To say that construction project managers (PMs) have a difficult job is an understatement. Beyond the general responsibilities any project manager would be accountable for, such as pre-project planning, budgeting and reporting, construction PMs are tasked with handling dozens of extraneous duties while overseeing large teams of workers. In fact, according to The Construction Management Association of America, construction professionals juggle a total of nearly 120 different responsibilities. That means every last detail of a construction project must be managed expertly and efficiently to ensure the project is a success.
Construction professionals and PMs often struggle to execute plans strategically in an environment that’s constantly evolving. When timelines get delayed, budgets change or problems with contractors threaten to derail progress, managers must act swiftly to solve these problems or risk wasting precious time, money and resources. As if staying on track under these conditions wasn’t difficult enough, the retail industry as we know it is changing, too: Brick-and-mortar stores are closing as ecommerce continues to dominate the space, forcing retailers to adapt their business models as well as their physical store locations.
To remain competitive amid industry disruption, real estate and retail construction professionals need to adopt best practices that will help them complete projects on time and on budget. Here are a few tips to kickstart the process.
Create Open Channels for Communication
When dealing with the many moving parts of an average construction project, it’s crucial to create an open line of communication. Store operators and retail executives need as much visibility into what’s happening on the ground as the construction professionals and contractors who play an active role in day-to-day activities.
For instance, if a renovation is slated to take place while a store remains open for business, retailers need real-time information to better gauge construction workflows and how they may affect the customer experience. Partnering with a construction services and project management advisor can give retailers direct insights into a project as it unfolds. This will help keep all parties in the loop regarding progress, while also providing peace of mind to store owners who need to meet strict deadlines and project goals.
Streamline Project Supervision
Having a supervisor on site to provide guidance and oversight to construction teams is invaluable. For example, projects involving major changes to multiple store locations—such as the replacement of legacy helium distribution systems across hundreds of party retail stores— requires a holistic approach to management. An on-site construction services expert will not only oversee the entire project from start to finish, their involvement can help eliminate project reschedules, ensure efficiencies are leveraged such as machine rentals and product deliveries and allow retail employees to focus on their daily operations requirements. What’s more, this approach allows for one point-of-contact to manage the project while also communicating directly with store owners to provide daily updates. When construction professionals are freed from the burden of time-consuming tasks and administrative burdens, they’re better able to execute key project initiatives effectively.
Enhance Reporting Capabilities with the Support of a Skilled Partner
Construction services and project management software go a long way when it comes to improving productivity. With advanced reporting capabilities and real-time access to project data, construction is far more likely to stay on track. This also translates directly into improved productivity, which is something almost all construction crews struggle with at one point or another. According to poll data, 35 percent of a construction professional’s time (which equates to over 14 hours per week) is spent on non-productive activities, such as searching for project information. Project management software can eliminate the problem entirely by housing every key detail within one easy-to-use platform.
Seeking out a partner who provides reporting and project management solutions will save time, simplify processes and eliminate duplicative activity—and that’s a surefire way to get some of that lost productivity back. This tech-forward approach, coupled with the human touch of an on-site project partner can elevate the work of any crew, bringing clarity and confidence to construction professionals and retailers alike.