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Sudhakar Windows and Doors

Procuring Materials for Building Facades

By: Arshad Khan, Façade Omkar Realtors & Developers Pvt Ltd.

Material procurement planning plays a key role in the 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.

Another project by Omkar under construction
Another project by Omkar under construction
  1. Technical details :

    1. Glass: Glass selection is the most time-consuming item. It needs thorough detailed work.
      1. Selection parameters should be clearly defined viz colour, U value, light transmission etc.
      2. Look for the ideal combination of DGU 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: The following points are to be considered during finalizing extrusion
      1. Alloy & temper selection depending upon usage & bending
      2. Powder coating specs 2603 / 2604 / 2605 depending upon the location of use.
      3. Clearly define the acceptable dimensional tolerance criteria
    3. Steel: Consider the following points for steel :
      1. Define the grade of steel
      2. Specify the coating required viz galvanizing, sandblasting, PU coated with minimum dry film thickness expected.
      3. Specify the dimensional tolerances expected.
      4. Ensure all critical weld tests are witnessed by professional third-party QC
      5. Get a sample approved for the 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 has big tolerances then better to have longer lengths be ordered in proportionate quantities.
    6. Stone: The following considerations to be done while placing a 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 and marked with acceptable and rejected criteria.
        Emphasis is to be given to 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 by the designer.
  2. Sizes & Quantities :

    1. Always get all the sizes for glasses/stones 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 times. 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 the 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 as delays will cause a stoppage in production.
    4. Go into the details of the supplier’s line of action. If no monitoring is done chances are there that delays are bound to happen.
  4. Hidden Costs

    While finalizing the commercial ensure that hidden costs are identified and sorted out earlier as in a later stage it will badly affect the budget. Consider the following:

    1. Try to order glasses in final sizes. The wastage consideration clause should be eliminated.
    2. In the 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 is agreed upon and no delays are noted while getting materials cleared. Select a supplier which can give the benefit of taxes, transport & time. Product code should be clearly defined to be identified by the end user. (See table ‘Panel Coding’).

  6. Delivery Sequence

    Inform clearly to a supplier not to proceed with the next lot until the earlier one is completed. Optimization priorities differ at both ends. When each lot has big quantities, communicate to the supplier to ensure he supplies all the items in the lot proportionately as in most cases 99 per cent is considered as ZERO.

  7. Rates

    Negotiate and finalise the rates in the early part of the project as you have the options and time to look for alternatives. Once we are in the middle of the project and ordering a new item with a fixed supplier then he tends to bargain for the higher price. Communicate all specs and requirements 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 the same warranties as required by the project. If any one of the suppliers is giving a lesser period warranty then the entire warranty 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 a later stage than damaged quality of products.

  10. Testing

    All needed tests as per the specification should be taken seriously and carried out in accordance with it. Considering all the above-mentioned points before finalizing any contract will be beneficial for all the stakeholders. 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 a lot of energy and time of the project management team.

Arshad Khan, Façade Omkar Realtors & Developers Pvt Ltd.

Asst. Vice President

Arshad Khan, the Consulting Vice President (Façade) - Omkar Realtors & Developers, was appointed to establish and lead entire façade team for the project Omkar 1973. He was instrumental in setting up the façade team, appointment of façade consultant, finalising the suppliers and their contract. He has micro managed all the phases of the project from design, procurement, production, logistics, installation and handover. Result was probably the fastest executed façade project (over 35,000 panels) in a large scale in Indian context. Earlier he was associated with Permasteelisa Group in India and Gulf. Arshad has also worked for Al Majdouie Aluminum & Glass as Technical Manager. His vast experience with the market leaders and local knowledge has helped the entire team and client in successful completion of the project.

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