Management is synonymous with organization, management, supervision and administration. Thus, construction management is any activity oriented towards the supervision of construction processes. It is about controlling the whole process and making sure that it is executed within the limits of the resources pooled for its realization. As in the basic economy, resources are scarce and expensive. Each of them should be used for maximum benefit. The resources mobilized for the construction are generally called 3M, which means:
- Machinery / Materials
All three attract a cost at which they are acquired. These are;
· People: This category includes all the human capital necessary to carry out the construction process. The cost of this resource comes in the form of salaries and fees. Wages are payable to the actual workers involved in the process while fees are payable for consultancy services, for example those rendered by architects, quantity surveyors as well as statutory and regulatory bodies.
· Money: This takes the form of capital. Money for construction comes either in the form of savings and contributions or in the form of loans and mortgages. The cost of capital takes the form of interest or deferred enjoyment in the case of savings.
· Machinery and materials: materials are the raw product from which construction is made. It is consumed in construction in its various states. Machines are used to facilitate and improve construction work. The cost of these is in the form of financing for purchase or lease. Materials can be recovered locally or overseas. Besides the cost at source, there are many logistics that come into play to have said materials made available on-site for construction. Machines or plants, in the case of their larger ones such as earth-moving machinery, involve acquisition costs as well as operating costs such as fuel, operation and maintenance.
From the breakdown above, it’s clear that building costs money. Silver is scarce and therefore valuable. This, coupled with the fact that construction is a capital-intensive business, requires very strict control measures. Good control, especially of costs, will ensure that the owner of the construction in question gets his hard-earned money’s worth. It should be realized, however, that controlling the construction process is not entirely based on cost, but rather involves the following;
These will be developed in our next article.