2 Managing DirectorThe managing director of a construction company is responsible for overall planning. They look at the full picture of the company’s current workload, its future workload for contracts already won and possible workload for contracts being tendered for.This global view enables strategic planning on the levels of supervision required for each contract, and may involve trained personnel to supervise the company’s workload.
3 The managing director will also be involved in the financial planning of the business, including cash flow forecasts, financing of the workload, risk assessments on complex construction projects, bad debts and the type of work the company would like to undertake.These responsibilities differ from the planning decisions that are taken at construction site level.
4 Site ManagerThe site manager (or supervisor) is concerned with the day-to-day planning, organisation and control of the construction site, including the organisation of resources. The site manager has to:
5 Ensure that the construction project is delivered on time, to budget and to the required quality. One of the site manager’s main responsibilities is to make the best use of resources. This involves maximising production and ensuring the use of the right labour skills to fulfil a task.Materials must be used efficiently and not wasted. Plant must be utilised to offset the establishment and running costs against the value of labour saved.Subcontractors must be organised and controlled to work effectively and safely within a team.
6 The site manager is also responsible for all the operations on site, although they may delegate some of these to general forepersons who may control sections or specific trade areas on the construction site such as bricklaying, carpentry and finishesThe site manager is often from a trade background with wide experience of different construction situations, knowledge and training.
7 PlannerThe planner is usually based at the company’s head office, although on complex, expensive projects, they may be employed full time in an office on site. The construction planner is generally responsible for:
9 The planner is a managing resource, with an overview of the company’s whole operation, and they will report on the progress of the company’s construction workload either to the managing director or contract team director or manager
10 They are expected to plan how to make the most efficient use of resources, including responsibility for:• working out how many operatives will be required on each project – to enable accurate labour forecasting• supplying the buying or purchasing department with materials schedules of what is required, when and how much – to enable in the purchasing of materials• the movement of equipment from site to site – to ensure maximum utilisation of the contractor’s own equipment or that hired by the company.
11 Quantity surveyorThe quantity surveyor is primarily responsible for the financial planning of the construction company’s operations. They deal with all financial aspects such as payments for supplies, invoicing of clients, claims for variations and final accounts.The quantity surveyor will deal with the cash flow of the business. This is the amount of money flowing into the company from clients and the amount flowing out in payments – money flowing in should be greater than money flowing out.
12 The quantity surveyor will plan the periods when the company will receive payment for the work undertaken on behalf of their clients. These are called valuation dates and are normally at 30-day intervals in accordance with the contract between the company and its client.
13 BuyerThe buyer is responsible for the purchasing of materials and plant resources and ensuring their timely delivery. There is often insufficient space on site to store all the materials required throughout the life of the project, stored materials can become damaged, and suppliers have to be paid for them.The buyer will analyse the main contract programme to obtain a set of delivery dates for the materials. Ideally, resources need to arrive on site just before they are needed. Often the buyer will place a bulk order with a supplier, who will then deliver specific quantities to the site when requested by the site manager.
14 EstimatorThe estimator undertakes tendering operations for the company. Tendering is the process by which the company obtains work.A potential client will ask a number of companies interested in carrying out their project to submit ‘sealed bids’ outlining the estimated cost of the work. It is the responsibility of the estimator to work out these costs, and they may also be expected to submit health and safety plans and construction programmes as part of the tender.During this process, the estimator will have a great deal of interaction with specialist subcontractors, who will be required for installations that cannot be undertaken by the company.
15 Site supervisorThe site supervisor (or manager) is responsible for the day-to-day running of the construction site. They deal with the site workers, subcontractors, material and plant movements and resourcing, and are expected to maintain the construction programme.On larger, complex construction sites, there may be several site supervisors for different sections of the project, all reporting to a site manager. The site supervisor is also responsible for the health, safety and welfare of all the workers on their site.
16 General forepersonThe general foreperson reports to the site manager or supervisor and is often trade specific, for example carpentry. There may be a general foreperson for brickwork, joinery and finishes. Their role is to assist the site supervisor with labour control, materials control and some of the trade-specific plant.
17 Craft OperativesCraft operatives are the joiners, bricklayers, steel fixers, etc. who have a craft background or trade. They are responsible for undertaking their trade duties in producing work that is of the correct quality.They collectively contribute to maintaining the construction programme, and have a duty under health and safety legislation to work safely.
18 General operativeGeneral operatives undertake semi-skilled works, such as the excavation of drainage trenches, working with concrete, keeping the site clean and the movement of resources.