4 Ways to Successful Materials Management
Written By Steve King

Crews lose money every time a piece of material needs to be moved—from the time it’s delivered to the time it’s installed. Effective materials management minimizes the number of times an item needs to be handled increasing overall productivity.

Here are four ways successful materials management programs cut the cost of materials handling:

1. Reducing the amount of handling needed

  • By managing delivery times, staggering shipments to fit production timetables, and cutting down on the amount of storage room needed, your crews won’t have to move and store materials delivered for a project. Optimized delivery tracking gives project management the ability to schedule deliveries to meet the actual production needs of the crew in real time, not based on a timetable developed at the beginning of the project.

2. Lower risk of damage or theft

  • Proper materials management practices don’t govern just the elements that will be used on the job; they should be used on the tools and equipment as well. Construction elements that are on the job site can be installed quickly, reducing the opportunity for job site robberies or damage due to being left in the weather. Tools and equipment that are properly stowed with records about who signed them out and the condition they were in also cut down on unexpected loss and delays.

3. Getting all the “pre-” stuff done

  • Think about all the starts and stops that can be avoided by having your material properly prepped for your crews. Whether its prefab made in your shop, so you don’t have to make it on site or kits with all the finish materials needed to complete the installation all neatly packaged and labeled together. Reducing the need to keep excess material on site for quicker installations and less waste.

4. Reduce idle worker hours

  • Proper materials management isn’t just about lowering costs of the materials themselves. It also means providing information and data needed by management to make sure the job is flowing properly. Using the knowledge of when materials will be available on site can help economically schedule appropriate skilled tradesmen when the materials are available and ready for installation. These strategies will reduce down-time for workers on the site who otherwise may have to wait for a delivery, for a part to be fabricated or for a backordered part to be delivered.

Lower your costs. Start materials management today!

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