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Current Issues for Construction Workforce Management Reporting

Simon MeyerIn the second of my series of blogs looking at the Construction Industry’s transition to enterprise management information systems, I examine the current issues facing the industry around construction workforce management reporting.

The current economic crisis is impacting the construction sector in unprecedented ways, forcing major contractors to take a hard look at the way they operate. 

Surprisingly, whilst wholesale reviews of business process are now common place, many contractors neglect to consider the significant efficiency gains that can be achieved through Enterprise level workforce management. In addition, the prominence of biometric technology in the industry for site level access, especially relative to other similar industries, highlights the ability to move to Enterprise level thinking but this is not widely exploited.

Indeed, many contractors are not aware they can source Enterprise solutions that centrally manage all projects, site security, credentials, training, carbon footprint and more at site level.

“Critical business information is too often left in exposed spread sheets or at the mercy of manual processes – a breeding ground for risk”

PriceWaterhouseCoopers

 

With the exception of the few, the main reason for lack of take-up is that construction procurement is not driven centrally but at site, with Head Office seen as an overhead more so than a profit centre.

As such there is a need for a cultural and organisational shift from the traditional approach of project management teams procuring systems and the associated duplication of effort to central procurement and delivery of company-wide benefit and value. Indeed, the need to support business compliance with ever changing industry regulation, was identified as more the short term driver for contractors to move to Enterprise thinking, rather than the larger procurement efficiency gains and this is where Head Office is leading the charge.

“There is considerable value in workforce management across our sites on an individual level and now with the introduction of centralised reporting, at corporate level”

Adrian Davies, Supply Chain Director – Carillion

 

There is often confusion: does such a solution fall under the remit of HR, IT, Procurement or Operations? All have different requirements and drivers but the truth is that it touches them all, which also highlights another reason for the gradual and not rapid uptake of Enterprise workforce management. Put simply, whose budget pays for it? So systems continue to be procured at a site level, in an ad-hoc manner for access control purposes with little consideration to the level of tactical information that can be made available across the business. The Holy Grail is the solution that balances site level requirements with corporate level information.

“The isolated systems made it difficult for KCG to enforce its security policy group-wide”

Chief Operations Officer at KCG Construction Group

 

In our next blog in the series, I will look at the evolution of Enterprise workforce reporting from disparate to aligned systems.

This blog has been adapted from our White Paper – “The Construction Industry Transition to Enterprise Workforce Management and Information Systems“.

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