How to control inventory in construction?

Among the different responsibilities that an administrator or manager has over the business is inventory control in civil construction. This activity is relevant to avoid unnecessary expenses with materials, eliminate losses and preserve the financial balance of the business.

In this content we bring the main topics on the subject, we present the importance of inventory control, we explain how to document the items, and, finally, how to effectively control inputs and outputs. Keep reading!

What is the importance of inventory control in construction?

Inventory control is a critical activity and can be the difference for the company to guarantee good profits in the period. When the financial manager values ​​this control, the company achieves a large number of benefits that maximize its growth.

The advantages stem from the fact that there is greater control over the goods. See what they are:

  • prevents robberies and theft: the manager will know in a transparent and precise way which materials leave the establishment, being able to immediately identify robberies or thefts (if they occur);
  • avoids waste and losses: it avoids the acquisition of unnecessary materials that would remain in stock;
  • greater bargaining power: it is possible to know, with more precision, what the replacement needs are and which materials have the greatest flow. These estimates generate better conditions for negotiating with suppliers;
  • eliminates problems: inventory problems, such as material losses, difficulty finding items, etc., are also minimized.

How to control stock documents?

Any and every movement of stock must be recorded in detail and by a trusted person, as any error can cause inconsistencies in the records and problems with the Tax Authorities. To perform this operation properly, you must know the main types of documents related to stock:

  • input documents: are the purchase orders and invoices;
  • Output documents: consists of requisitions for materials for internal consumption or to be used in works;
  • transfer documents: notes on transfers from one location to another.

Documents must be strictly controlled to maintain the accuracy of the information. For example, if a material has left the team, note who is responsible for moving it (individuals who receive and deliver the good), where it is being taken, date, time and in which activity it will be applied.

How to effectively carry out inventory control in construction?

In this topic we list the main tips to increase control over the items present in the stock of construction companies of any size. Check out!

Working with a minimum stock

Minimum or safety stock is the smallest possible quantity that must be kept in the warehouse to meet current business needs, possible increase in demand, and possible delays in deliveries by suppliers . There is a specific formula for reaching this stock. Look:

Minimum stock = average daily consumption of materials x replenishment period 

The replacement time of materials is given by the supplier, and the average daily consumption must be calculated as follows:

Average daily consumption = consumption of goods in a period/days of this period

Imagine that the monthly consumption of a product is 180 units, and the stock is replenished every 15 days. The calculation of daily consumption will be as follows:

Average daily consumption = 180 / 30

Average daily consumption = 6

As for the minimum stock, the calculation will be:

Minimum stock = 6 x 15

Minimum stock = 90

This means that you must have 90 units of the product in the store’s stock.

Work with stock inventory

Inventory is the act of identifying, classifying, and accounting for all stored products. Its purpose is to verify that the inventory records “match” with the items physically present in it. To carry out this activity successfully, it is necessary to have a detailed knowledge of the stock and create an effective procedure for checking it.

There are several techniques that facilitate this process, such as coding products from stock. This operation consists of creating labels through your management system, printing them, and pasting them on the items. With this, you can scan barcodes to check items in stock faster.

Ensuring stock security

Complaints of theft and theft of materials on site are among the main reasons why inventory control is lost. To avoid these occurrences, it is worth investing in items that increase security, such as:

  • infrared sensors that detect movement, and passage of light, among others;
  • alarms that trigger the police when the establishment is invaded;
  • quality cameras to identify criminals and capture images in dark environments;
  • safety locks, among other tools.

Goods that are easy to transport and high-value equipment are the most sought after, so we recommend keeping them locked in storerooms and strengthening security. Finally, have well-documented access control and identify employees who pick up materials and return them.

Implement a management system

Technologies are the biggest allies of companies when it comes to inventory control. There are financial management platforms that collect and work with various information about the stock automatically. Among the features of this type of system are:

  • planning: automatically controls the plans based on the outputs made and sends emails in case of misalignments;
  • order control: increases procurement control, eliminating unnecessary expenses;
  • negotiations: presents the price quotes of suppliers on a single screen;
  • monitoring: allows you to monitor inputs and outputs in real-time;
  • unification: all information is gathered on a single platform, providing a broad and complete view of the stock on one or a few screens;
  • managerial reports: creates managerial reports of movements, items most consumed, purchased, etc.;

In order to have a good inventory control in civil construction, it is necessary to have organization, knowledge, and, above all, to modernize its control. The technology also provides different benefits to the area, such as minimizing the time spent on bureaucratic activities — increasing staff productivity —, and reducing errors and expenses with physical materials.

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