Controlling Construction Costs: Improving Inventory Management


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Managing inventory is one of the biggest challenges in growing a construction business. Your need for material supplies grows along with your company. This is why managing supply levels and the availability of equipment is important. You need to ensure each project is delivered on time and within budget. Part of the process involves knowing the right level of supplies to carry, when to reorder supplies, and how to stay aware of supplier lead times. This helps you avoid incurring large carrying costs.

Use these strategies to help manage your construction site inventory.

Regularly Audit Your Inventory

Make sure you know exactly which materials, tools, equipment, and consumables you have on hand. Having accurate data helps you make better decisions. This lets you avoid inventory shortages and unaccountable deficits that can adversely impact your business. You may conduct a physical audit by comparing the initial inventory forecast amount with the actual amount on hand. Or, you could use a sampling method such as cycle counting to ensure accurate inventory levels between projects.

Use an Inventory Management System

The right software can help you manage your inventory more efficiently and effectively. You can manage inventory on multiple construction sites, optimize categorization and storage locations, and track changes in product levels on a central platform. You also may be able to monitor shipments coming from different vendors and material supplies moving from one construction site to another in real-time.

Keep a List of Supplier Delivery Centers

Maintain a network of suppliers who can provide inventory when needed. Note which suppliers provide last-minute delivery services for tight deadlines. This helps avoid bottlenecks that can adversely impact your operations and cash flow.

Implement Inventory Management Technology  

New technologies can improve logistics tracking and inventory management. For instance, mobile phone scanners can track inventory to see what is in stock and where it is located. Also, radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology can track high-value assets across multiple locations. This shows where tools and equipment are, reducing a need to rent or buy replacements.

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