Packed timber for construction in an open area; reduce material waste concept

How Construction Project Management Software Helps Reduce Material Waste on Jobs

Material waste can lead to significant cost overruns on construction projects. The good news is that construction project management software can help reduce material waste on jobs. 

To minimize waste, construction trades contractors must be able to accurately estimate project costs, plan supplies for each job, and track material costs throughout each job. In order to do all of these things, you need access to up-to-date project information. Construction project management software, like eSUB, provides that access by centralizing all project data. 

Construction Project Management Software Improves Resource Planning

You know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is particularly true of materials planning in construction. 

Improper resource planning is one of the most common causes of material waste and cost overruns, explains the team at Blackridge Research & Consulting. “Failure to estimate the resources that will be used during the project may result in inappropriate or inadequate procurement.” This leads to waste and profit losses.  

That’s why you need data. Data gives you the ability to estimate project costs and materials needed at each phase of a project so you can accurately plan resources. Your access to that data, however, is limited if your project information is scattered among different stakeholders. Efficient resource planning starts with centralized data.

Construction project management software accomplishes this for you in a few ways. For starters, it streamlines document submission processes so everyone’s data is input and collected in the same location. No more binders and spreadsheets, which only serve to silo information. All data is stored centrally through one tool that everyone can use. 

Then, once the data is input, the technology is capable of analyzing historical data and real-time information. This gives you accurate insights into which materials you will need at what phases of each project so you can plan accordingly. It means your teams have all the resources they need when they need them, and you don’t end up with costly waste at the end of jobs — which is the crux of accurate resource planning, notes the Inbound Logistics team.

Construction worker supervisor taking inventory of construction materials; reduce material waste concept

Technology Enables You to Track Materials in Real Time

The catch is that materials planning isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that requires you to track materials throughout a project and adjust accordingly. Construction project management software makes this part easier, too, with purchase order management. 

Through its purchase order management capabilities, the software allows trade contractors to track project progress through each phase by tracking material costs by labor activity. The technology also gives users the ability to track the progress of projects by communicating when products are delivered. These insights allow you to better manage inventory and control costs. 

The software also lets you better manage the materials waste and costs by comparing the actual and estimated costs for purchase orders. If those differ, the technology gives you visibility into the discrepancies so you can make adjustments. With this information, you can more accurately plan your resources for each phase of a project so you have less waste. 

Software Gives Trades Contractors Flexibility in Materials Planning to Reduce Waste 

Change orders are one of the leading contributors to the waste of materials. 

Materials orders are placed in advance of each phase of a construction job so teams have what they need to complete the work on time. Change orders throw wrenches into the system of resource planning. 

“If the layout of the structure changes during the process of construction, the excessive material bought earlier ends up being unused and wasted,” writes Erich Lawson, online marketing manager at Northern California Compactors, Inc. 

To minimize that waste caused by changing project requirements, trades contractors need a “flexible and adaptive approach to inventory planning,” explains Core IMS. Key to that is centralized data. The data can predict exactly what impact a change will have on materials so you can mitigate that impact as much as possible. 

This was one of the biggest efficiencies DTA Electric found when the company started using eSUB. Project Manager Van Huynh explains that being able to track materials accurately effectively eliminated double orders and reduced material waste for the company. 

To learn exactly how eSUB can help you reduce material waste so your projects can stay on budget, schedule a demo of eSUB Cloud today.

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