Software for Structural Steel

Material Management

Materials Management supports the procurement, stock management and billing of steel and purchased parts such as trapezoidal sheets, gates or window strips, but also all other materials such as office supplies. It is therefore closely related to the module "Purchase of contracted services", which deals with the tendering, contracting and accounting  of contracted services.

The following sketches the general work flow of materials management, with sub-steps which may be missing if not all modules are used.

Photo: Ziemann Stahlbau, Wittlich

SteelOffice organizes procurement in five different processing stages:

  • The material requirements as an accurate parts list or
  • preliminary requirement (pre-order).    
  • Then order suggestions and
  • purchase orders will be processed.
  • Stock management

For jobs in which an acccurate parts ists is not immediately required, requirements (preliminary BOM) can be recognized as material requirements in the technical office. When the detailed parts lists is later entered or taken from CAD, these then supersede the initial, rough estimates.

Material requirements can be presented, sorted by size and date

  • as a fuzzy requirement (app. 10 tons IPE 300 are used in week 34/15) or
  • as an accurate parts list (10 pieces IPE 300 mm in 4675 - 3 units for Drawing 5 and 7 units for Drawing 12 are needed on 5/10/15)

Where possible, the requested material with individual lengths can be nested manually or automatically into stock lengths. Used stock positions get the status 'reserved'.

The remaining material requests are recorded as order suggestions, that are submitted to the procurement division. Here, too, automatic bar nesting is available.

SteelOffice offers an optional automatic bar nesting module, which takes clamping and kerf of the saw into account. The algorithm takes into account the reusability of available lengths.

The nesting result can be further processed as a storage reservation line or as order proposal (see picture at right).



                        bar nesting  selection and results

The purchase department starts inquiries and creates price comparison lists. Alternative offered lengths are checked for whether they are sufficient to meet demand. Then the purchase orders are printed, with optional delivery remainders available.

The goods receipt is recorded, possible even for partial deliveries. The withdrawal lists and production documents are printed. For the major types of materials, these show exactly which parts should be manufactured from which bar or plate. When booking a planned withdrawal, SteelOffice will automatically create the returns and book the scrap. 

Following goods-receipt-based invoice verification, the contracts are burdened with their individual material costs.
As an option, the bills and the contract costs can be passed to an external book keeping or management program.

Sheet metal storage

Changes are daily practice in steel construction. Whether the client changes their technical requirements, suppliers offers different material lengths than requested, one contract may change to higher priority, another one is cancelled or rescheduled, material comes in other lengths than ordered, the invoice price differs from the order, the production uses other material than intended - hardly a job is executed as originally planned.

For all these cases, change options are provided in SteelOffice. The program at all times keep an overview, whether a material is withdrawn that was ordered for another job, or whether the invoice price changes after the material was already mounted.

Invoices for supply of materials and subcontractor services are checked against delivery or subcontractors performance level. Accepted accounting differences can be taken into account retroactively, and update the cost price of the stock material or the costs of material that was burdened to a contract in the meantime.
In addition, invoices and credit notes without any relation to an official order can be recorded. 

All the relationships between material requirements, parts list items, order proposals, purchase order items, goods receipts, withdrawals and invoice receipts are stored in SteelOffice. Thus the system is able to provide all relevant information at the push of a button.

Here are a few typical questions:

  • Is the material for an order / drawing ordered or already reserved in the stock?
  • Do goods receipts exist for all purchase orders of the contract?
  • What is the inventory for a given material, which parts are already reserved for a job and which purchase orders for this material have not been delivered?
  • Which items are nested in a particular purchase order and what partial deliveries have been received?
  • The prices at which a particular material was at the supplier and in what amounts it was received in the last 6 months, and for which orders?
  • Was the ordered material obtained from the suppliers in time and in good quality?

Based on DIN EN ISO 9000 ff.,  quality control plays an increasingly important role. The traceability of the material is increasingly a requirement.

SteelOffice documents problems in quality or delays in delivery using delivery codes. These codes calculate a quality number as asessment criteria for a supplier rating according to DIN EN ISO 9000 ff.
The receipt of certificates is tracked, certificates are scanned and archieved as a pdf file.

The cost burden is recorded on the physical removal from the material stock. Later returns will be credited to the order, scrap is reported separately and assigned.

Physical inventory taking can be performed on individual groups of materials, or for the entire stock. SteelOffice supports the user by automatically determining and creating an inventory valuation price (eg. as a sliding cost price of the stock material). The physical inventory of material can optionally be carried out using barcode-based recording directly in the external storage area.