• Best Practice

7 Tips: Material Tracking Software in Industrial Construction

INSITE IT GmbH, Solutions for Industrial Construction Sites –
Reading time: 5 minutes

Learn what is important when introducing and using material tracking software.

Material delivery to the construction site - worker unloads delivery. Smartphone with screen of the material tracking software Insite LMS.

Let's Get Things Done!

If you use material tracking software well you can achieve your goals more effectively. All material tracking activities must ultimately lead to efficient installation. Read here how this can best be achieved.

Key Facts

  1. One platform that covers all material topics from manufacturing to assembly offers the most advantages (single source of truth).
  2. Material tracking is not only a software issue, but also a process and culture issue.
  3. If you focus on high data quality right from the start, you will benefit not only up to the final assembly, but throughout the entire life cycle management of a plant (keyword: service business).

Tip 1: Establish a Single Source of Truth

The number 1 on a concrete wall as a symbol for exactly ONE Single Source of Truth.

We recommend that you consistently rely on one end-to-end platform that deals with the entire spectrum of "material" issues.

  • Ideally, the software covers material topics from manufacturing to assembly,
  • integrates all internal and external players in an straightforward manner and
  • provides accurate real-time information as a single source of truth.

Data chaos, redundant efforts, avoidable losses and the tedious maintenance of x subsystems are thus eliminated!

Insite LMS is such a platform. With this system, project teams on site and back-office users get the same view of materials - in one single system. This reduces ambiguity, increases transparency and promotes constructive project work.

Tip 2: Consider all Three Pillars of Successful Material Tracking.

Two people on the construction site are talking to each other. One has a safety helmet on, the other is holding a tablet in his hand.

Yes, the specific software being used is of course important. In addition, other factors need to be taken into account. To be specific, these are the respective organization and, above all, the users who work with the system on a daily basis.

The three pillars at a glance are:

  • Material Tracking Software
  • Organization (processes, culture)
  • People who work with the system

Our experience is that a digital material tracking solution is well accepted when

  • it can be implemented smoothly and quickly,
  • it can be used intuitively
  • it facilitates daily work right from the start
  • the topic of change tends to have a positive connotation in the company (cultural topic, change management),
  • existing processes can also be questioned/adapted if necessary.

Tip 3: Do not wait for external or global standards.

Numerous blue Lego bricks lie on top of each other.

Do not waste time waiting for regulations or globally valid standards! Every country, every project has different requirements when it comes to materials management, among other things. It is unlikely that standards will come.
It is better if you define underlying standards for yourself and make sure that your standards are adhered to in your projects. To do this, you need to get everyone involved "on board". An appropriate material management system is characterized by

  • uncomplicated integration of subcontractors and data sources
    • easy import of data from different sources
    • standardization/ensuring data quality
    • collaboration functionality
  • flexibility
    • meet changing project requirements
    • without IT effort

Using Insite LMS as a material management solution, you can easily import data from different suppliers. And all this without any IT or development effort! Insite LMS provides a proven direct supplier process for this purpose. In the setup, import templates can be easily defined (on an Excel basis). After the import, all data is available in Insite LMS in the way it corresponds to the requirements in the respective project.

Tip 4: Start out simple, proceed step by step.

Just start! Image of a children's game on asphalt (temple hopping).

Of course, one would like to have a 100% solution for material tracking right from the start. Nevertheless, experience shows that it is beneficial to start with specific application areas (quick wins) and gradually add additional ones and continuously optimize material tracking.

Example: If you want to visualize information on material deliveries or withdrawals via a 3D model, you should also think about target/actual comparisons. Our tip: Work with actual data first and only add target data in the next step.

Tip 5: Ensure data quality FROM THE BEGINNING.

Image of a heart in red on white background. The whole image is built from zeros and ones.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks - whatever data quality is not "put into the system" at the beginning of Material Tracking will not miraculously emerge afterwards!
In short, any system is only as good as the way you work with it. Therefore, invest sufficient energy in the topic of data quality.

This concerns, among others

  • project standards in terms of materials data,
  • supplier integration (communication, legal framework such as ordering conditions, easy-to-use material registration option).
  • data consistency: every typed packing list is one too many!

Tip 6: A "no hardware barriers" approach makes life easier!

User holds smartphone in hand: Insite LMS does not require special hardware for material tracking, but runs on smartphones.

Materials tracking solutions are ideal

  • if they are robust, secure and offline-capable and
  • if you don't need any special equipment to use them.

Example: Material Takeover

Do you need special scanners to accept deliveries at the construction site? Or can you do it without any special hardware at all? Insite LMS can be used via app on cell phones. No hardware beyond that is needed for using Insite LMS on site!

Tip 7: Take the opportunity to "air out" established procedures.

Green meadow, blue sky - fresh air!

If you are thinking about introducing new material tracking software, you can use this opportunity to question existing processes.

  • Does the status quo still fit?
  • Can anything be improved?
  • For example, does it make sense to map more of the entire material management process? (Example: material pre-registration before delivery to construction site)
  • Which Excel lists are sent across the world today?

Our experience is that it makes sense to digitally map material management across the entire process chain from production to final assembly in one system.

See Materials Tracking Software in Action!

Asking yourself if Insite LMS is a perfect fit for your projects? See for yourself!

Book a Demo

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About the Author

INSITE IT GmbH

Since the company was founded in 2012, INSITE IT GmbH has continuously become the professional partner for plant engineers. The software company is headquartered in Linz (AT) and develops software solutions for materials, logistics and site management in plant engineering.

Contact: LinkedIn

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