- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 11 May 2020
The term inventory is more commonly used in the USA and Latin America than in the UK, where it may be referred to as ‘stock’ or ‘stockholding’.
In construction, inventory management is a means by which construction companies and suppliers can keep track of goods and materials, workforce, equipment, plant and so on. This is particularly important when a construction company has multiple projects to manage, as efficient scheduling of resources can be very complicated.
A well-managed inventory can be critical to profitability as delayed, misplaced or lost items can incur avoidable delays and unnecessary costs. A project timeline, planned in advance, with a full inventory including the required materials, labour and equipment is a vital part of the project planning process.
This might also include:
- An inventory of tools, including manufacturer details, instructions and parts requirements.
- A consumable inventory (such as nuts, bolts, screws, nails, drill bits, wire and batteries) with a system that alerts when supplies are low.
- Automatic scheduling of preventative maintenance for tools, plant and equipment, helping to ensure that unnecessary down-time for repairs is avoided.
- An inventory app, downloaded to operatives’ phones.
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and barcode solutions.
NB The UN Procurement Practitioner's Handbook, produced by the Interagency Procurement Working Group (IAPWG) in 2006 and updated in 2012 defines inventory as: ‘Any material, component or product that is held for use at a later time.’
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