5 Tips for Managing Materials on the Jobsite
When you’re headed out to a job site, managing materials is critical. You want all of your materials to show up at the right time, in the right amounts. You need to inventory them; you need to store them properly. Sometimes, it may feel as though material management is half of your job! These five tips will make managing materials on the job site easier.
- Conduct regular inventory.Choose the system that works best for you, whether you’re using a mobile app, RFID tags, or bar codes. Keeping track of your inventory on the job site accomplishes a number of critical things. First, it makes it less likely that materials will go missing–and if they do, you’ll have a better idea of when they disappeared. Second, you’ll be more likely to see exactly what materials were used during each job, making it possible for you to refine your estimates for future projects.
- Create a solid schedule.Whether you’re working with a general contractor or a building owner, it’s important to know the full construction schedule and how you fit into it. Then, you need to create a schedule for your work. You don’t need to leave materials sitting around the job site well before they’ll be needed, especially if you’re working in a high crime area or the site has been targeted for vandalism. On the other hand, failing to have materials delivered at the appropriate time can put you well behind schedule. Check your schedule at the beginning of each week, making sure to account for any delays or for the fact that you’re ahead of schedule, in order to determine what materials and tools need to be on the job site.
- Don’t forget your tool inventory!Because you use them every day, you may not think about how expensive your tools are–and you might miss how vulnerable they are! Tools are expensive, portable, and relatively easy to sell, especially if they aren’t labeled for your business. Conducting inventory at the beginning and end of every job, however, will let you know immediately if tools go missing. This can help prevent thefts as well as making it less likely that you’ll accidentally leave a tool behind at the job site.
- Have an organization system.You know what tools are on the job site. You know how they need to be used. Now, can you lay your hands on the tools and materials you need when you use them? Instead of simply throwing your tools into a trailer or tossing them in the back of a truck, develop a system that will allow you to easily pick up the ones you need at any given moment. This system will also make inventory easier, allowing you to go straight to the materials you need instead of fumbling around looking for them.
- Check the site plan and make sure it includes proper storage.Do you have materials or tools that need to be protected from the elements? What about more expensive materials or dangerous ones that need to be locked up at the end of the day? Experienced general contractors will often put together a site map that shows where everything should be located, including that specific storage information. Consult with them about the best place to store your materials on the job site. This will also make it easier for you to find tools and materials and ensure that they won’t be moved if you leave for the day before someone else does, making it easier for you to get back to work the next day.
Managing materials on a job site is an ongoing process. Construction sites are often chaotic, filled with people moving everywhere and things that have to be done. Appropriately managing those materials will help give you a sense of confidence and make it easier for you to take care of your part of the job. Need help keeping moisture from creeping into your masonry materials? Contact us to learn more about the materials we can offer.