Procuring Materials for Building Facades

By May 24 , 2017
Another project by Omkar under construction
Another project by Omkar under construction

Material procurement planning plays a key role in successful implementation of the project. Normally the decisions are delayed and once the procurement starts there is a mad rush to complete the project, which results in overlooking many key aspects which eventually further delays the project.

  1. Technical details :
    1. Glass : Glass selection is the most time consuming item. It need a thorough detail working.
      1. Selection parameters should be clearly defined viz colour, U value, light transmission etc.
      2. Look for ideal combination of DGU or laminated or both.
      3. Select proper interlayer film depending upon usage internal or external.
      4. Select glass processing as per requirement viz tempering, heat strengthening, heat soaking etc.
      5. Selection of face to be fritted in case of frit glass
    2. Aluminium : Following points to be considered during finalizing extrusion
      1. Alloy & temper selection depending upon usage & bending
      2. Powder coating specs 2603 / 2604 / 2605 depending upon location of use.
      3. Clearly define the acceptable dimensional tolerances criteria
    3. Steel : Consider the following points for steel :
      1. Define grade of steel
      2. Specify the coating required viz galvanizing, sand blasting, PU coated with minimum dry film thickness expected.
      3. Specify the dimensional tolerances expected.
      4. Ensure all critical weld test are witnessed by professional third party QC
      5. Get a sample approved for external finish of architectural exposed steel works.
    4. ACP : Always consider proven brands for external application of cladding works. Sizes should be optimized prior to ordering, else wastages will be high
    5. Anchor : Consider SS anchors for all externally exposed anchors and fasteners. GI can be used for internal concealed application. Ensure minimum embedments are carried out as specified and if civil structural is having big tolerances than better to have longer lengths be ordered in proportionate quantities.
    6. Stone: Following consideration to be done while placing stone order :
      1. Ensure the entire materials are supplied from a single block
      2. Veins should be in one direction.
      3. Colour variations in natural stone should be benched mark with acceptable and rejected criteria.
        Emphasis to be given on getting smooth edges.
      4. Ensure criteria for tolerances in holes & grooves are clearly defined
    7. Gasket : Specify the hardness and elongation criteria for the gasket. Prefer EPDM over PVC gasket. Ensure the dies are checked with respect to extrusions and are approved from the designer.
  2. Sizes & Quantities :
    1. Always get all the sizes for glasses / stone before placing an order.
    2. Ensure the sizes are within normal range else will lead to extra time and cost.
    3. Minimum order quantities should be agreed upon before placing the order.
    4. Include quantity for wastages / breakages / attic stock etc.
  3. Delivery Period :
    1. Different items have different lead time. Do materials planning in such a way that all the materials are received just in time. Consider the previous experience of the supplier in finalizing the plan. (please refer to the table ‘Materials Lead Time’).
    2. Divide the project into lots and sub lots. Set intermediate delivery dates for lots. Don’t go by the words of supplier that all the materials will be delivered in so and so weeks; instead track it week by week. (Please refer to the table ‘Dividing Project into Lots’).
    3. Early deliveries will block cash flows and logistic space where as delays will cause stoppage in production.
    4. Go into the details of supplier’s line of action. If no monitoring is done that chances are there that delays are bound to happen.
  4. Hidden Costs : while finalizing the commercial ensure that hidden cost are identified and sorted out earlier as in later stage it will badly effect the budget. Consider the following:
    1. Try to order glasses in final sizes. Wastage consideration clause should be eliminated.
    2. In case of laminated sentry / pvb glass define the sentry / pvb layer sizes and get the final rates per glass. Avoid per square meter rates.
    3. Get clarity on minimum order quantity required for securities of dies.
    4. Extra over tolerance for extrusion should be minimized.
  5. Logistics : Ensure all documentation required for overseas consignment are agreed upon and no delays are noted while getting materials cleared. Select supplier which can give benefit of taxes, transport & time. Product code should be clearly defined to get identified by end user. (See table ‘Panel Coding’).
  6. Delivery Sequence : Inform clearly to supplier not to proceed with next lot until the earlier one is completed. Optimization priorities differ at both ends. When each lot has big quantities, communicate to supplier to ensure he supplies all the items in the lot proportionately as in most case 99 per cent is considered as ZERO.
  7. Rates : Negotiate and finalise the rates in early part of the project as you have the options and time to look for alternatives. Once we are in the mid of the project and ordering a new item with fixed supplier then he tends to bargain for higher price. Communicate all specs and requirement of the project clearly to the supplier to ensure arguments are avoided. Fix the rates by avoiding escalation in due course of the project by setting out project completion dates.
  8. Warranties : All materials should have same warranties as required by the project. If any one of the supplier is giving lesser period warranty than the entire warranties will fall off. Ensure that the warranties are project specific and not generic in nature.
  9. Packing : Define standard packing procedures at the time of order. A little more investment might be helpful at later stage than damaged quality of products.
  10. Testing : All needed test as per the specification should be taken seriously and carried out in accordance to it.Considering all the above mentioned points before finalizing any contract will be beneficial for all the stake holders. Hence a thorough study of the project requirement at the start of the project is very much needed.

    By following correct procedures putting materials on hold, rejection of materials, transit breakages, arbitrations, rate escalation, billing variations etc., can be avoided which normally consumes lot of energy and time of project management team.

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