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How to manage building materials at a construction site

How to manage building materials at a construction site

The management of construction materials at a construction site involves a number of things. Coordinating the planning, sourcing, buying, moving, storing and controlling of building materials, will help a project to run smoothly and within budget. 

Management needs to supervise, coordinate and carry out all the work related to the flow of materials to, through and out of a construction site in a controlled way. Managing materials on a construction project is a complicated operation. It has an impact on various departments within the business. Here are some of the main functions of construction materials management:

Planning and controlling building materials

Materials planning and control starts with the production and sales forecast plans. This includes creating estimates for the individual requirements of parts, forecasting the levels of inventories, preparing materials budgets, scheduling the orders and monitoring the performance of sales and production.

Purchasing the materials

Purchasing construction materials include the selection of suppliers, the finalising of purchase terms, order placement, ensuring good supplier relations, supplier payments and the rating and evaluating of suppliers.

Inventory control and storage

Storage includes the physical control of materials; keeping stored items safe, preventing or minimising materials from becoming outdated and damaged, maintenance of stores records, proper storage location as well as stocking. Storage also requires that physical stocks are counted and documented in books with figures.

Inventory control relates to things like setting inventory levels, fixing economic ordering quantities, ABC analyses, the setting of safety stock levels, the analysis of lead times, as well as reporting.

The importance of managing building materials 

A construction materials manager carries a lot of responsibility. For many construction companies, materials form the largest expenses on a construction project – nearly 60% of total costs. The materials manager can make a significant contribution to keeping the cost of materials down. 

This will help to improve the project’s profitability, as well as the rate of return on investment. As market pressure increases, companies have to cut down on costs. Here, materials management has a big role to play.

Materials make up such a big percentage of the total cost of a project, so cutting down on materials expenses can help a lot to reduce the project’s total cost. A small saving percentage in the cost of materials can result in a large percentage increase in the project’s profitability.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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