Management is synonym to organization, running, supervision and administration. Thus, construction management is every activity geared towards overseeing construction processes. This is meant to control the whole process and to make sure that it is executed within the limits of the resources pooled towards its realization. As in basic economics, resources are scarce and costly. Every single of these need to be utilized for the maximum benefit. The resources mobilized for construction are normally referred to as the 3M, which stands for:
- Machines / Materials
All the three attract a cost at which they are acquired. These are;
· Men: This category comprises of all the human capital that is required towards the realization of the process of construction. The cost of this resource is in the form of wages and fees. Wages are payable to the actual laborers 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 is either in the form of savings and contributions as well as loans and mortgages. The cost of capital is in the form of interest or deferred enjoyment in the case of savings.
· Machines & Materials: Materials is the raw product from which construction is done. It is consumed in construction in their various states. Machines are used to make construction work easier and better. The cost of these is in the form finance for purchase or hire. Materials can be fetched locally or from abroad. Apart from the cost at source, there are many logistics which come to play for the said materials to be availed on site for construction. Machines or plant in case of their bigger ones like earthmovers involve the cost of acquiring as well as running costs like fuel, operation and maintenance.
From the above breakdown, it is clear that construction costs money. Money is scarce and as such precious. This, coupled with the fact that construction is a capital intensive endeavor, calls for very stringent measures of control. Good control, especially for cost, will ensure that the proprietor of the construction in question gets value for their hard earned cash. It should however be realized that control for the construction process is not entirely on cost, rather, it involves the following;
These will be elaborated in our next article.