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The simple truth is that many contractors struggle with dispatching and logistical inefficiencies, but they don’t have to. With automated resource management, they will improve communication and save time, which equals money.

Mobilizing and dispatching equipment is part of every construction company’s daily routine. While current construction technology has made the process of managing equipment and other asset resources more efficient, a complete and thorough solution for construction resource management—requesting, approving, scheduling, dispatching, etc.—has yet to avail itself to contractors. Until now. 

Inefficiencies With Traditional Construction Resource Management

People in the field, shop and office are all part of the logistic process, including the movement and use of that equipment across operations and business locations.

Equipment and logistics managers constantly juggle and manage multiple moving parts. Between non-stop phone calls and coordination between so many sites and personnel, it’s not surprising that sometimes things slip. Equipment management software has made equipment tracking, maintenance and other management easier, but equipment managers have lacked an automated process for telling people what they need to do and where they (and their assets) need to be. They may know where the equipment is and where it needs to go, but without an automated system to help facilitate the process of assigning a dispatcher or laborer and asset to an appropriate site, equipment and logistics managers are still at a disadvantage. They rely on multiple coordination phone calls to ensure that personnel know what to do and where to go, but those days can be a thing of the past if a company has the right software solution that provides updates in a timely manner when plans and/or schedules change.

Field personnel—operators, lowboy drivers, laborers, foremen, crew leaders, etc.—have similar problems. Today, they get a piece of paper, a text, call or email to let them know where to go next, not knowing when things may change unless they hear from the dispatcher. Without clear direction and regular updates, their days can become chaotic and frustrating. The industry faces a chronic issue of unclosed loops in the field, which can lead to very expensive (or even unsafe) mistakes, oversights and/or schedule slips.

For project teams, equipment request forms or site mobilization and equipment lists typically exist on paper or as informal emails or templates to be filled out. Once teams fill out and submit them to the shop/yard manager, they may not receive confirmation on the plans until an update is requested. This leaves project teams in the dark about when resources will arrive onsite or if there was an issue or delay, which has a huge impact on executing key operations and critical path scopes.

On the executive level, and from a documentation and risk management standpoint, executives and owners want accurate documentation and a "paper trail" of what did or did not occur to help minimize losses and avoid missed opportunities. Details such as photos, signatures, timestamp and geolocation when an asset gets delivered to a jobsite (for a sub or a customer) to document the condition of the asset are helpful to have documented for future reference and records.

What Contractors Need in a Resource Management Solution

Two major aspects are needed for an ideal construction scheduling and dispatching solution.
  • An automated solution to replace the inefficiencies created by human-error-prone, paper-based methods, manual uploading and missed or infrequent phone calls. 
  • A system that gives them clear visibility into requests, statuses, schedules, updates and the details that they need, because people who work in construction are scattered across locations and constantly on the move.

This visibility in a trusted system eliminates the need to rely on others for information and updates and reduces logistical and miscommunication risks.

The trouble with existing resource management systems on the market is that they are not truly built for construction workflows with use cases for the multiple different relevant users. Many existing products are siloed in ways that most (if not all) inputs are analog, offline and/or manual and only cater to one user type, leaving other people that are part of the process without a solution.

For example, dispatchers still need to create/add the requests and needs they receive from the field via paper, phone, text, email or custom form (e.g., Google form) for assets and labor resources. The rest of the team—requestors, drivers, site supers, project managers, etc.—has little to no access to the dispatcher's system, so they are not aware of decisions being made (e.g., a request being approved), changes taking place every day (e.g., a delivery was delayed) or what to expect in the future (e.g., what is planned to arrive in the next two weeks). This creates a bottleneck at the dispatcher, creates stress and forces them to spend time simply communicating and closing the loop with everyone in the field.

Want to Learn More About Resource Management, Scheduling and Dispatching?

Interested in learning more about improving your equipment requests, scheduling and dispatch processes across your key roles? Contact Tenna to streamline and simplify this process across your team.

Learn more about Tenna’s Resource Management product


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