Perhaps, you are now facing a lot of stressors related to your construction business, especially in your supply chain. With the added strains from the uncertainties and continuous market swings, your company should now find ways to adapt and minimize operating costs to stay profitable.
Construction inventory management is one area where your construction company can offset these stressors and eventually increase profit margins. Many are now turning to inventory technologies, like online inventory software, to achieve full control and visibility in the overall operations.
As a matter of fact, 90% of construction professionals admit that these technologies are becoming a high priority. However, they do not know when or how to adapt it in order to meet their needs. This blog is for you if you aim to achieve end-to-end inventory visibility for your construction business.
The Main Problem: Outdated Inventory Tracking
You are handling construction and building materials in large volumes each passing day. Oftentimes, the operations are done across multiple sites and places. If you currently rely on paper-based recording processes and manual data entry to manage overall inventory, things may be more challenging for you. This traditional method lacks the organization and timeliness for your interconnected supply chain. And as a result, a lot of expensive inefficiencies and data inaccuracies happen.
However, the primary concern here is what is preventing end-to-end visibility in inventory? Many businesses on a global scale are not tracking inventory visibility as their top priority. Are you doing the same thing too on your business? If yes, we suggest you focus both on upstream and downstream visibility and integrate web-based inventory software to provide the right insights for the supply chain.
Ways to Achieve Full Transparency in Your Construction Inventory
1. Modernize Construction Inventory Management
Modernizing your inventory with automation and mobility is one great way your company can successfully address the daily challenges and stay ahead of more uncontrollable outside forces. With the use of inventory technologies, you will have the opportunity to determine and decrease human errors. Extending your ERP to the actual point of work using mobile devices, you and your team can perfectly capture data and transact a series of validated and focused steps with adequate accuracy and in-real time.
You can minimize the labor-intensive and overstock recounts for increased efficiency, productivity, accuracy, and job satisfaction with complete inventory visibility.
2. Modernize Asset Tracking and MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) Inventory
Taking asset management and construction MRO with the same automation mindset can help you gain the same degree of oversight and control as with regular inventory. And for your construction materials, you no longer need to keep a warehouse as a failsafe against any unexpected downtime.
Moreover, complete transparency and accurate data into bin number, item location, etc. can give your crew members the equipment and tools they need and when and where they need them to do their particular tasks.
3. Avoid one-size-fits-all policies for SKUs or stock-keeping units
Are you falling into the trap of treating all your SKUs the same? It is essential to fully understand the necessary steps to achieve full transparency of your inventory. You should begin by dividing your inventory into different categories. We are trying to share with you that you should give importance to your inventory, including everything profitable in the portfolio.
4. Develop a strong rather than efficient supply chain
This strategy is about rebalancing your supply chain toward resilience vs. efficiency, like JIT (Just-in-Time Inventory Management). This often includes securing essential materials and long-lead items, building a construction inventory list and figuring out alternative suppliers. Developing a resilient supply chain also includes improving off-site construction by determining vendors who manufacture prefabricated components in a controlled environment.
It is a great way to achieve full transparency on your current inventory.
5. Bulk up your construction workforce
Labor shortages have been a long pain point in the construction sector. The many things that have happened recently placed even more tension on an already stretched-thin labor market. But above all, it also significantly affects the transparency of your construction inventory. The fewer your crew members are, the harder it becomes to manage and track your inventory.
So, shoring up your labor market is highly recommended. Therefore, planning initiatives for forming up your workforce include:
- Determine alternative sources for labor: Ask for referrals within your current workforce and regularly review specialized jobs. Use search engines and use construction temp.
- Invest in training: Well-trained crew members tend to be more in tune with their roles and expectations. A regular training program promotes consistency that can foster higher job satisfaction and security levels.
- Engaged in best practices: Adhering to industry best practices helps with the overall profitability and efficiency and enables your construction company to determine areas for improvement to enhance processes proactively and continuously.
6. Implement a Slower Mover Strategy
For sure, you have slow-moving construction items in your stock. Over a long period of time, such items become outdated and remain forgotten. They can occupy space and use the available resources. As someone having a construction business, you are prone to losing money with these items.
Proper construction inventory involves setting up a system in place, helping you determine obsolete items and get rid of them. The primary goal is to get rid of these slow-moving items that can help you achieve better visibility of your construction inventory.
7. Focus on Safety Stock Levels
One critical aspect of your construction inventory is the safety stock, also called buffer stock. Use the rule of the thumb method to further calculate your ideal safety stocks. The thing here is to standardize your safety stocks formulas and use them all the time.
8. Supply Chain Outlook
Yes, inventory transparency is crucial. However, while enhancing your inventory process, see it through the prism of your supply chain. In fact, something as basic as ensuring the timely delivery of your items from suppliers will go a long way in achieving full transparency of your inventory.
So, how do you precisely ensure efficiency in your supply chains? The solution lies in establishing value-added and meaningful supplier relationships. You should track the supplier activity, focus more on your reliable suppliers, and stop partnering with unreliable suppliers.
9. Always plan ahead
There’s absolutely no doubt yet that improving transparency in your inventory is of great importance, and while doing so, always think about scalability. Maintain a positive outlook on your business and plan for business growth. If you only plan for now, there is a big chance that your inventory practices will not align with business growth, proving insufficient in the future.
We suggest you invest in a long-term construction inventory strategy that generally involves the deployment of an advanced inventory app. Having to use this will help you in your plans ahead.
10. Making good use of Mobile
The use of advanced construction techs nowadays is driving the digital transformation of key business processes. It is time you should begin leveraging the potential to achieve transparency in your inventory. One significant technology to use is mobile. The use of mobile tech helps you and your team track stock movement in real-time, keeping your records updated when there are changes.
Mobile usage also prevents stock-keeping errors and time wastage, helping you identify if a mistake happens and eventually correct it.
Benefits of Achieving Construction Inventory Transparency
An inventory powered by accurate and timely data enhances supply chain operations and reduces the chances of quality issues and disruption. Many construction companies today are adopting construction inventory practices to capitalize on a host of advantages fully:
- Improved efficiency: Better data ensures all trading partners are aware of your inventory and supply chain conditions. It allows all parties to make decisions based on real-time data and current conditions and to expect and respond to disruptions and delays faster.
- Lowered risks: Visibility in the inventory helps your construction company determine issues and risks early, so fully addressing them is easy before erupting into major and expensive crises. Having accountability and clear standards helps ensure that somebody is responsible and motivated to enforce such standard measures.
- Improved cooperation: With better data, accountability, and rules, all third parties involved can respond more effectively and work together, especially when issues arise in your inventory.
- Increased trust: Data sharing and standards concerning your inventory quality and safety and ethical conduct inspire trust and lead to higher confidence.
Automate Your Inventory with Pro Crew Schedule
Automating your construction inventory process is the key to heightened efficiency, eliminating time-consuming manual tasks.
Automation starts by adopting the right construction technologies, starting with advanced inventory management software that can simplify and integrate your project management process. Pro Crew Schedule is the right software solution for your construction business. It has the ability to put everything in one central hub, helping you and your members better position yourselves for reporting, proper asset tracking, and management of inventory overall.
Pro Crew Schedule is a streamlined and robust inventory management system. It already has everything you need in one place.
Today’s unstable market means construction companies should do what they can to establish stability in their supply chain, preparing for current and future challenges. For your construction company that runs on inventory and has many parts and equipment but lacks in automating inventory practices, the latest construction techs might be the answer to ensuring continuing profitability.