the ones with two legs and a hard hat on their heads. From a human perspective, these are the guys working hard in what is statistically the most dangerous working environment there is, to make everything come together. Whichever way you look at it, the most important responsibility of a construction site manager is to look after his people. That means living and breathing Health and Safety, ensuring everyone has the right training before they step anywhere near the site and taking inspections and audits seriously as a valuable tool for continuous improvement.
From the site foreman or shift supervisor to the ultimate clients who pull the purse strings, a good construction site manager is able to maintain effective lines of communication with the stakeholders that matter. Here, technology can again come to the fore. Automated reporting against agreed KPIs will help to keep the project on track. Just remember to share the information with those on the ground as well as the guys in the plush offices. After all, a well-informed team feels more involved and will be motivated to keep working towards the end goal, whatever challenges might crop up along the way.