Construction Productivity —

Materials Management in Rhumbix

Guy SkillettJuly 12, 2023 • 4 min read

Materials management is a key element of ensuring labor productivity on jobsites. While not exclusively the domain of the Foreman, field supervision does have a responsibility to ensure that tools, consumables, and materials are available for upcoming work, alongside labor, capital equipment, and/or construction information that is needed.

The question that we have been posed by customers over the years is how Rhumbix support foremen and other stakeholders with responsibilities for field procurement can with better data, workflows, and ultimately the confidence that these resources will be there when they need them.

In Rhumbix, users have the ability to populate the system with inventories of tools & materials. These can be further defined at the project level of detail to create project-specific lists of resources, and their costs, required on a job. This has been used primarily to populate our solution for time and material tickets, where foremen document consumption of resources on out-of-scope work.

These inventories of materials provide foremen with the ability to quickly and conveniently create lists of materials that will be needed in the future, and which need to be procured, or released, to the project by a given date. When combined with our workflow engine, reporting solutions, and integration capabilities, Rhumbix has the core components to create a simple, elegant workflow that will help contractors ensure that materials are where they are needed, when they are needed.

How does this work?

  • Our material request workflow allows foremen to document materials needed in advance of the work.
  • A Field Material Request (FMR) form can be initiated on the Rhumbix mobile app.
  • Foremen will complete the FMR with key data:
    • What materials are needed, and when
    • Where they are to be delivered
    • What cost activities or tasks they are associated with
    • Any special requests for equipment or tools needed for installation
  • Having completed the FMR, foremen submit directly from the Rhumbix mobile app to project management for review.

What happens next?

  • PMs will receive notifications for completed Field Material Request forms, which are easily accessed from the Rhumbix web portal.
  • The Rhumbix web platform will display FMRs in sequential order by project as well as for all projects.
  • A PM can review, edit, approve, and comment on FMRs for their project, and if appropriate submit for attention of personnel responsible for procurement.
  • Once in the hands of procurement personnel, FMRs across all projects can be easily accessed and actioned in Rhumbix.
  • Materials can be released for purchasing in larger quantities, providing opportunities for pricing benefits.

The Rhumbix platform includes a comprehensive workflow engine. As Field Material Request forms move between field, project management and purchasing, the status of the material orders can be updated. These statuses are visible to all stakeholders in the workflow, ensuring the field and office are on the same page with the status of pending orders and materials. Emails, phone calls and text messages enquiring of the status of materials can all be replaced with a single shared awareness of material deliveries accessible on Rhumbix’s web and mobile solutions.

Our initial workflow is outlined below, but this is highly configurable, and can be adjusted for each customer if needed.

Material pricing?

Integrations and Data Management

While the workflow will simplify the communication of material data between field and office, how does it help with systems responsible for procurement?

Rhumbix’s Data Explorer tool will aggregate material data from across projects to provide comprehensive reporting on materials consumed. This reporting can be used to manage inventory, forecast demand, and help assure materials and tools are available as needed.

API-Enabled Integrations can be used to push completed Field Material Request form data to ERPs or purchasing software, ensuring that data uploads to job cost, inventory management, procurement etc. are all maintained with accurate data.

At the end of the day, all of this is intended to ensure that the foremen have the resources needed to deliver the work, on time and on budget. The Rhumbix Field Material Request solution is a simple, yet comprehensive extension of our core platform that can easily be picked up with your project teams, especially for those already using Rhumbix for our core time capture workflow.  

If this seems like a solution that would add value to your field personnel, and streamline materials management, feel free to connect with your Account Executive, or connect with us at for a demo.

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