Looking Back at Workforce Management Data Helps You Prepare for Future Projects

A male construction worker carrying a ladder.

Your company completed a strenuous project. It didn’t go perfect, but you were able to learn a few things and make it work. Fast forward two years later; you have a similar project, but can’t remember what worked and even more important, what didn’t. You were working off a spreadsheet that got deleted (and didn’t capture historical data) and a lot of whiteboard drawings. Everything is gone and you can’t learn from your mistakes or build off your success. You’re back at the beginning when you could’ve been a few steps ahead. 

You needed to track your workforce digitally. 

I’ve been there. In fact, I was in your shoes for nearly 43 years. As Vice President of Construction at Westphal Electric in Madison, Wisconsin, there was a lot of good information to work off of when planning for our next project, but none better than real-life, factual information that we could carry from one project to the next. 

Use data from previous jobs to schedule labor for new ones

Here’s an example. You’re working on a new school. There’s a lot of work done in the summer months on schools. You had a very similar project a few summers back — it was an overall success for your company. All of this information is proactively logged in a digital workforce management platform, such as LaborChart.

For your new job, say eight months before it starts, you can pull up your old job in the cloud-based workforce management platform. You’re able to see exactly how much money you spent in different areas, which workers were successful at various tasks around the jobsite and why everything went smoothly. You can learn from the past and better prepare for the future. 

An image showing Stage 1, Stage 2 and 3 of using a past projects data to manage a future project.

Set your workforce up for success 

At some point in your life, you had never cooked a steak, it was new, but you wanted to learn. You cooked your first one and it was burnt. It tasted so bad the dog didn’t even like it. The next few tries got better, and better and you continued to learn from your wins and losses along the way. Then one day, you finally perfected how you like to cook your steak. You had the foundation with real-life experience to build off of. I know everyone wants a steak now, but please keep reading. I promise this translates over to workforce management. 

Simplify construction workforce management

If you use this simplified example and carry it over to managing your workforce, you can learn a lot. Sure, perfecting your steak isn’t as difficult as forecasting labor for hundreds of people on a high stakes job, but with the right information at your fingertips, it can be just as simple.

Let’s take a look at one of the most popular views in LaborChart—the Forecasting Page. This particular view (one that most other workforce management systems do not have), enables you to get a bird’s-eye view of your workforce across every project or job title within your company. You can look back in time at factual information and take the guessing out of the equation. You get to see the actual dollars it took, the actual people needed to complete a job the right way. It replaces made-up numbers with real information that didn’t come from somewhere else — it's your information that came from your company’s own experience. 

Keep a digital record of your people and jobs

Why do you need LaborChart when you already have the information? Easy. This isn’t cooking the same ole steak that doesn’t change from one barbecue to the next. You have new projects, things change and you need a digital record you can look back at to help jog your memory.

With LaborChart, you have the ability to look ahead, but more importantly, you’re able to use previous projects to help build a solid labor plan that not only benefits the project at hand, but also your entire organization and your people. This type of proactive approach creates a positive domino effect next week, next month and beyond. 

Reach out to see a demo and start learning from your past so you have better control of your future. 

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Sr. Workforce Advisor
Gary Fuchs is a Senior Workforce Advisor at LaborChart. Prior to LaborChart, Gary was VP of Construction at Westphal Electric. He and his wife Cheryl are proud parents of three daughters and 10 grandchildren. Gary enjoys woodworking, golf, hunting, fishing, and working with LaborChart. In his past, Gary was a volunteer firefighter and basketball official.

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