Many construction firms today resort to improvising on a project-by-project basis regarding construction material management. However, most do not know it is a horrible mistake.
Know that construction materials take up the biggest portion of the project budget; therefore, it makes sense to seek more effective ways to manage them rather than stick to a project-by-project basis. With modernized construction material management integrated with the best time-tracking software for construction, you can satisfy demand on time, minimize waste, increase overall productivity, and improve your budget.
But to reap such benefits, you need to implement the best practices to keep track of all your resources and construction materials and better use them optimally. We have prepared this blog to help you get through the process, and here we cover some best practices that can help you streamline your construction material management.
1. Find a supplier you can trust
You may be a conscious contractor who often works with suppliers that offer the lowest quote. Know that working with this type of supplier is only sometimes the best option you got. What is the use of saving a couple of dollars if the construction materials do not arrive on time? Worst, if the supplier closes the shop, you are left with nothing.
We suggest you work with a supplier who is reputable and reliable. Working with someone already established and known in the sector ensures your materials are always complete and within your project budget. This indicates that the best suppliers can handle any delivery demands.
Below are some of the factors you need to consider when searching for a supplier:
- Neutrality: Suppliers should be capable of offering various products from various providers. They must stock quality brands and provide different price points to properly accommodate customers and job demands.
- Reputation: Check all reviews and customer ratings.
- Industry expertise: A great supplier will recommend and advise various applications and options for construction materials.
- Customer service: The supplier’s dedicated customer service team provide answers to all your questions and can create repeat business.
- Delivery logistics: A great supplier has the most flexible delivery schedule and a fleet of vehicles. They ensure that the materials you order will not arrive too early or too late.
- Reliability: Work with a supplier that stocks materials and products at the facilities and already have them available when necessary. They must also ship materials to your construction sites from different locations.
- Sourcing certification: A great supplier particularly follows the right sourcing practices. This often means they should know where and how to get the materials.
Picking the right supplier may seem hard, but it is crucial on your part to make sure you streamline construction material management properly. So, take time to decide before picking the best supplier to coordinate your delivery times and shipments successfully.
2. Project material planning
It is necessary to plan what construction materials are required for a particular job and what quantity they will be. It is quite a daunting task. However, a well-planned project material strategy can make this task less intimidating. With so many factors you must consider when planning the materials necessary for your project in advance, it is easy to lose sight of some major details.
But as you know, even the best-strategized plans can go wrong. That is why keeping open communication lines with your team to get updates and more is crucial. Take advantage of the latest construction crew management software that provides real-time communication between everyone involved. Real-time conversations via the cloud boost coordination and efficiency, enabling accountability and reducing communication-related errors.
3. Store your materials properly
Let’s assume your construction materials arrive. So, what is the next step? You will store them properly. Know that most construction materials are extremely prone to damage, particularly when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Also, the quality decreases; thus, you need to replace them. As a result, it will cost you additional expenses.
So, having a well-organized facility to store all your construction materials and assets is necessary to streamline your asset management and keep your construction projects running seamlessly. Moreover, ensure that the right people with the skillset man your facility to manage and track your materials.
Finally, deploy construction enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to make workflows more seamless. Only an ERP software solution can allow you to capture the use of construction materials and semi-finished goods throughout the process. It helps you and your people spot any differences and faults.
4. Prepare kits to simplify construction material management
Another effective way to streamline your material management is to ask your supplier to bundle construction materials for every single part of your project. This is typically known as kitting – a widely used method of reducing material waste and increasing productivity on construction sites.
But how does it exactly work? Your supplier is tasked to put materials into customized packages necessary for a particular space on your project. This way, you will have the right amount of construction materials you need, and there is nothing to waste.
By ordering kits from your supplier, you will better manage all costs related to your material procurement. On top of that, you will have more control over reducing construction waste. Kitting signifies planning, and if you are used to ordering construction materials as needed, you need to change that approach to reap the many benefits of kitting.
5. Use Construction Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
The construction sector uses specialized software, and ERP solution is no exception. When selecting the software for your firm, opting for construction ERP that can meet your unique needs can save you time and money in getting your processes up and running. In this case, it is your material management.
ERP solution is a specialized and cutting-edge software designed to manage every aspect of your business – your contractors, accounting, service operations, payroll, resources, assets, materials, and more in one central database. The best ERP solution for your business can meet your requirements and provide all the best features.
Pro Crew Schedule is an all-in-one ERP software hosted via the cloud and is specifically designed for construction professionals. It is for general contractors, home builders, design-builders, and other construction leaders. It has great features that can keep all stakeholders informed and consistently communicating.
6. Ensure to order of materials in bulk
Now the goal is to avoid buying excessive materials in the first place. The materials you will need should be sufficient for the project, right? It is true in some cases. However, you must know that there are many advantages when buying in bulk. Buying construction materials in bulk is a great strategy to reduce costs and integrate material procurement across different construction projects.
Purchasing materials in bulk makes greater sense, especially if you are working on larger construction projects or have numerous ongoing projects with the same material requirements.
Here are some additional tips to take in mind when ordering in bulk:
- Have a strong influence as a contractor to ensure that similar material specifications can be used in multiple projects.
- Give feasible suggestions to your clients regarding the type of construction materials to use on the project.
- Consider the uniformity of the construction project.
- Deploy crew scheduler software to keep track of all materials in bulk and to know the crew accountable for these materials.
- To properly manage your materials, it is crucial to understand in which specific situations you can rely on procuring the right amount of materials and when it is better to purchase large quantities at once to avail of a discount.
7. Keep a closer eye on inventory levels
So, how can you keep track of all the existing construction materials you have? Know that having organized storage or facility means nothing if you consistently run out of the right materials for your projects. The answer is to know how many materials you have at your disposal. As a matter of fact, knowing how many materials you have is more advantageous compared to making rough estimates, especially when you have multiple construction projects to manage.
This way, you will know what materials you can transfer from your inventory storage and when you should call your supplier to restock your stockpile. Finally, and most importantly, a fully-integrated construction enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which is previously mentioned above, is very helpful in securing access to critical materials even in difficult times, like material shortages, to protect your construction business.
Pro Crew Schedule – the Best ERP Solution for Your Material Management
Monitoring purchases of materials and goods are sometimes a subject of negligence and often overlooked by you or your team. As a result, things will become out of control, particularly your finances.
A sophisticated ERP solution like Pro Crew Schedule offers a range of integrated features that support every aspect of your construction business, from project control and project planning to material management and even revenue estimation.
Using this construction schedule management software, you can determine the accurate estimation necessary for raw materials, labor, and designs and the duration to carry out a certain project. On top of that, this ERP solution lets you know the exact amount of revenue and profit loss from every project. This helps you and your team to manage the time and costs used for upcoming construction projects more wisely.
Explore Pro Crew Software now. Get started with a 30-day trial for free!