Why construction industry needs to embrace human resource management

Human resource has been described as the most essential resource in an organization since it is the human aspect that makes sure that all other resources work optimally (or not).

In the construction industry, the concept of human resource management is not as well defined and improved as in other mainstream and formal industries.

For every industry to grow there has to be continuous improvement of efficiency in resources usage. There has to be capacity building to empower all the stakeholders to be better and to do better.

Every construction site has labour, whether mechanized systems are employed or not and also regardless of the magnitude of mechanization. This therefore makes it necessary to direct enough attention and resources towards human resource management and development in construction.

How many times have you commissioned a site and you only know the contractor out of an average of 20 craftsmen in your premise? How many times have you thought of the fundi who helps the mason build your wall as a resource that could be improved through training and empowerment using fringe benefits such as insurance facilitation?

As a contractor, how many times do you think of your fundi as a resource that could benefit from  remunerations other than their daily wages?

Human resource management is a critical part of project management. A client who is building should be keen to know how well the resources are being utilized through-out the project. A contractor on site must be very hands on when considering the usage of resources in any individual project because this has a direct effect to the quality of his deliverables, his profit margins and eventually his reputation as contractor.

Imagine a contractor solution that comes in to help you conveniently manage your human resources on the job site; having the  proper knowledge of the people working on your projects, including their skills and skill level will increase a their capacity to function as a developer. Even as an independent Home Owner managing their own project, this knowledge brings then confidence in getting the right talent for every job. We live in the age where information is more powerful than anything!

There is no more need to imagine that solution. The iBUILD app  is here to revolutionize the human resource management aspect in the construction industry. It is a one stop shop where you have an elaborate and detailed list of all the fundis on your site, their skills, their reviews and recommendations from other contractors as proof of their capabilities. The iBUILD mobile app also allows you to digitize your day to day operations by running and managing timesheets. For every worker you hire through the iBUILD app, a timesheet is generated that helps you manage their working hours as it keeps records of the amounts due to each of them according to the hours worked. At the end of the day, it gives you a summary of who was on site and how long they worked and how much is due to them! iBUILD then provides the best tool of all- the ability to upload time sheets directly to the payment gateway and pay all of your workers through the iBUILD wallet. Straight from the contractor wallet into the worker wallets. And there is more! Workers can cash out of their wallets directly into their Mpesa accounts. Contractors will have a permanent record of who gets paid what amount, and who worked on which projects for how long. Workers are rated every time they are paid and contractors will never have to remember which workers performed well and which did not- it all becomes part of the permanent transaction history. Organized details, and historical knowledge all at your fingertips so that you minimize mistakes and continue to hire and manage the best talent for your projects.

What the App is able to achieve

You can even save your favorites for easy access to contact and hire them for new projects- all directly through the app.

As a Home Owner or developer, you are able to see the work profiles of all the people involved in your site. This puts the control back into your hands!

Marlowa Okwogo of Marvin Interiors Inc. is a company that specializes in interior installations and external façade finishes in Nairobi and Kisumu Counties. Marlowa has been using the new technology from iBUILD  to manage his fundis on site. He sent out a posting for some positions he needed urgently filled and within 6 hours he had a number of qualified applications. He was able to review and hire, all through the app. One worker in particular was named Charles. He has been managing these workers along with Charles through the timesheet on the app, as well as paying them and it has increased efficiency and accuracy and using the e-wallet in the app, the contractor no longer has to deal with all of that cash.

Mr. Marlowa was especially impressed by the convenience and the ability to keep better records. He can revisit these records in his project detail on the app at any point for referencing purposes. Charles, on the other hand appreciated the convenience of being able to get work to do right from the comfort of his home- without standing for hours on street corners. He is no longer just at home or roaming around. He has found consistent work and has started building his portfolio in the construction industry. He is now able to show tangible evidence through his profile on the app of the history of all his jobs and total hours he has worked and he has aa separate record of the payment dates and amounts he received.  This gives Charles the ability to qualify one day for a loan of his own and to help him to grow and scale his career in to the future!

The Kenyan development agenda requires that, as a country, we must be ready to improve our efficiency in all sectors. We must begin to add value to what we produce and what we build. The  iBUILD app is at the fore front to champion the ability of the construction industry to maximize efficiency and quality.  This improves production and scalability in the delivery of their products and services and it also improves the construction sector as a whole.  As acceptance for finance technology grows in the construction industry, so will the value that is ultimately delivered to customers in the form of increased production, greater choice, and lower prices due to increased efficiencies and better project management.

Read Also: Kenya mulls over new road construction method

ibuild partners with Kenya engineering and technologists registration board

Almost three years ago President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed the first members of the new Kenya Engineering and Technology Registration Board (KETRB).

KETRB was established in accordance with the Engineering Technology Act No 23 of 2016 Part II Section 3(1), to set standards for engineering technologists and technicians, register and issue licenses to qualified persons as per the provision of the Act.

‘’The Board is also mandated to verify that engineering professional services and works are undertaken by persons registered under the Act as well as ensure that standards and professional ethics for health and safety of the public are observed’’. Prof George Thumbi –Chairman KETRB

With its mission being to set and enforce standards that promote the engineering technology profession and ensure provision of quality services and works by stakeholders, it was only fitting that iBUILD forms a partnership with KETRB as a key body in the industry.

Tech in construction

iBUILD is the world’s first fin-tech platform that allows the untapped workforce to transact in a secure, transparent environment, with customers, lenders, building professionals, workers and suppliers linked together in a powerful hybrid value chain.

What this means for the industry is that it will now be easy to ascertain qualifications of engineers and technologists in construction, while ensuring quality construction work done by registered workers sourced from the platform.

Further to this, the partnership creates an opportunity to ease the KETRB registration process by providing this service on the iBUILD platform. That essentially means technologist and technicians wishing to register with KETRB can submit their details and make the membership payment through iBUILD, saving them time and energy.

Another key area of partnership between the two organizations will be outreach programs. KETRB will be able to disseminate valuable information to all the workers registered on the platform efficiently with little notice.

This partnership will eventually make KETRB to be counted among progressive organizations that are able to make informed decisions based on organic real time data from the members’ interaction on iBUILD platform. This is also a plus for the workers, since their work hours will be tracked and used as metrics to promote them to higher skill level grades.

‘’iBUILD and KETRB are excited at this new partnership and will be rolling out programs to create awareness and educate the public on the digital tools available to everyone.’’  Mrs Alice  Mutai the CEO KETRB,

Also Read: Lafarge tightens its grip on Kenya’s construction market


How to earn through online forex trading

Nairobi School of Forex Trading – a local Forex training institute, last year November held its first Forex trading conference in Nairobi.

The forum which was graced by online forex traders and financial institutions was described as a key indicator that online Forex trading is taking shape among Kenyans.

Online Forex Trading can be defined as speculation of currencies whereby a person trades on one currency against the other with the anticipation of making profits. One makes profits by buying a currency that gains value in a buy trade and selling a currency that its price drops in a sell trade. Losses occur when the opposite happens.

According to Silah Obegi – An automated Forex trading expert and also Director at Nairobi School of Forex, Online Forex Trading can act as an investment vehicle for creating secondary income for most individuals at the same time it can be a main source of income for those who take it seriously as a full time job.

“Forex can be compared to the stock/share market and you may equate a currency for a country to a stock for a company, political situation of a country to corporate governance of a company and economic data of a country to financial statements for a company. Using this comparison, the approach to trading Forex is partially the same as shares trading hence a Forex trader can easily become a stock trader and vice versa” says Silah.

Mr Silah opines that there are different approaches to trading the Forex Market that one needs to follow, they include:

Technical Analysis

This is the most favored approach for most traders, it involves analyzing the past and recent currency price trend behavior to predict where the price may move going forward. This trading approach encompasses various individual trading methods to detect trading opportunities.

 Fundamental Analysis

This kind of approach involves analyzing currency inflows and outflows of a country usually influenced by the Central Bank’s currency decisions, geo-political situation and economical news and data. When a country has solid monetary policies, stable political situation and positive economic news then its currency is likely to gain value. The opposite is also true.

Automated Trading

This is also referred as Algorithmic Trading. This involves writing your trading ideas to a computer program called an algorithm used to partially or fully make trading decisions on your behalf. A trader would usually rent a cloud server with a hosting service provider, activate the automated trading systems and let them trade on your behalf. When these systems spot a trading setup, they execute a buy or sell trade and manage the trade according to the set rules until it closes with minimum to no human intervention.

Online Forex Trading is regulated by the Capital Markets Authority under Capital Markets (Online Foreign Exchange Trading) Regulations, 2017. The regulation clearly stipulates the requirements for conducting the Online Forex Trading business in Kenya covering Forex Brokers, Money Managers and Introducing Brokers. Under the regulation Forex Brokers are required to maintain a minimum paid up capital of between Ksh 30 million and Ksh 50 million while Money Managers are required to maintain a minimum paid up capital of Ksh 10 million among other requirements.

Before embarking on Forex Trading, one needs a firm grasp of the Forex markets, understand how to do analysis using various approaches and make profitable trading decisions.

The Nairobi School of Forex Trading offers value-add services for Online Forex Trading in Kenya including a comprehensive course for both retail and institutional clients. The Forex Trading Course equips beginners with adequate tools and skills necessary to trade in a profitable, consistent and sustainable manner. The directors have a combined experience of over 20 years and they have trained over 100 students in their offices and over 1000 through seminars and hackathons in Nairobi.

The training program takes 2 months available in morning, afternoon and evening classes, 2 hours per session, 3 days a week. Topics covered include introduction to Forex Trading, local and global Forex regulation, selecting a broker that meets your trading needs, navigating the trading platforms, various trading analysis (technical, fundamental and sentimental), automated trading, money management, risk management and formulating a trading plan among other topics.

Mr Silah says that “By the time our students complete the course, they already have a full understanding of the Forex markets and know how to make informed and profitable trading decisions. We have also developed over 25 automated trading tools to complement manual trading by our students.”

He adds that during the training period, students learn and practice on demo accounts which allows them to have a feel of the real markets with virtual money. However, there is usually a huge gap when transitioning from demo trading to live trading due to the emotional attachment associated with real money. To bridge this gap, the school has introduced learning and practicing on KSh 50,000 ($500) live accounts powered by Meta Capital Limited and EGM Securities. The practice live accounts are opened with EGM Securities under Meta Capital and the students are given login details to the accounts to practice with. The students keep 50% of all the profits they make during the training period, giving them the motivation to make careful trading decisions. In-case of losses, Meta Capital absorbs the losses and replenishes the trading accounts for the subsequent students. “This will ensure that our training program becomes as effective as possible and our students know how to trade with real money by the end of the course” added Mr Silah

Mr Silah comments that “At the moment we have 2 training centers located in CBD and Westland’s with monthly intakes for morning, afternoon and evening classes. We are determined to ensure that we equip our students with the most outstanding skills and tools necessary to master Online Forex Trading. We are also keen on strategic partnerships with the industry stakeholders that will ensure we remain the most established and trusted Forex Trading Academy in the region” concludes Mr Silah.

Also Read:The Tanzanian forex business under scrutiny