Without the right type or grade of materials, construction projects can stall out or risk complete failure. To build lasting, high-integrity infrastructure, your team needs to be assured the materials your suppliers provide are to spec. Confirm the materials are used under the proper conditions and pass all required tests.
Improper or out-of-spec materials can affect the quality of work profoundly. Tracking inventory and related lab tests is essential if you want to finish your project to spec, on time, and within budget. That said, accurately tracking inventory is challenging, especially when done by hand. For this reason, many managers and organizations use technology to help them track inventory. Below, we’ll explain why technology is the key to tracking materials on large infrastructure construction projects and how you can use material management tools to make your next project more successful.
Why Does Inventory Management Matter?
Without an accurate inventory of materials and clear records of material tests, any construction project is nearly impossible to complete. If a supplier over or under-delivers on an order, then you’ll unnecessarily lose time and profit. By closely tracking your deliveries and inventory, you can rest assured you have the materials your team needs to deliver your project in a timely, cost-effective, and quality manner.
What Is Inventory Management Software?
Simply put, material tracking software allows you to track project materials and take action on your material data to spot trends across projects and regions. With cloud-based data insights, you can compare performance between suppliers and contractors. By tracking and recording materials’ chain of custody and tests, you can ensure readiness for compliance audits and have confidence in the quality of your project.
Why Use Inventory Management Software?
Humans aren’t infallible; we’re all prone to mistakes, and mistakes are much more likely when handling a longer, more intensive project. When it comes to tracking inventory, even a minor mistake can cost you and your project time and money. Machines aren’t flawless either, but they’re much more reliable and accurate than the human brain. Inventory tracking software ensures you’ll have the right amount and the right quality of materials on hand at all times so you and your team can work productively. This isn’t the only benefit of using construction material inventory management software.
The Benefits of Inventory Management Software
Should you invest in material management software for your construction business? The decision is up to you, but there’s no doubt that switching to this software can benefit your operations. Here are some of the numerous benefits of using this advanced technology for tracking construction materials:
Don’t let errors set you back. By using tracking software, you can practically eliminate mistakes in documentation, ensuring all your samples are properly identified, tracked, and tested.
Inventory tracking software can help reduce construction costs by preventing overordering and alerting you when materials are low so that you can purchase more resources promptly and avoid last-minute fulfillment and delivery fees.
Less Time Spent Procuring Materials
Using software can also save you time. If you run out of materials unexpectedly, the project can quickly turn hectic. You need to find a company that will sell you the materials you need and deliver them ASAP. Unfortunately, not many manufacturers can deliver on short notice, and the ones that can make it happen will likely hit you with a hefty fee. While you’re waiting on more materials, you won’t be able to get much work done, which can push back your timeline considerably. Tracking software will alert you of low inventory long before you run out, so you can order more materials ahead of time: No rush, no panic.
When you have constant, uninhibited access to materials, you can work without pauses. This means you’ll be able to finish construction faster and with less stress.
Improved Client Experience
No client likes to hear that their project will take longer or cost more than originally promised. Tracking errors can strain your relationships with your clients. They may leave poor reviews that can damage your reputation, and of course, an upset client is less likely to be a returning client. By streamlining inventory management, you can ensure projects finish on time, stay within budget, and keep your clients happy.
Inventory management software won’t just improve your relationship with your clients; it will also improve relationships among your teammates. You will reduce disputes or miscommunications and have access to the same data and can capture and share information virtually in real time. Better communication can boost quality assurance and make your team feel more connected.
Better Data Visibility and Security
No need to sift through disorganized folders or emails to find the information you need. With tracking software, all members of the project can find inventory data in one centralized place. This program allows you to notice and remedy problems as soon as they occur, and you can communicate with other teams to ensure any tweaks to the plan are implemented smoothly. Visibility into the chain of custody of materials provides accountability; you will know which supplier is delivering what you need and which is letting you down. Cloud-based inventory tracking software can also reduce your vulnerability to cybercrime. By securely hosting your project data in the cloud, you will be able to protect your and your client’s data from breaches.
When different teams reference contrasting data, confusion and frustration are bound to occur, and individuals or teams could make poor decisions. Tracking software makes data consistent across all teams and platforms, so you don’t have to waste time arguing about who’s information is right; rather, you can make smart, data-informed decisions the whole team agrees on.
As you can see, material management software is an immense help when it comes to managing costs, timelines, and communication on a construction site. Use it for pre-planning and throughout the course of your project to ensure quality and consistency from start to finish.
If you want to track materials on large construction projects effectively, technology is the key. With construction material inventory management software, you can make tracking your inventory quick, easy, and convenient. You won’t have to worry about minute details and can focus more of your attention on the goal at hand, resulting in better and faster work.
At HeadLight, our goal is to make managing construction projects as hassle-free as possible. Our inventory management software gives you access to valuable data that can help you save time and money, improve communication, enhance quality, and so much more. Contact us today to learn more about our software or request a demo of our Sample Plan and Materials solutions.