Avoiding breakdowns and bottlenecks in the supply chain is top of mind for construction managers and owners today, especially after the complexities brought on by the pandemic and the instability of governmental regulations in the US and abroad.
“Leveraging advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics, and 5G, digital supply networks are designed to anticipate and meet future challenges. Whether it is a “black swan” event like COVID-19, trade war, the act of war or terrorism, regulatory change, labor dispute, sudden spikes in demand, or supplier bankruptcy, organizations that deploy digital supply networks will be ready to deal with the unexpected.”
A purchasing control system can help companies track their entire procurement process, and if there is a breakdown, catch it early. This intervention avoids delays and a range of other impacts, such as unexpected price fluctuations, material shortages, and most importantly, mitigates potential misunderstandings or tensions with clients or suppliers regarding contracts.
The Project Management Institute cautions, “The old truth, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, is true especially when it comes to contracting.”
Materials can be strategically sourced. PCS can analyze the pricing for multiple vendors to drive the best possible price. A user clicks on the best price in a drop down menu for the item, and the app does the preset, updating with each respective vendor. Multiple vendors can be sourced for a single order, offering the helpful convenience of receiving all the items to fulfill a given project’s needs.
PCS also helps accelerate a project timeline by importing existing electronic files into vendor lists, and filling with “buy all” with one vendor, or “buy best” for a side-by-side comparison of the best prices from the vendor or vendors selected. The process results in transparent, confident decision making when selecting vendors and items for purchase. The system issues purchase orders and invoices, and all of this information can be emailed, printed, or stored as a PDF. These features are great at the end of a project, of course, when reviewing punch lists against maintenance schedules, or instrumental when sending out for price quotes.
An inefficient procurement process may have been difficult to identify before, with multiple and sometimes redundant information sources. Integrating data into a single cloud-based app allows teams to gain insight into spending as it occurs and take immediate measures to control any issues. While procurement data used to focus on the project-at-hand, evolving intelligent data gathering means that teams can look to the future as well as the past. Data-driven decisions are easily accessible to the key players and increase project efficiencies by driving costs down without sacrificing quality and performance.