Inventory Tracking: A Money Saver

Executive Summary: Construction companies have inventories that should be managed to improve efficiency and, in turn, improve the bottom line. Consider a mobile solution or at least one that gets away from the clipboard.

How it was. My parents ran a small and successful construction company which provided well for our family. Forever, my father had a clipboard and a pocket calendar sitting between the two seats in the front of his truck. He maintained his entire business life in these paper-and-pen volumes.

His business was from the early 70s to the early 90s; this is 2018.

What should be tracked? Assets should be tracked. Assets are materials that help construct the project (consumable or construction materials) and the actual permanently in-place materials (permanent materials) in the facility you’re building. Examples include:

  • Consumable materials — formwork, dunnage, scaffolding, erosion control materials, heavy equipment, traffic control devices, rigging.
  • Permanent materials — cement, door hardware, elevator parts, pipe, valves, duct, paint, roofing materials, conduit, tile, brick, playground equipment.

What about it am I tracking? This is a great question you’re asking yourself, “ok, I’ll consider some technology assistance here, so tell me, what factors of my inventory will this software track?” Here are helpful components of your inventory you may want to be tracked:

  • Purchase — date of purchase, seller, cost, a photo of the receipt
  • Geography — project it’s on, location (x, y coordinate on a map app)
  • Ownership — foreman/superintendent the asset’s assigned to
  • Quantity and condition — quantity of the item (if in a bin or stored on a pallet or on the ground) and the condition (take a picture and store it on the Cloud!)

How it is. Technology is here. It’s only going to become more prevalent in the industry. Embrace it, it’s powerful and it can actually be fun!

I joined the discussion in this playbook which you may find interesting or helpful in your decisionmaking process to acquire a computerized solution: [QR]

My story. We have an asset management solution in play at our company. I like the collaborative part of it. I can post something to the Cloud and anyone who has a username and password can see what’s where!


Originally published at SJ Construction Consulting, LLC.