Strategies For Effective Construction Material Management

Strategies For Effective Construction Material Management

Construction projects have a lot of money at stake for their success. The article explains top strategies for perfect construction material management.

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Construction projects termed as successful are the result of a perfect blend of labor, material, and equipment management. Often, contractors concentrate on labor management and cost construction but overlook the benefits the material management strategies can offer.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, neither do the construction materials appear in the thin air. Material management is a crucial yet complex component of any construction project. While it is primarily associated with the purchasing and delivery stage, material management actually stretches to a much wider range of activities: from procurement and planning to waste management and disposal.

A well-crafted and executed material management can generate significant cost-saving and positively impact the efficiency of the project. Poor material management can lead to delays, safety concerns, and decreased profitability.

What Is Construction Material Management?

Construction material management includes everything in the process of sourcing appropriate materials at a reasonable cost and their availability - at the right time and right place - helping contractors meet project requirements and meet deadlines. It is a vital ingredient in the recipe for a successful construction project.

The quality of material management can make or break the budget of the project. Poor material management can risk skyrocketing costs through material waste, missed project milestones, missed deadlines, decreased labor productivity.

Here are some of the efficient material management strategies to improve your project and keep workers at work.

Inventory Optimization

The unprotected, scattered, and not clearly accounted for materials on the construction site, results in various non-productive trips by the crew members from the installation point to the material gathering point. This results in high idle labor time or increased project completion time every time a meaningless trip is made. Moreover, fear of running out of material (not knowing the location of desired materials) can make you over-order.

Professional material management companies are usually partnered with strategic distributors that help in keeping the materials available at a reachable place near the installation area, delivered on time, and other increments, stopping anything from forcing you to stop your work.

Project Planning

Many contractors work on a daily inventory system. They take the list of the materials from everyone and send it to the office, the material shows up the next day. However, materials are not there when the workers arrive at the site in the morning, workers start their work with the leftovers and stop working to collect the inventory, and start all over again. This generates problems like work downtime increasing labor costs, problems in meeting deadlines, and a decrease in the overall efficiency of the project.

A good material manager develops a strategy with the distributor and schedules the deliveries that work for both the contractor and the distributor. It usually involves the breakdown of the required project material into manageable releases according to a set schedule. By doing so the onsite crew doesn’t have to stop working to build the material list or receive the order during duty hours. Running out of materials is not a scenario to be considered, paving the way for the efficient and timely completion of the project. So you have an option for hiring site services as well.

Stage And Storage

Getting bulk shipments that contain material intended for use at different phases of the project is rarely a good idea. The costs of multiple unplanned deliveries, moving material around, relocation damage, and time trying to find the required materials from the piles are all the potential profit drains. Strategies line optimum quantity using the minimum order quantity technique can save a lot on storage or holding costs. Moreover, getting the optimized quantity delivery will also reduce the expense of unnecessary delivery costs.

Wire Management

Placing a bulk order at the start of the project can eradicate the risk of inflating costs of material. Unfortunately, the impact of this cost-saving activity diminishes by the way the product flows to the job site. A strategic material manager will build a plan to wire the material for all the circuits and feeder wires. In the process the builds are released by the area and coordinates to the field, cutting the scrap to minimum levels. The planned wire management eradicates the need for overnight or hot rush emergency cuts.

Materials can be arranged in the form of specialized kits containing just the required types and quantities for a particular room, floor, or area of the construction project. Your manager can work with the distributor to decide all aspects as part of the pre-work. This action facilitates fast delivery and timely on-site installations and reduces material wastage during relocation or transportation.

Lighting Assessments

Proper lighting is a core to all construction projects, may it be new buildings or renovations. Variable LED compatibility, complex controls, and integration with the building management system are all part of lighting assessments. Therefore, it is important for your material manager to be well-versed in the technical aspects of project management and lighting needs.