Construction industry veterans will remember a time when all you needed for a successful construction business was heavy equipment, tools, and labor.
But nowadays, to remain competitive and agile, construction companies need to invest in technology.
Among other types of innovative technology for construction businesses, you need the best construction material management software.
Overseeing and managing construction materials is a complex but necessary process, so automated software is a great asset.
This article will briefly cover what construction material management software is and some key benefits and features you need in your digital solution.
In this article...
What Is Construction Material Management Software?
Construction material management software is a digital solution designed to simplify material management for construction professionals.
How often have you been in a situation when you had to stop a project because you were missing a key component?
For example, you thought you ordered enough materials, but you haven’t, or you have misplaced a tool, or supplies suddenly disappeared.
Because this happens so often on construction sites, construction professionals have switched to using construction material management software. Almost 62% use software to manage these core operations for different projects.
Furthermore, a centralized cloud-based system allows them better control and data visibility, which is crucial for streamlining operations. Companies use it to keep track of inventory, as well as organize and allocate materials more efficiently.
Additionally, with such a solution, they can analyze historical data and update inventory faster than with manual processes.
Meeting project demands is crucial for maintaining the required quality and keeping clients happy, so planning your inventory ahead of time will positively contribute to these goals.
In a nutshell, construction material management software can help you with:
- Tracking assets
- Creating work orders
- Producing in-depth reports
So, if you want to rely on accurate inventory information and create a more profitable and organized business, then investing in construction material management software is an easy choice.
Benefits of Construction Material Management Software
What do you want to improve in your business regarding material management? Document management or budgeting? Maybe you want to improve decision-making based on material historical data?
Effective construction material management helps you do this and more, so read on to find out what key benefits a software solution can bring your company.
Loss, Theft, and Damage Control
The first step in better material management is having control of your inventory.
This means accounting for lost or stolen materials but also removing damaged supplies from your inventory list. With construction material management software, you can cross-reference physical materials with the ones you have in your records.
This might seem unnecessary, but it’s essential to understand how much and which type of material you actually possess. That way, you can rely on utilizing that material for your projects.
There’s nothing worse than thinking you have enough cans of paint, only to discover that you’re missing a dozen of them because you didn’t remove them from your material list when they were stolen months ago.
Construction material management software will remove any stolen, damaged, or lost materials from your inventory, so you can have a better overview of what you’re actually working with.
That way, you can recognize low levels of material in your storage and order what’s missing on time.
If you frequently make audits, using construction material management software will streamline this process and ensure you keep accurate inventory data.
Better Budget Management
Once you eliminate inventory errors, you’re on the right track to better manage your budget.
Basically, you’ll be able to account for material storage costs and decide how to minimize them. Materials will be allocated as they come in, so there won’t be any excess material sitting in the storage, eating up resources.
Following that, you can create better material estimations once you’re presented with all the relevant data. Knowing what you already have will help you avoid overordering and unnecessarily breaking the budget.
For example, if you already have PVC pipes of the right size in your storage, you can use them for a new project and only order the amount you’ll need to cover the rest of the requirements for the project.
You’ll spend less on PVC pipes and reallocate those funds into another area, thus managing your budget better.
In the end, budgeting requires the most attention since it’s one of the key aspects of winning bids and turning profit for construction companies.
Construction material management software can help you keep track of your budget and handle finances regarding materials better.
Precise Decision Making
With better, more precise data available in your construction material management software, you’ll naturally be able to make better business decisions. But in what way?
For instance, after double-checking your data, you may decide to switch vendors or focus on maintaining a better relationship with someone who makes more timely deliveries and gives you more quality materials for reasonable prices.
You can’t make these hard-impacting business decisions without reliable data about your construction materials.
Furthermore, you can see trends in material use so you can respond quickly to changing supply and demand.
For example, if you notice a lot of timber being used in your latest construction projects, you can order ahead and combat shortages in the market.
That way, you can still finish parts of your projects even when the industry is struggling to get back on track.
All in all, when it comes to making better business decisions, the best way to do that is by analyzing accurate inventory data from your construction material management software.
Manual material management might’ve been practical when you had a small company or worked on fewer jobs.
But if you want to grow your business and take on multiple projects, managing materials without an automated and centralized system will become problematic.
Imagine how much paper you need to look through to find what you need, or even worse, how often you misplace important documents.
With construction material management software, all your notes, files, documents, and project material paperwork are stored in one place.
And the best part is that they’re accessible to everyone, anytime and anywhere. This saves time because key stakeholders don’t have to go through your office to verify numbers or project material requirements.
All they need is an internet connection and access to the cloud-based software to find the information they want.
Not to mention less paperwork is better for the environment, which is a bonus point to boost your reputation as an environmentally-conscious business owner.
So, if you have a lot of paperwork for material management, consider switching to automated solutions to save time and money and optimize routine procedures.
Material Management Software Capabilities
When you’re buying construction material management software, you have to consider which features will be helpful for your unique business needs.
To showcase the most common features construction companies need for their projects, here are some important ones you can find in GoCodes’ solution.
Do you have the same problem as Tracy, one of GoCodes’ customers, with managing your materials and equipment across multiple locations?
Keep in mind that one of the key goals is to move materials as little as possible to preserve their quality. This means delivering them to the right location and the most convenient spot on the construction site.
One way to ensure that is by tagging your materials with a GPS tracking device. This lets you monitor your materials as they’re dispatched from your storage facility, so you know exactly where they are and where they’re going.
Additionally, it provides a protective layer for securing your most valuable materials. If an opportunistic thief manages to get copper, steel, or any other material from your storage, you’ll have a better chance of retrieving them with GPS tracking devices.
You’ll be notified immediately if materials or supplies are taken out of their designated area (created with geofencing), and you can take necessary measures on time to prevent further damage.
So, getting precise coordinates makes material tracking much easier.
Most construction material management software also comes with scannable labels.
GoCodes has a wide range of labels with different durability to suit your specific needs. We can also create custom labels with more technical specifications, such as industrial hang tags, high-temperature resistant labels, and more.
Some customers also prefer to print their own labels for cost efficiency. If they need a lot of low-cost labels but still want to take advantage of the GoCodes’ software, this is an excellent solution to balance cost and material management needs.
For print-your-own labels, we offer two options:
- Standard service: includes printable labels on an Avery 6576 label template (printable on any office laser printer)
- Premium and Professional service: in addition to the standard service includes 2 x 1 inch BS5609 5 Mil thick poly labels (water and chemical resistant, with permanent adhesive backing)
Our scannable labels can endure any type of environment, they’re easy to use and are compatible with any common scanning device (smartphone, tablets, etc.). Choosing the right tags makes a significant difference in efficiently managing your materials.
Check-in and Checkout
It’s easier to implement a smooth check-in and check-out system once you equip your materials and supplies with scannable asset tags.
Basically, each worker has a device that can scan labels and check out materials and supplies as they use them.
This also improves accountability among your employees, because their names will be attached to the material they checked out. The supervisors can follow the trail should there be a problem with a specific material and pinpoint the responsible person.
With each scan, the cloud-based software will register the time, location, and user, so you can track and interpret data as these items move around.
If some materials and supplies frequently change hands, it’ll be easier to track them with a simple check-in and check-out system.
So, good material management software with an easy check-in and check-out feature will help you track and gather relevant data about your tagged materials.
Another important feature of robust construction material management software is accurate reporting.
You already have to submit different reports like equipment depreciation, maintenance, project progress, accidents, business case, and many more. But what if you could simplify this process?
Some of these reports, like check out history, maintenance, and equipment depreciation reports, you can automatically set up and let the software take care of the heavy lifting.
GoCodes’ customers are usually very happy with this feature for its convenience.
For this customer, it was important to have a single solution that would address their main concerns, such as maintenance tracking and asset depreciation accounting. But GoCodes can also provide many different reports based on the plan you opted for.
A Standard plan can produce 19 different types of reports, including:
- Asset List
- Asset Assignments
- Assets Checked out
- Fixed Asset Depreciation—Straight-line Method
- Aset Warranty Summary
But for Enterprise-level customers, there is a wider range of reporting capabilities.
This means more customizable reports to cover most common asset management and tracking tasks, the ability to download reports in different formats (Excel csv, pdf, HTML, and others), and visualizing data using bar charts, graphs, and other advanced options.
It all boils down to taking advantage of this feature to streamline analytics and reporting tasks so you can simplify your business operations.
Audits can reveal a lot of different things about your construction material management. You can uncover inefficient systems and workflows that affect the entire company.
- Material mismanagement
- Undocumented material deliveries
- Missing inventory updates
- Security breaches
If you want to increase efficiency and optimize workflows, it is vital that you discover these issues that impact your business operations as soon as possible.
Thorough audits are necessary, but you can enhance this process with construction material management software for maximum benefit.
Here is how to use the audit mode in GoCodes’ software.
First, you need to enable the audit mode in the app through Settings on the main screen. Now you can continuously scan QR codes and update the necessary info (location, time, date, user name).
Once you’re done scanning, you will be redirected to the main screen, where you’ll need to turn off the audit mode.
To confirm that the audit was successful, you can check the List view and the Last Updated section. This will pull up all the recent scans, and you can handle material and asset audits in bulk to save time.
All in all, if you want to conduct more successful audits to improve your business operations, you can accomplish this goal with construction material management software.
Contractors and business owners use software to manage their inventory better. Essentially, accurate and real-time material inventory data enables better decision-making.
You’ll be able to move and allocate materials from your storage, so you’re always working with the newest and top-quality materials. In addition, you’ll be able to provide exact numbers in your inventory reports and estimations.
In the end, if you want to be an organized, forward-thinking, and agile construction company, then you need to invest in good construction material management software.