Supercharging Your Construction Supply Chain: Best Practices for Managing Supplier Data

As a supply chain manager in the construction industry, understanding and effectively managing supplier data is critical to ensuring a successful and efficient supply chain. Supplier data in construction encompasses a wide range of information, including product specifications, pricing, delivery schedules, quality certifications, and more. With so much complex and diverse data to manage and so many suppliers to coordinate with, it can be a daunting task to collect, standardise, and analyse this information.

Only by developing effective data collection and management strategies, can supply chain managers like you not only streamline your operations but also gain valuable insights into your supply chain performance and identify areas for improvement.

So what are the key considerations and best practices for managing supplier data in construction?

How can you collect and standardise data, and use technology to automate data management, how do you ensure data accuracy and completeness?

In this article, we’ll explore the key considerations and best practices for managing supplier data in the construction industry. We’ll look at how to collect and standardize data, use technology to automate data management, ensure data accuracy and completeness, and identify areas for improvement.


Data Collection

Construction supplier data collection is notoriously manual, efficient, inaccurate, and time-consuming.

Issues with supplier data collection may include incomplete or inaccurate data, difficulty in obtaining data from suppliers, data privacy concerns, data security risks, and challenges in standardising and integrating data from multiple sources.

These issues can impact construction supply chain management, risk assessments, and decision-making processes.

Whether you’re trying to use email and Excel, cloud-shared drives, or customising a clunky ERP beyond its normal operating capability by adding fields every time a different project or category of supply arises – the outcome is the same. We’re pleased to say there’s a new, innovative and cost-effective way to collect data that’s easy to adopt into your construction business.

SourceDogg can help you develop clear data collection policies, improve communication and collaboration with suppliers, and regularly audit and verify data quality.

To make supplier data collection quicker and easier, SourceDogg helps by:

  • Automating data collection processes: SourceDogg’s supplier portals, electronic forms, and data integration tools help automate data collection from suppliers.
  • Standardising data requirements: Within SourceDogg, you can develop standard data templates and requirements for suppliers to follow, which can streamline the data collection process and make it easier to compare and analyse data across multiple suppliers.
  • Providing clear instructions: SourceDogg can define what data is required from specific categories of suppliers and provide detailed instructions on how to submit the data. This can help minimise errors and reduce the need for follow-up communications.
  • Implementing data quality checks: With all of your data in one place, automated checks and validation rules flag any errors or missing data during the collection process, so that suppliers can quickly make corrections.

SourceDogg’s Supplier Master Data module gives you the ability to effortlessly achieve this so that you can quickly and easily manage supplier data. You can then go even further by considering offering incentives to suppliers for providing data in a timely and accurate manner, such as opportunities for supplier growth due to data being linked to their specific skills, competence and suitability for the project.


Data Management + Control

The construction industry involves a huge array of stakeholders, including architects, contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, all working together to complete a project. With the vast amount of data generated throughout the construction supply chain, managing and controlling the flow of information is crucial to ensure timely delivery and cost-efficient outcomes. This management and data control consists of storage, access, sharing, and updates.

The difficulty in data control in the construction supply chain is one of the main drivers behind the move to Sourcedogg, as shared drives, multiple excel files, and email inboxes don’t stand up to the rigours of audits and make data-driven decision-making almost impossible.

Construction supply chain managers face several challenges related to data control, including:

  • Lack of data standardisation: Data is often collected and stored in different formats and systems, making it difficult to analyse, share and compare information across the supply chain and to learn from previous projects. Having a single source of truth like SourceDogg’s Supplier Master Data, which collects data in tightly formatted, consistent fields ensures standardisation and solves this issue.
  • Data security: Construction supply chain data is often sensitive and valuable, making it a target for cyber-attacks and data breaches. SourceDogg’s enterprise-level cloud storage removes this issue.
  • Limited access to data: Different parties in the supply chain may have limited access to the data they need to make informed decisions, leading to delays and inefficiencies.
  • Unlimited access to data: The antithesis of the above is that other parties may have too much access to data, work in different ways and directly affect data quality leading to inaccurate decision-making, delays, and additional costs in the supply chain. This is a massive problem in shared drives and documents when revision histories and logs are required for audit processes.
  • Difficulty in integrating data: Integrating data from different sources and systems can be complex and time-consuming, especially with large ERP systems that require a disproportionate amount of time, money and customisation to function, leading to errors and delays.


Data Visibility

We’ve outlined the challenges supply chain managers face in terms of data collection and management and control, however, the final piece of the puzzle is the more proactive and profitable side of digital transformation – visibility.

With increased focus from management on reporting, analysis and seemingly never-ending audit requests, it’s becoming more crucial than ever in the construction supply chain manager’s role to gain vital visibility on the company data.

Once your data is in SourceDogg, as opposed to multiple spreadsheet shared drives or ERP systems, visibility and the ability to use the data effectively increase exponentially. Our platform also has built-in capabilities for creating dashboards and reports or exporting the data cleanly into other visualisation and reporting tools as you need it.

  • Improved decision-making: By analysing data on factors such as supplier performance, inventory levels, and project timelines, supply chain managers can make more informed decisions and mitigate risks more effectively.
  • Enhanced collaboration: When data is visible to multiple teams and stakeholders, it promotes collaboration and alignment, enabling more efficient coordinated teamwork and problem-solving.
  • Better risk management: Greater data visibility helps you identify potential risks early and proactively mitigate them on your projects.
  • Increased operational efficiency: By analysing data on project timelines and resource allocation, supply chain managers can identify areas where processes can be optimised, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.
  • Better cost control: Data analysis can identify cost-saving opportunities by analysing procurement and inventory data to optimise material usage and minimize waste.
  • Enhanced supplier management: Data analysis can provide insights into supplier performance, enabling you to identify areas for improvement and negotiate better contracts.


Get in Control of Your Construction Data

In conclusion, managing supplier data is a crucial task for supply chain managers in the construction industry. The vast amount of complex and diverse data can make this task overwhelming, but by developing effective data collection and management strategies, supply chain managers can streamline operations and gain valuable insights.

Key considerations and best practices include collecting and standardising data, automating data management using technology, ensuring data accuracy and completeness, and regularly evaluating and improving data management processes. By implementing these strategies, construction supply chain managers can optimise their supply chain operations, enhance collaboration with suppliers, and ultimately achieve success in their projects.

If you’re a supply chain manager in the construction industry looking to improve your supplier data management, you can take the first steps to get a handle on your data today and schedule a demo to see how SourceDogg, our supplier management software, can help you streamline your operations and gain valuable insights into your supply chain performance.

With our user-friendly interface and powerful features, you can easily collect, standardise, and analyse supplier data, ensuring accuracy and completeness. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to optimise your supply chain operations and achieve success in your construction projects. Contact us now to schedule your demo with SourceDogg.

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