Procurement Schedule

What is a Procurement Schedule?

Definition of Procurement Schedule in Construction
A schedule that identifies the scheduling requirements of procurement ( purchasing ) of components on the project.

The procurement schedule must be coordinated with the actual construction schedule on the project. Procurement is a critical aspect of any construction schedule, and must be formally, and professionally addressed, to ensure that products are available as needed on the project. The formal management of the procurement schedule on a large construction project is extremely important to the success of the project.

Without the proper products to install, the construction schedule will fail. Procurement of items on the job must be managed with the knowledge of how long it will take to have the product approved by the architect or engineer, ordered, and then delivered to the project. There are several key items on construction projects that require a longer procurement time than others. This knowledge of procurement times comes from experience and past mistakes that have caused delays.

Procurement is key to a successful project schedule and is many times lost in the shuffle of management and field supervision. If you don’t have it, you can’t install it!

The use of a Procurement Schedule is a tool that has provided me with the management and scheduling ability to foresee, and thereby solve, difficult issues on a construction project. Whether the procurement schedule is for a residential home, a commercial housing project, high end retail fit up, medical facilities or any other type of construction project, procurement is KEY.

Procurement vs Construction Schedule

Everyone knows about a Construction Schedule and how it is used to schedule the project to ensure that the end date is realized. At least, if you read the discussion on this website regarding the Construction Schedule you will understand the importance of this tool. There are several construction scheduling programs available for use, however, the creator of the schedule must also understand the importance of proper and timely procurement.

A Procurement Schedule is another tool that can be used, in conjunction with the Construction Schedule, to identify all the items that will need to be obtained for the project as well as the timing required for delivery to the project. A Procurement Schedule, can, and in my opinion enhanced to identify all the items within the construction project that need procurement.


For example my initial procurement schedule for a project would approximate the following list of items:

  • Project contract
  • Project insurance
  • Building permits inclusive of zoning, etc.
  • Contractual notice to proceed
  • Erosion control inclusive of erosion control fencing, barricades, protection , anti-tracking
  • Subcontracts and or Purchase Orders for:
    • Site-work
    • Concrete
    • Masonry
    • Structural and Miscellaneous Steel
    • Carpentry
    • Roofing
    • Siding
    • Sealants
    • Finishes such as painting, drywall, flooring, etc.
    • Doors
    • Windows
    • Hardware
    • Specialties / kitchen appliances / handicap grab bars etc.
    • Conveying Systems
    • Mechanical / plumbing and HVAC
    • Electrical / lighting, power, data, etc. / meaning anything that requires a contract or purchase order

Within these subcontracts and Purchase Orders the long lead items could include;

  • Hardware
  • Doors and frames
  • Windows
  • Light fixtures
  • Specialty finishes
  • Specialty designs, layout
  • Coordination of systems, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc.

*This discussion is not intended to be a complete analysis of all activities for a project, just a sample of what we are discussing as a necessity for the procurement schedule.

This list of items is meant to represent a typical procurement schedule and how it would relate to the construction schedule. It is NOT intended to be all inclusive, but to serve as an illustration of the items and activities to be incorporated within a procurement schedule.

Development of the Schedule

Once the schedule is developed, and I strongly recommend it be made as comprehensive as possible, project requirements in terms of time on the schedule are noted. The graphic illustration of time for each procurement item is vital for project success. Simply knowing when the light fixtures are required is not effective; it must be shown graphically as a representation of a line item on the procurement schedule.

If the light fixtures are needed ( 6 ) weeks into the project schedule, and the lead time for the light fixtures is ( 4 ) weeks, then submittals and approvals are required the first ( 2 ) weeks of the project. Failure to successfully submit and have approved shop drawings and catalog cuts completed for ordering will cause construction schedule failure and subsequent delays. You need to have the material, products and equipment on the site when the schedule requires installation. Certainly cannot install within procuring the item!

This scenario needs to be calculated for all items required within the project schedule. It is important that all procurement is scheduled in relationship with the construction activities on the actual construction schedule. If the light fixtures are not on the project physically, when the construction schedule indicates installation, how will this occur?

I have stressed the importance of the procurement schedule to young engineers in the business and many have no clue what I am talking about. The most comprehensive, detailed construction schedule is meaningless, if the products are not accordingly scheduled.

All software programs incorporate a form of procurement scheduling within their service, however, the understanding of the importance of procurement and coordination within the construction schedule is extremely important to the success of any construction project.