The handling and execution of a construction project have a lot of moving parts. In the construction world, everyone involved in a project wants to see a project unfold in the safest, most efficient, and most effective way possible. 

In essence, the project manager’s role is to keep all the moving parts under control so that the project reaches the finish line with no delays and no setbacks. So who is the 21st-century construction manager and what is their role in the world of building infrastructure? We explore the multifaceted responsibilities of the role.  

As always, if you’re in the Nashville area and you require skilled construction services, then give us a call! 615-662-5682 

What is Construction Management? 

So what exactly is the role of the construction manager? The Construction Management Association of America defines the position as involved in the management of a construction project’s “schedule, cost, quality, safety, scope, and function.” Overall, the construction manager represents the interests of the owner and functions as the main overseer of the many contractors and subcontractors that form part of it all. 

A competent construction manager will wear many hats. They are as follows:

The knowledgeable leader

A construction manager possesses an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry, both on-site and bigger picture. They know how the small details work in the day-to-day and also grasp the workings on the higher levels between architects, designers, and engineers. They understand safety codes and how to keep a site in compliance with those codes.

Knows how to delegate and is an expert negotiator

A construction manager must make use of his crew by delegating essential tasks to people that are trustworthy and competent in their field. A construction manager negotiates good contracts with independent contractors or government entities. In these cases, the job requires that the construction manager be very familiar with the scope of their project, their needs, and the best people for the job. 

The job entails consistent communication and back and forth with other major players involved in the project. They will have to communicate with:

  • Architects
  • Electricians
  • Builders 
  • Carpenters 

The ultimate organizer

Finally, the construction manager will find themselves organizing the many players and people involved in the project through scheduling and orchestrating. Because they are in charge of different contractors on the job site a day, safety also becomes a major consideration. They must ensure that people on the job site have adequate safety measures in place, are not overcrowded, and are working in an efficient manner. 

Construction managers are in charge of:

  • Hiring new employees or subcontractors
  • Maximizing materials and sources
  • Ensuring the progression of the project in a timely manner

Challenges for Construction Managers Post-Covid

Construction firms, especially those in Nashville, had a lot of curveballs thrown at them during the past two years of the pandemic. The construction industry, however, has grown and adapted as it has prepared for new challenges. From rescheduling, sick workers, to clogged supply chains, there was a lot to contend with and construction managers had to work on their strategies and contingency plans. Some of the challenges they face as work gets underway include: 

Supply chain delays

The construction industry felt the rumblings of supply chain bottlenecks very quickly. For years, the “just-in-time” supply chains hinged on the idea that every part of the chain would run smoothly. The supply chains were not designed to deal quickly with catastrophic disruptions like the ones that happened in 2021. Moving forward, construction firms and construction managers have put in place better preparation and strategies in the event of another crisis. 

As the economy recovers, construction managers have to deal with cancellations or delays in materials, workers calling in sick, inflated prices, and much more. In a construction setting, for example, when materials get delayed, who bears the cost of the delay—the contractors, subcontractor or developer? These are all questions that need to be discussed and fall largely on the shoulders of the construction manager. 

Finding and retaining skilled labor

As many construction projects screeched to a halt in 2020 and 2021, many workers were laid off. These workers either moved away from looking for work in the meantime or went another direction with their careers. This creates the potential for construction sites to have novice or unskilled laborers that can affect craftsmanship, efficiency, safety, and more. For project managers, it is important to ensure that the crews working the teams are capable and efficient. 

Effectively managing workers

Along with supply chain issues, the management of workers is one way to integrate a solid working system that keeps efficiency running.  The use of technology has helped construction managers in supervising personnel, automated time tracking, and helping ensure and supervise safety. Some of these new techniques can help managers keep track of various aspects of the working site. 

Construction Managers Help Keep Your Project Running Smoothly 

A trusted construction manager with proficiency in the different aspects of the job will mean the difference between a well-run project and one that crumbles when faced with the smallest of challenges. 

Let Nashville’s Hannah Constructors manage your next project. Call us today to learn more about how we get things done.