6 Ways To Increase Your Bottom Line with Materials Management
Written By Steve King

With profit margins as thin as ever, finding ways to improve the bottom line on a project without sacrificing quality has become essential. Introducing an integrated materials management program into your workflow lowers costs and improves productivity in fab shops and on the job site, while increasing profits down the line.

With materials management, you’ll have more certainty about the items you’re purchasing for the job. You’ll have a greater window to buy the desired item at the best price, and you’ll see an immediate improvement in operational efficiencies from the office to the fab shop to the job site, such as:

  1. Optimized time to order: In an integrated system, your purchasing agents will have a longer window of opportunity to deliver materials just-in-time, not before and not later than is required to complete the scheduled work. A longer order time also allows for bids from multiple vendors, rather than rushing to the vendor that has the materials available that day.
  2. Updating: Having programs, apps and plug-ins over numerous computers in a firm can lead to mismatched versions of the software, causing compatibility issues.
  3. Improved scheduling: Nothing gets done on a construction project if the right material isn’t on site, whether that’s at a prefab shop or at the construction location. Being able to know, with certainty, when raw materials, kitted parts or major components are scheduled to arrive at the shop or job site lets managers plan more precisely for their manpower needs. It also allows your client and other stakeholders to better estimate delivery dates and benchmarks.
  4. Reduced footprint and shrinkage: Improving your material management means you’ll have the right material on hand when you need it, so there isn’t a lot of need for unnecessary storage space. An optimized arrival time ensures materials are installed sooner rather than later. Besides reducing the amount of real estate needed for storage, it also cuts down on the opportunity for theft or damage when on site.
  5. Minimal handling costs: Another benefit of optimized material management is having the materials ready to install immediately. Personnel on site will not have to move the shipment around as it waits for installation to be scheduled. The fewer times that pallet or bundle needs to be touched, the lower your handling costs go.
  6. Lower labor costs: Integrated materials management allows supervisors to identify what parts are needed when, but also what parts can be manufactured for less cost at a prefab shop, rather than on the job site. The parts will be built to spec and ready to install when they arrive, reducing the need for skilled tradesmen on site. Less time will be spent installing it, and there will be less waste associated with it. Plus, parts and supplies ordered from vendors will arrive on schedule, allowing you to optimize the time tradesmen are on the job.
  7. Fewer returns/Less waste: One way to lower materials costs is to simply not order too much, and an integrated materials management program allows buyers to get updates to the latest plans and changes, providing them valuable time and information to change orders, cancel them or update parts schedules as needed. There will also be less waste at the completion of a project, meaning less going to the landfill.

In an ideal world, all these difficulties would be remedied automatically, with your system syncing subscription dates, versions, and updates with your coworkers. Perhaps that day will come in the future, but it won’t be anytime soon. In the meantime, systems like eVolve MEP provides you an all-in-one software to help you automate your workflow process and allows you to stay in one software to complete your needed tasks. Alleviate the conflicts caused by patchwork processes. Choose eVolve.

It makes business sense to turn to materials management. Connect with your eVolve representative today for a free 90-trial of eVolve Materials. Plus, get a free consultation with our Materials expert on ways to improve your operation.

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