Benefits of Writing Your Construction Schedule Early

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Construction Schedule

Every project has a construction schedule or builders schedule. Not only does the schedule outline how quickly the work will get done, but it also outlines how the work will get done. The builders schedule defines the sequence and method in which the materials will be put in place. Thus, the earlier the schedule is written and communicated to the project team, the better.

The construction scheduler needs to think through how to put in place the proposed elements while maintaining the integrity of the design. The scheduler must understand the proposed scope of work and the details affecting the connection of each component in order to create a proper construction schedule. The builders schedule should build into the sequences a maximum level of efficiency and productivity for each contractor or subcontractor involved in the placement and assembly of the various components and systems.

By knowing the actual lead times and the way materials will be assembled, a good scheduler can evaluate several possible installation sequences to arrive at the most productive sequence. Avoiding improvisation imposed by last-minute surprises, or lack of foresight, benefits a project by preventing unnecessary costs and delays.

Here are 13 benefits of creating a good builders schedule before the work begins.

 

  1.       Creating builders schedules during the bidding and planning stages enables you to see whether the duration the client has stipulated is achievable. Who wants to win a project with an impossible duration where you could be penalized for completing it late? If you cannot meet the client’s schedule submit an alternative bid based on your schedule, or don’t bid for the project.
  2.       When you know the overall project duration, you can calculate your overhead costs (preliminaries), which are your management, supervision and running costs.
  3.       If the builders schedule is resourced, you can use it to either calculate, or certainly check your tender estimate. Submitting a tender schedule with the bid price can strengthen your bid as it demonstrates to the client you’ve thought through the project and know how you will construct it. The tender schedule could also demonstrate to the client the obligations they need to fulfill (such as when they need to provide access or information).
  4.       The tender schedule can be used to forecast the contractor’s cash flow. More contractors have failed because of insufficient cash flow than because their projects lost money, and sometimes this is due to contractors taking on projects that are a drain on their cash flow because they are too large or have unfavorable payment conditions.
  5.       The schedule is useful when formulating tender or bid estimates because it’s possible with a correctly constructed schedule to move the critical path through different activities. This process could either shorten or extend the overall project duration. By doing this, contractors will be able to shorten a 44-week schedule to 40 weeks. It’s a bit like finding a route to a destination. Whether you’re using Google Maps or an App on your Smart device, the program analyses thousands of routes and then provides several choices. Some routes may avoid tolls, while others are best when there is no traffic, while some have a shorter distance but longer duration.
  6.       With a properly resourced builders schedule, it’s possible to change the sequencing of activities and extend or shorten duration in such a manner that the use of resources is smoothed and optimized. This helps reduce the peak resource demands and maintains continuity of resources, eliminating resources having to be demobilized and then re-mobilized again at additional costs.
  7.       The builders schedule shows the team the goals/targets/milestones and when they must be met. It then shows the route that the team must follow – kind of like following a map to get to your destination. It provides the sequence of tasks to guide Project Managers and Supervisors as to which activities they need to be working on, and which are the next ones they should be planning for. Without this map or schedule, you may find individuals in the team pulling and working in different directions, maybe even not knowing when the target must be achieved.
  8.       Project schedules provide the dates when construction materials are required on the project site.
  9.       They can be used to monitor the progress of subcontractors and suppliers.
  10.   A builders schedule supplied to subcontractors when they tender, which is then included in their contract document, reduces opportunities for them to misunderstand the construction project duration or resources required, which lessens the possibility of claims and disputes.
  11.   A resourced construction schedule allows you to plan the mobilization of resources. You know how many of which type of resource you need and when. Some projects fail because they use too few or too many resources because the Project Manager didn’t understand the project schedule resourcing. This is why you should be clear about your schedule.
  12.   Many contractors see the schedule as an opportunity for the client to use it to bash and penalize them. Contractors see it as an opportunity to ensure the client meets their obligations (such as providing access and information) timely. An approved project construction schedule is a valuable aid when preparing an extension of time claims.
  13.   Importantly, the builder’s schedule provides feedback on whether the construction work is proceeding according to schedule and whether the project will be completed in time. When it’s detected that progress is slipping action can be taken to recover the slippage which may include bringing on additional resources or working extended shifts.

Many construction companies don’t produce construction schedule because they are too scared to commit a completion date to the client, and fearful that a schedule will create additional work for them. Yet, a properly constructed construction schedule provides an opportunity to efficiently manage the project and to ensure the client meets their obligations.

Leveraging Pro Crew Schedule Software in Your Project

While many contractors pride themselves on their ability to launch and run their companies without formal business training, managing a business without systems and procedures can significantly reduce the chances of success. Although it might seem as though scheduling your construction activities won’t help you get more projects, manage expenses or increase profits, the advantages of planning your workday, projects, and regular activities can mean the difference between making a profit and struggling to stay afloat.

This is where Pro Crew Schedule becomes a useful scheduling system.

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Pro Crew Schedule’s scheduling system helps you stay on track to get important projects done. Checking a to-do list each day, at the very least, reminds you and everyone in your team of upcoming deadlines. Scheduling systems that prioritize your projects help you get to the most important projects first. When you don’t use a schedule, work can pile up, causing you to take shortcuts and put less time and effort into rushed work. The more time you have to finish tasks, the higher quality the work will be. Using computer scheduling as Pro Crew Schedule allows you to send reminder alerts to your desktop or phone.

Better Project Management

Companies rely on projects to manage everything from marketing to production to executive searches. Projects often include multiple phases or teams, and without strict schedules, they can get off track. For example, a home builder can’t schedule electricians until the house is framed in. If the electricians can’t do their work, this holds up the drywall, paint and carpet contractors. If the builder isn’t ready for his contractors at the agreed-upon time, the contractors might not be able to come back when the builder is ready because they have other jobs scheduled. Project scheduling systems like Pro Crew Schedule should include deadline cushions that take into account the possibility of delays with one part of the project.

Conclusion

Construction schedules should be flexible and expect some delays, especially those related to weather or unforeseen emergencies. However, a builders schedule will aid you in maintaining control and cost on your construction project

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