Back to Blog

Driving Savings & Profitability in Your Construction Business by Tightly Monitoring Materials Usage

Image of Steer Team
Steer Team

Money doesn’t appear out of thin air, and construction materials don’t grow on trees either. Material management for EPC/General Contractors like you is a complex and crucial part of every construction project. While many people associate it primarily with the purchasing and delivery stage, material management stretches across a much wider range of activities; from planning and procurement all the way through to waste management.

A well-executed material management strategy can generate significant cost savings and improve project efficiency. A poorly executed one can lead to major delays, safety concerns, and decreased profitability.

What is construction materials management & why is it important in construction?

Construction material management is the process of sourcing appropriate materials at a reasonable cost. This also helps you ensure materials availability — at the right place and time — to meet project requirements and deadlines. It is an important function for construction projects of every scope that every construction company must pay attention to.

How you manage your construction materials can make or break a project. A poor materials management strategy risks skyrocketing costs through decreased labor productivity, material waste, and missed project milestones and deadlines. However, an on-point strategy has some major benefits, especially to your profitability.

The problem with traditional construction materials management

Fit-Out-Contractors-1Generally, material management is carried out manually in construction companies. For small sites, doing it the manual way can work fine, especially when there are only one or two ongoing projects. This also is more viable when working with non-technical workers that are used to pen-and-paper processing & monitoring of materials as doing it this way can be easier.

However, as more projects come in, so does the work that manual materials management brings. With bigger jobs come more paperwork that can lead to a domino effect of inefficiencies – manual errors occur, details of materials are hard to track, updates on requests and deliveries can be overlooked, documents can get lost, and so on.


The Case for Digitizing Construction Materials Management

To successfully deliver quality projects and achieve a profit, there is a need to transform the process of material management for EPC/General Contractors, big or small. Let’s look at an alternative scenario where your team used a digital and connected tool for materials management.

In this scenario, your materials master list is tied to your project plan, so all materials needed are accounted for all the work that needs to be done. With this, there is clear visibility of the purpose of the materials and which project they are assigned. Once this has been matched, the requisition for all materials can be done digitally, which means no paper forms to fill and lose as they go for procurement.

Fit-Out-ContractorsWith a construction materials management solution like Steer, there is access to real-time updates on the request status and delivery dates. Using the app on their mobile device, the procurement officer can keep everyone posted when materials did not pass quality inspection and are for replacement or validate the receipt of materials in good condition for endorsement. This way, all stakeholders can monitor the materials’ whereabouts via mobile and desktop apps to ensure that everything is on track.


Digitizing materials management makes requisition per planned task more streamlined. Once the materials are on-stock, teams can easily request materials from the site using their devices. The site managers/supervisors and workers can also request additional materials in case of change orders or rework.


Achieving business goals with better materials management

Effective materials management is a critical element of good construction project management. Having a software like Steer to do this helps tightly connect all factors that affect materials use, to ensure wastage is minimized and cost leakages are addressed. Steer, with its reports, also helps decision-makers understand materials variances and optimize them going further. With Cost and Usage Variance Reports, Inventory Status Reports, Daily Waste Log, and the KPI Variance Reports, it’s not only easier to track materials but also to create more informed business decisions.

Coming Soon on Steer: Design and Change Management

Image of Steer Team
Steer Team

Collaboration during the building phase will soon be easier with Steer's Design and Change...

Read more

Transforming Your EPC/General Contractor Operations by Properly Monitoring your Projects’ Progress

Image of Steer Team
Steer Team

For EPC & General Contractors such as your company, the successful completion of a project is...

Read more