As contractors in Malaysia cope with resuming work after COVID-19 Movement Control Order (MCO), the first challenge is to conserve and lengthen your construction project’s cash runway as much as possible. Stopping unnecessary leakages is now more critical than ever for your construction business. 

Contractors that buy material will have experience in large quantities of leftover material after the project is finished. Over and double orders are common. This is because material management is a complex and intricate task that involves various parties such as quantity surveyor, site supervisor, project manager, and director. 

Construction supply chain management or material management is overwhelming, we simplified it. Find out how we did it here: 

With cash flow and profit being severely impacted by COVID-19, it is critical now for contractors to effectively monitor project material on managing construction projects. 

Here Are 5 Tips On Effective Material Management: 

Get the Right Quantity

To get the right quantity, it is essential to have a material take-off. Material take-off helps to obtain an actual total quantity of materials with the correct specifications that will be used in the construction project.

Once the take-off quantity is established, it serves as a baseline to allow the person in charge to easily cross-check whether materials subsequently ordered by the project site are within the project’s budget. This is a standard protocol for effective material management. Early alerts are useful to prevent double and over-orders from occurring.

Get your material from the right supplier

Costs shall not be the sole deciding factor for choosing the right supplier. You will need to ensure suppliers have the capability to deliver the number of materials you need according to the delivery schedule. Things to look out for when choosing a supplier include credit facility, price, ability to deliver according to your delivery schedule and after-sales support.

It is advisable to always have at least one backup supplier for every material you order to your project site. This ensures projects can run smoothly even if your first-choice supplier could not deliver.

Order building materials at the right time

Buying in bulk no doubt saves your money, but delivering material before it is needed may pose the risk of damage and theft. Delivering large quantities of materials in advance is unwise as you bear the risk of transfer and storage. Similarly delivering too late will cost you idling and operation costs. It is always optimum to ensure delivery of material right before you need to use it. This allows time for material inspection and reduces the risk of theft and damage.

Deliver to the right place

Most project sites are huge; contractors may have different teams working at different locations in a project site. Loading and unloading bulky material is expensive as it requires the incurring of machinery cost. It is important to ensure materials are being delivered at the right place, to eliminate double handling, unnecessary storage and it ensures the quality of the material is not being jeopardised during unnecessary double handling.

Negotiate for the best cost

As contractors spend most of their project value purchasing building material, it is essential to buy them at the right cost to ensure profitability. During the procurement stage, it is advisable to cross-check with the prices quoted during tender stage. Price comparison and negotiation skills are useful in obtaining the best price possible. Sometimes, you may even consider paying cash to get a further reduction in material price! The trick is to always ensure your suppliers get paid on time for better bargaining power. 

Hear from HAB Construction Sdn Bhd on how Speedbrick has helped save them hundreds of thousands on material management here.



About Speedbrick

Speedbrick is a leading provider of cloud-based construction management software. Our construction technology connects every department in your construction business allowing them to get things done faster. Our software is designed for contractors, by contractors. It allows different stakeholders to see different information to help them make better decisions. Available products are in the region of material management, project management, budget control, financial control, subcontractors claim control, and extension of time monitoring. Learn more at