Everyday Dilemmas From a Construction Point of View

Kew Maintenance is a construction company with the main focus on vegetation control and routine road maintenance. The business has steadily expanded and now specializes in predominantly SANRAL appointed projects on various national motorways across South Africa. The business has not only grown from their own grassroots but also procures the services of motivated and resourceful people to manage their contracts professionally.

They are currently working on 8 different road maintenance construction projects around the country, maintaining our roads to be of the best SANRAL standards. In the Eastern Cape alone they are working on the National Route N6 Section 1 to 5 between East London and Aliwal North and the National Route R63 Section 9 to Section 12 between the R75 T-Junction and Adelaide.

Holding on to the old way of doing things has its advantages but the world is changing and the demands placed on a project manager is getting more challenging. With the new world of Google Pandas, Mockingbirds and economic changes shouldn’t you find ways to make your day easier?

Tweet this: Juggling more than one position and getting the job done is no new concept for this well-rounded executive.

Lelanie Mac Donald, who manages the teams (reports directly to the Site Agent, Operations Manager and Contract Manager) at Kew Maintenance R63 – SITE, agreed to answer a few questions on keeping all of her balls in the air with regards to procurement.

Imagine my surprise being met by an operations executive in kick-ass heels. Even while making her mark in this predominantly male industry we were served coffee in “juus” red mugs. Nothing in her demeanor suggested that juggling is commonplace in this driven environment.

Growing more hands is the most difficult part of her day. Juggling more than one position and getting the job done is no new concept for this well-rounded executive.

Construction-company-Maintenance-KewThe Company has invested time and money, not only in extensive training programs for personnel and SMME sub-contractors, but also in procuring the services of motivated and resourceful people to manage the contracts professionally. This broad base approach allows us to allocate suitably qualified personnel to each contract ensuring that each project is mobilized effectively and managed thoroughly.

“What I like about the app is that I can see exactly where which tools are at any given site. We help SMME’s to build up their businesses. It’s hard to know which equipment is at which site. If you lose sight of your assets you tend to keep buying new equipment. In my opinion, a lot of money can be saved by moving certain tools and equipment between sites, instead of doubling up on purchases.”

There are pressure points in certain parts of your day that you can take anti-inflammatories for. Every company experiences pressure points which no one has the time to mop up. Lelanie explains how they experience difficulty with immediate requisition sign-offs. Their small purchases get cleared on site immediately, but it is still difficult to get large purchases approved.

“We have very busy directors that are not always available to approve the purchases. Because of this the app would be a great process to use. We work with large sums of money at any given time. With 8 immediate sites to handle, we have to know exactly which money goes where.”

With the ever fluctuating construction market you just have to go on what you have to work with. Kew sources 3 quotes before every purchase on every job. They have to make sure the prices are right and that the constraints of the supplier do not interfere with delivering the goods on time.

“In construction you just have to go with what is needed, when there is a need. Regardless of where you are going to buy it, you still have to find 3 new suppliers whether it be in Eastern Cape, Gauteng or Free State. With a startup it is a bit of a process, but then you have the luxury of good old small-town established contacts.”

Having a lot of hands to keep your balls in the air is one thing, but not having the right communication tools is another. Quick tools that any one of the employees can have on hand at any given time will lighten the load.

“We communicate constantly, but we don’t get concise financial updates on our phones. Not like your app. I have suggested that we use, but they did not think it necessary. I think is brilliant, especially for the construction industry. Johan will phone me from the road saying you need to order kilometer markers for section 9 on 28.6 and 28.8 as he goes past them. So yes there’s a story behind our story in our procurement process.”

We asked her how they coordinate purchases between departments to which she replied: “umm, one person being able to do a lot of people’s work”.

As the decision maker of your projects it is important to find more hands in your day so nothing gets lost in the process. Having a tool such as will lighten the load at director level, considerable.

This study goes to show that an automated Purchase Order System like will save you time and money. runs your budget for you and gives you the freedom to focus on other important aspects of your project.
If you would like to make your purchase order process a strength and not a weakness, sign up for a trial:

procurementexpress a purchase order system

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