As we gear towards technology and digitalization, it’s concerning to see construction companies using outdated systems. Using complicated spreadsheets and log sheets in tracking inventory was okay in 2010, but it’s already 2020. An outdated inventory system can waste so much of your physical resources. Such an inventory management system will not give you the standard functionality and service that many automated solutions do.
One reason that contributes to the productivity of construction companies is how they’re able to manage their tools and equipment. Truth be told, tools and equipment represent a major investment in the construction industry, so it makes sense to make big efforts to track them more cost-effectively and productively.
Today, you can easily find a system for any business need, and this includes inventory management. Such a system can allow you to see which employee has certain pieces of equipment, give you instant reports, and let you know which items need maintenance or certification.
Inventory system for construction companies
Up to 60 percent of the costs within the construction industry all come from the materials, which means managing the tools and inventory can greatly impact the overall costs and profits. Since construction companies use a lot of materials, construction managers constantly juggle a variety of moving parts. Taking the shortcut of dealing with inventory can make you vulnerable to costly damages. This is why you need a measured and strong inventory system to ensure the success of your construction projects.
Many construction companies struggle to land projects, so construction managers utilize cloud-based construction management systems for more efficient inventory management.
Construction companies and the need for an inventory system
Below are five of the reasons why construction companies need to use an effective tool inventory system to keep your business in the black all year round:
Update information any time
On-site inventory management isn’t simple, as tracking inventory on different remote building sites is challenging. Construction jobs can happen in difficult conditions and locations that are far from the main offices. The crew comes back to the administrative lots and records all the details of their adventure.
This can cause problems, especially if the activity happened days ago. Things get passed around, and pasting time makes the details hazy. All of a sudden, it will become a nightmare to track where the equipment or tools are, or who last used them.
Luckily, there is a solution. Since every employee has a smartphone, why don’t you put them to good use? They can download a mobile app to help track inventory, assets, and work tools, by scanning barcode labels on the items. A tool inventory system app will help you process inventory transactions without you asking for help from the administrator.
The workers will be able to track the activities and tool usage easily. This makes them both the creators and the guardians of the information, ensuring greater accuracy.
With this software in place, you can easily accomplish day-to-day tasks like searching for tools available in the inventory, checking out equipment, and reordering supplies. The system sends the collected information to a secure cloud, and all users will have access to it in real-time through the mobile app. This will greatly improve the productivity of your workplace.
Manage maintenance activities
If you want to make sure that your equipment and tools are in good working condition, you need to carry out the necessary calibrations and maintenance. Tools and machinery are heavily used, so they’ll need regular maintenance. Management needs to watch how often each piece of equipment is used and how much each associate part costs. You’ll need a system that will allow you to schedule upcoming maintenance activities, plan for future downtimes, and keep logs of equipment usage.
This feature allows construction companies to make plans for upcoming projects, both logistically and financially. This will ensure that the tools in circulation will still be in use for as long as possible. You can attach documents, notes, and images to maintenance files by enabling the users to have access to a comprehensive overview of the current project.
Manage custodianship and make reservations
As soon as your team completes the project, you’ll need to complete process documentation to ensure that similar projects in the future will be successful, too. This means that you need to obtain tangible information on your tools’ utilization, which includes where it is, what condition it’s in, and who used it. This will help you make better decisions in your next projects, streamline workflows that held you back, and identify bottlenecks.
For example, if you know which items aren’t being used and which ones are active, you’ll be able to keep your company from buying or renting unnecessary items. This is why check-in and check-out reservation features are important because they integrate with construction workflows. They also provide valuable information to the management in the form of actionable reports.
Organize all your documents
Construction managers need to move from one site to another to supervise construction projects, but they also need to upload, access, and manage documents. They could be working on permits and sitemaps, or other documents related to tool specs, vendors, etc. An effective inventory system will allow them to access images and documents associated with any construction project whenever, wherever.
Construction managers can also organize these documents down to specific tools, so they can bring up all the certifications and requirements related to equipment in just a few minutes. Such documents may include work orders, contracts, submittals, purchase orders, and site photos.
Link purchase orders
Inventory systems can make procurement easy! You can set reorder points for inventory and split this down into inventory saved in different storage locations, warehouses, and construction sites. You’ll receive alerts whenever the inventory goes below the reorder point, and then create purchase orders against the inventory items. You’ll be sure that no employee will run out of tools or materials they need.
So, whenever you need more supplies, you just need to use the inventory management system to create purchase orders. You can even auto-populate your inventory with new items from a purchase order with just a click of a button.