The Trouble with Construction: How to Manage Materials On-site Properly

By Shankara Chebolu
Product Manager – Digital Supply Chain

In a perfect world, everyone has exactly what they need. Not more, not less. Just the right amount.

That certainly holds true for the construction industry, where having the right materials in the right quantities on the right site at the right time can set up a project for success. There’s not a more wonderful phrase for a construction project than, “On time, on budget!”

But on today’s megaprojects, keeping track of what you need and when you need it can be daunting. There are literally thousands and thousands – it not millions! – of parts to order and have on hand … steel beams, pipes, bolts, switches, rebar, cinder blocks, and on and on and on.

If you have too much, it’s wasteful, which is costly. If you don’t have enough, schedules get pushed, which is also costly! And not only do the right materials need to be on hand in a timely manner, managers need to know where to find them throughout the lifecycle of the project.

According to an article by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., large projects across asset classes typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget! But there is a way to navigate this complex maze. 

A robust material handling workflow provided by Intergraph Smart Materials and Mobile Scan increases efficiency, reduces costs and helps protect the ultimate quality of your entire project. Customer feedback lets us know that Mobile Scan save up to 18 percent of material costs. For a six-month project, payback for one Mobile Scan project license can be achieved in less than one month.

And that sounds just right. Learn more about achieving unprecedented materials management savings here.


Headshot, Shankara Chebolu

Shankara Chebolu 
Shankara Chebolu works for Hexagon PPM as a product manager in Hyderabad, India. He manages two products in the digital supply chain (procurement and materials management): Smart Materials Mobile Scan and Smart Materials E&PI. He holds a bachelor of engineering in electronics and instrumentation as well as a post graduate diploma in intellectual property rights. Contact him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/srikanthcs/