Jobsite Material Management
January 2005Many factors add up to the cost of materials on the job site. The planning process must recognize the costs associated with each one of the following items and realize that optimizing one at the expense of other contributing factors is poor management.
Do your people really understand the cost impact of each of these items? You may want to take the time to calculate the costs for each item and review them with your field supervisors, and discuss ways of minimizing the cost of each item.
Step 1: Develop the plan before materials will be on the job site:
If you haven't addressed these items, start negotiating with the general contractor.
Step 2: Know when materials will arrive. Make sure you have material delivery tools available to you-schedules and checklists. Develop a Material Handling Checklist that includes the following information:
Step 3: Know what the special handling requirements are. Will you be able to handle the materials in ways to avoid danger? Is your storage area set up to avoid spoilage? Are you ready for the materials at the time they're being delivered?
Step 4: Assign someone for implementing the plan for managing jobsite materials. If it's not the foreman, then delegate to a responsible person.
Step 5: Make sure the delivery is in the condition, amount and type as promised.
Step 6: Know what the return policies are for each of the materials delivered. Check with your PM. If you receive materials you don't need, send them back.
Step 7: Make sure the foreman gets a Material List and has a clear understanding of how expensive materials are. This will emphasize the importance of doing effective material management.
Here's an exercise you can do with your PMs, superintendents and foremen to create an awareness of making material management a priority:
Remember: Materials can represent 30 percent to 50 percent of a project. If there is 5 percent extra waste, you could have missed the estimated margin for that job.
A primary responsibility of a foreman is to mak sure the materials on the job are handled in an effective and efficient manner to increase the productivity of the crew and the profitability of the contractor.
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