Material Management Looks After
Top Reasons Why to Manage
The Material Efficiently

The Sewer Contractor in Saudi Arabia starts to practice material management since the beginning of the project. For instance, at study stage, he calculates value and quantity of the needed material to arrange it for job site in the proper time.

Good material management reflects on the project profit and success. Material is considered one of the important factors of production. Therefore, it passes through several stages until it reaches the work sites. It starts with study and estimation stage and passes through procurement, stores and ends to work sites. The dept of studies and pricing sends a copy of the project documents to the engineering dept to begin the implementation process.

Implementing of projects starts in coordination between cost controls, procurement and contracts departments. All these departments practice the material management according to their needs. The process starts by ordering the materials through sending of (purchase orders) to the suppliers, and arranging of contracts with the contractor supply.

The procurement department practices material management, when they seek to buy the material at the best price and according to specifications. This process continues during the project period. The materials are preserved in the company warehouses after that. The inventory cycle is important to control the material inputs and outputs until it's sent to projects for use.

The contracting department also practices material management. For instance, when they communicate with subcontractors for supplying some materials and negotiate with them to get the best prices and terms of payment, which must be in line with the project requirements, needs and budget.

Because municipalities are the responsible authorities for implementing of sewer projects, they urge the main contractor to use a good material management system that helps to provide substances continuously without interruption.

Sewer project are implemented for doing the following tasks:

1) Dig and install sewer pipes within the gravity network and force main pipeline.

2) Connecting sewer pipes in (item number 1) to the pumping station.

3) Installing of manholes.

4) Installing of sand traps in the streets.

5) Erect the Pumping Station and connecting it to the gravity network.

6) Erect the Purification Plants and connecting it to the force main pipeline.

7) Connecting houses to sewerage network.

8) Perform various maintenance, expansions and asphalt work wherever is needed.

Implementing of sewer projects, need different substance during the execution process, which varies depending on the project task. For example:

1) Setting up a pumping station with concrete basis (includes civil works such as building the basis and then installing the station).

2) Buying and installing of pumping stations (includes civil, mechanical and electrical work).

3) Installing of a sewage pipe system only (includes civil work such as drilling the pipelines, installing the pipes, backfilling and asphalt paving work).

4) Installing of pipes for the main force pipeline and performing the pressure test later. The work (includes civil work such as drilling and backfilling, installing and testing of pressure pipes and re-asphalting work).

5) Setting up a purification plant (includes civil, mechanical and electrical work).

Now, let us look into some examples regarding substance usage in the sewer projects, and the role of material management in this process.

Civil work:

FRP Pipes
B) Vitrified Clay Pipes.

D) Warning Tape.
E) Polyethylene Pipes.
F) Ductile Iron Pipes.
G) Concrete Cylinder Pipes (CCP).
H) Fiber Concrete-Padded Cylinder Pipes (FCCP).
I) Valves.
J) Manholes (Fiberglass) Liners.
K) Lining Pipes for Fiberglass Manholes.
L) Aluminum Stairs.
M) Cast Iron Covers (Manholes Cover).
N) Pre-cast Concrete.
O) Waterproofing Materials.
P) Fire Extinguishers.
Q) Epoxy Paints.
R) Insulation Materials and Repair of Concrete.
S) Ceramics for Walls and Floors.
T) Tiles and Bricks.
U) Ready Mix Concrete.
V) Doors and Windows.
X) Reinforced Steel.
Y) Asphalt.
Z) Aggregates.
AA) Sand Filling.
BA) Sub-base and Base Course.

Mechanical work:
A) Generators.
B) Pumps.
C) Cranes.
D) Flow Measuring Devices.
E) Control Gate.
F) Mechanical Filters.
G) Chlorination System.
H) Eliminating of the odors (Odor Control).

Electrical work:
A) Electrical Transformers.
B) Remote Control System (Scada).
C) Electrical Panels and Accessories.
D) Lighting Poles.
E) Lighting Units.
F) Cables.

Treatment plant:
A) Sand filters (DYNA SAND).
B) Sand Filters.
C) Air Compressors.
D) Excess Sludge Pumps.
E) Isolation Sand Pumps.
F) Air Dryers.
G) Pneumatic Pumps (SCOW PUMP'S).
H) Equipment Leaching Pools.
I) Pressure indicators.
J) Dry Transformers.

As you've noticed, each stage in the project needs to apply material management in a way that fits the material type for that stage. Different substances have certain status, which differs from other materials in terms of the suppliers, country of origin and payment terms.

Therefore, the company should use the proper material management software, to impose a control over material ordering, storing until it is sent to projects. The previous procedures contribute directly to meet the planned goals, and result to increase the profits.

Often, substances have certain specifications. The contractor must comply with. Therefore, the client usually distributes a list for manufacturers and suppliers accepted by him, to guide the contractor from where to buy these materials.

Important Note:
Do not buy any stuff before you get the approval letter from the client. Sometimes the consultant may refuse the installed items for any reason, and this will lead to massive losses, especially if you couldn't sell these materials at a good price later.

Our field needs speed and accuracy, so be sure to provide the material for work without delay for two reasons:

1) Municipalities often prevent contractors to dig, and leave the place open without installing of pipes. They may ask the contractor to bury what he had dug. Digging work is subject to getting permission from the client and from the following authorities (telephone networks, water & electricity, traffic and Roads Authorities).

2) The delay in supplying the material will have a negative impact on the project progress as well as on the profitability. Late arrival of materials to work site, will put the main contractor in a difficult status, because it has bad effects on two things the labors and the equipments.

The labors: As we know without the presence of material, the contractor work is stopped (he is not making any progress), and the workers are sitting idle.

The result: Either he has to keep on paying their salaries, or he has to get rid of them. Both decisions are hard for two Reasons: A) If he kept on paying their salaries while he is not getting any progress at work, then he is in loss. B) If he is going to fire them, then he is in trouble when he wishes to bring them back to work. That's why most of the time the contractor prefers to support his workers and pay their salaries until it arrives from the suppliers.

The equipments: As we know without the presence of material, the equipments work will be interrupted, whether it is owned or rented.

For instance, If we are out of stock from the pipe's item, that means the excavator can't dig, and digging work must wait for the pipes to arrive at the site. The result: 1) If the equipments belong to the company, then the company will bear the cost of the monthly depreciation without getting any work progress in return. 2) If it is on lease, then you may bear the rent expenses, especially if you've failed to take the right decision to dispense the equipment until the pipes arrives.

So, the continuous coordination between the project, engineering, procurement departments and warehouse is essential to make sure the materials will reach work sites without delay. To be on the safe side, the contractor usually gives the suppliers a deliver schedule, to avoid any delay during project implementation.

Note: For instance, the project manager in coordination with procurement department, pratices material management when they ask the suppliers of the heavy pipes to deliver them directly to workplace. Because these pipes are heavy, and it cannot be stolen easily, besides that they can save time, storage expenses, trailer's charges, cranes charges, loading and unloading expenses. While, small items should be kept in the company's warehouses to guard them from any theft attempt.

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