Whatever you build, it’s obvious that you’ll need to source reliable, good quality materials at a good price. Whether you use regular suppliers or are looking for new materials and suppliers, here are a few things to consider that could help you get the most out of your conversations and deals with your suppliers.
Keep good records
Having good records of purchase history can help you make better decisions about your purchases. It’s often said that knowledge is power, and that is very true when procuring materials.
Purchase orders can help to confirm both to the supplier, and for your internal staff what you’re expecting in terms of materials and costs. This is always important but can be particularly helpful if the person ordering isn’t the person receiving stock, or handling the bills sent by your supplier. It means your whole team stay on the same page, and you have a firm way to check what was expected vs what happened.
Keeping solid records of what was actually received, and what’s left to receive can also help to make sure you haven’t spent money on something that you don’t want or that never arrived. It can also mean having a better understanding of your costs when your records are good. Plus, keeping track of your usual cost and quantities can help you assess new suppliers prices and negotiate.
Keep everything up-to-date
Recording what is happening is just part of the battle – you also want to make sure you do it WHEN it happens. That doesn’t just apply to receiving materials, but also when reporting on what you already have.
Understanding your current stock levels and usage can help you assess whether now is a good time to order. You can only do that if you have accurate records of what you have in stock and what you’ve used.
You’ll also want to have up-to-date records on what preferred suppliers you have and the costs you get (especially if you have negotiated a special rate). Having records your team can access with the latest supplier information can mean that anyone in your team (with permission) can put in an order and know what the price should be.
Understand your stock
Knowing what’s in stock and how you use it can have so many benefits. One WorkGuru client, Hydromech Hoist & Crane, has stated that being able to understand their current stock has saved them tens of thousands in material costs.
In the past, we might have missed $50,000 of stock we had and might have ordered more in just because we didn’t know we had it. That just can’t happen anymore.
– Micheal, Hydromech Hoist and Crane
Knowing your stock can help save you from making unnecessary purchases. Additionally, understanding your usage in the past can help you decide if buying in bulk makes sense now. It can also help to know the costs of your common materials and how they fluctuate. Do any of your materials have seasonal pricing? Are their prices commonly fluctuating? These factors could help you plan out your purchases.
Looking for help managing your material procurement?
WorkGuru is an all-in-one business operations software that can help you systemise your procurement and stock management processes. Helping you take into account landed costs and using FIFO, WorkGuru can help you better understand your project costs and stock usage.
Helping with inventory management, project management, quoting and CRM, WorkGuru is custom-built9 for businesses that build, fix, make or design assets. You can learn more about how we help construction businesses by clicking here.
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