First things first, we should better define what “manage” stands for. Day-to-day management is taking place on site. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. However, a certain part of “management” doesn’t need a site presence if we look at it as “over-management”.
People with that kind of oversight, on the main and sub-contractors side, would include people like the Contract Managers and Quantity Surveyors based in Head Office rather than on site. Obviously Contract Managers need to visit the site from time to time. They need to do that for a bunch of reasons:
a. To keep track of progress
b. To build a closer relationship with the workers on site and boost their morale. Good morale is vital to a successful construction project. If morale is good the lads work faster and to higher standards.
c. To offer help/advice to any potential problems
It’s understandable, then, that their presence on the site can have multiple benefits for the process of the project. Nevertheless, both a Contract Manager and a Quantity Surveyor have also many other responsibilities to fulfill which many times can be more important than going around a construction site. In that sense, they have plenty of different reasons for which they would love to be able to manage a construction site from remotely:
Saving time for working on other projects
Now your poor old Contract Manager has multiple sites on his agenda. He also has loads of things to deal with in Head Office such as supervising Tenders for, hopefully, future business. He doesn’t want to be spending time running around unnecessarily to visit projects that are proceeding apace.
Likewise the QS if he is based in Head Office. He too will probably have several projects he has to keep track of so he can get the bills paid and, more importantly, get paid for work done. He doesn’t want to have to waste time trotting out to several sites to check up on work completed and try to ascertain if the information he has been given by post or e-mail is actually accurate.
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Keeping the hierarchy on site straight
A good manager should always respect not only the people that has above him/her but those below as well. By visiting the construction site on a regular basis, the hierarchy of the site could be disturbed as it would appear that s/he lacks trust on his/her people on site.
They are unwelcome sometimes
There is also another reason why these gentlemen don’t want unnecessary sites visits. We muddy-boot brigade don’t like them coming on our sites to snoop and we make them feel unwelcome! If the weather is bad they just sit in our offices and that is inconvenient for everybody.
Managing the Site Remotely
Now, if they are going to (over)manage the site remotely, what do they need to know? The answer to that question is pretty much everything; memos, drawings, evidential photos, specification changes, adverse weather, letters, people on site, perhaps most importantly progress against the Build Program, and so it goes on…Everything! Remember that these people have to initiate things themselves like letters, memos and phone calls, as well.
So how do we manage to create a situation where they can spend most of their time behind their desks, only having to visit sites occasionally to kind of keep themselves included on the project team?
The answer to this question is quite easy, if we consider that they can constantly have access to any kind of data simply by using their smartphone, laptop or tablet. Through the use of a reliable construction software the remote management of a construction site can easily become true.
All that a Contractor manager -or anyone else involved in the project- has to do is to use his/her mobile device and keep track of the different ongoing tasks. By doing that, the development of the construction project management process is facilitated in a number of ways:
More efficient communication between the members of the team
Everyone can be available at any time. This offers tremendous flexibility and makes sure that any serious issues will be addressed and solved on time.
Faster decision making
Faster access to the data signifies faster decisions. The Contractor Manager can easily estimate the situation and proceed to further action when s/he has all the necessary information on screen.
Augmented project accessibility
The use of construction software allows everyone that participates in the project to monitor the full progress of the project and obtain a better understanding around it.
More clear roles within the project
The contribution of anyone who is involved in the project is pretty straight-forward. In that way, a Contractor Manager knows precisely which of his/her employees have tried their best and which haven’’t performed according to the existing expectations.
Managing your construction site remotely may sound risky, but it actually is the exact opposite. With the right tools, you can always remain up-to-date on different project aspects and take the best decision for it fast and easy.
So that is how you manage a construction site remotely. GenieBelt is perfect for this!