Tips on how you can better control your construction budget
Welcome to a series of blogs by the ManPro team on the construction industry in Kenya and Africa.
Construction is a risky business worldwide, more so in Kenya where trust levels and professionalism is very low. For this reason, good planning and real time project monitoring is critical.Your ability to proactively manage risks and flag potential delays or budget overruns sooner than later is critical if you are to deliver quality projects faster, more efficiently and with wider margins.
Whereas it is true that there are many things that happen on-site that are often out of our control and could not have been predicted during the project planning, many mistakes in construction originate in the planning phase. Proper planning coupled with real time project monitoring provides the greatest opportunity to save money and ultimately increase profit margins. The following tips will enable you to achieve this objective.
1. AUTOMATE ESTIMATING, SCHEDULING & PLANNING
If you were to conduct a quick informal survey in Kenya to determine how many projects are started without a proper budget (Bills of Quantity) or work plan, you would be utterly shocked at the number of such projects. Is it a wonder then that so many people end up losing money or with stalled projects due to cost overruns?
The truth is that estimating, scheduling and planning for a construction project can be a highly complex, expensive and technical process. This is why many Kenyans choose to work with some high level estimates from the so-called experienced fundi. As expected, missed or inaccurate information and miscommunication usually result in all manner of problems down the line. Unexpected costs and costly changes and reworks become the order of the day. This does not have to be the case.
Automating the planning phase of construction can help you save massively for two reasons;
- When you stop doing manual plans (using pen and paper or on notebooks) and you adopt digital tools like Excel or ManPro CMS, you will be able to plan more accurately because you can build detailed budgets that include cost of work, material and labour breakdowns. This ensures that you have a solid benchmark to compare actual costs and material usage against.
2. In addition to digitizing your planning data, you can also add automation to the process using construction management tools. A platform like ManPro CMS enables you to plan with a lot more ease because ita can give you accurate current rates for materials in your region. It also helps you to accurately estimate your labour costs based on optimal productivity from your fundi’s . This eliminates guesstimates in your budgeting. And the best part is that ManPro has in-built templates that you can use without having to start from scratch.