On-site Optimization: Real-time Material Tracking For Construction Sites

Jonny Parker
September 20, 2023

Construction jobs rely on end-to-end visibility of materials to avoid delays and meet expectations. Workers need to get the needed materials for each job and team leaders need assurances that the materials are to-spec with the job requirements. Construction inventory management has traditionally relied on hand-written data sheets and intake forms, which are susceptible to human error, theft, and damage. 

The key to on-site material tracking in 2023 and beyond is versatile construction inventory management software. These solutions enable real-time material visibility to help you meet expectations, as well as provide valuable data that allows companies in the competitive construction industry to compare the performance of different suppliers, teams, and strategies. 

What is construction inventory management software?

In the construction industry, profit margins often hinge on a supplier’s ability to deliver the right orders and complete jobs on time. This often hinges on the company’s ability to get the right tools and materials to each site according to schedule. Therefore, a business’s delivery and inventory tracking procedures directly impact its cost-effectiveness. 


Manual inventory tracking involves checking items in and out of each site, as well as inputting receipt dates on deliveries and keeping data sheets of all the necessary information. These methods lack the efficiency, security, and accuracy of software-based inventory management. 

Centralizing material tracking to one construction inventory management software system allows teams to track project materials, collect data, and schedule reorders from any device with access to the system. 

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Benefits of using inventory management software

Lower costs 

Cost savings come in several ways when implementing inventory management software, including preventing unneeded ordering, reducing downtime due to inefficient scheduling, saving labor costs on manual data tracking, and eliminating the need for storing and retrieving hand-written inventory materials. 

Increased consistency 

If your on-site teams reference different data to check out tools, reorder materials, or make decisions on a job, the data needs to be consistent. If the data isn’t up-to-date and consistent, then your teams run the risk of making costly errors that directly impact jobsite performance. Where manual data tracking systems can cause your business to waste time and money on mistakes, inventory management software keeps everyone informed with real-time data. Your decisions will be more consistent and you’ll never be out of the loop. 

Accurate item counts 

Software-based material tracking employs barcode systems to scan tools and materials in and out of the database. Therefore, every site with access to the system has access to the data on the locations of tools, the sites that need them, and how item locations impact the job schedule. Software solutions eliminate the guesswork that has always plagued manual item tracking, resulting in a lower margin of error and a more efficient workflow. 

 Automated reordering 

Real-time item counts enable you and your admins to accurately reorder tools and materials without wasting money on overorders or wasting time waiting for deliveries to arrive. The software can be set to auto-order when certain materials get below a designated level to ensure your workflow never halts because of a delivery schedule. 

Data visibility 

Manually tracking your supplier schedules, delivery records, item counts, team performance, client expectations creates data silos that inhibits informed decision-making. Inventory management software keeps the data from all your locations and warehouses in one place, allowing you and your admins to make accurate, timely business decisions.  

Increased security 

Access to the inventory management system can be designated to certain employees or temporarily enabled for project leaders. You can always keep track of who has access to your data, and you can check on the system from any mobile or computer device that has access. 

If you are interested in learning how Fishbowl’s flexible inventory management solution can help your business now, you can book a demo.