Anticipate issues and plan contingencies to be prepared
By Kyle Wilberts
Disruptions are a common plight for the Heavy Building Materials industry due to the nature of the business. There are many factors that can disrupt the best laid construction projects and plans such as safety issues, jobsite accidents, weather conditions, material availability, labor shortages, delayed permits, unrealistic owner expectations, scheduling issues, and more. The secret to dealing with and overcoming these disruptions is to anticipate them and plan contingencies so that when the inevitable happens, it won’t derail a project and cause significant repercussions.
Some construction delays cannot be avoided. However, the damage they cause can often be mitigated with proper planning, communication, and software solutions. When construction companies are prepared, delays become shorter and less frequent, helping the business stay on track and within the budget. So, how can we avoid operational disruptions on the jobsite? Below are some insights.
It’s crucial to have a safety plan in place to prepare for the worst—an accident on the jobsite. An incident of this nature will bring all operations to a screeching halt, not to mention, the life of an employee could be in danger. Knowing how to handle a worse-case scenario and having the proper safety measures in place to prevent an accident from happening can be the difference between meeting a deadline or saving a life.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 48 percent of roadway worker fatalities are caused when workers are run over or backed over by vehicles or mobile equipment, such as dump trucks. An e-Ticketing solution helps ensure your employees are safe at the jobsite. Instead of having the traditional ticket taker—whether it’s the “dump man” or field tester/inspector—in the way and often not in view of the truck driver, e-Ticketing allows users to electronically and safely view tickets, capture proof of delivery, and add test results directly from a mobile device.
BE A STICKLER WITH DEADLINES
It’s crucial to establish a schedule and hard deadlines for when decisions and tangible progress must be made. Delaying the decision-making side of construction operations is a surefire way to cause disruption, ultimately resulting in rising costs.
To ensure the data is available to make decisions, project data needs to be liberated from disparate systems and shared with all stakeholders on a supplier collaboration platform. With visibility across the project spectrum, stakeholders know what is happening across the project. Data related to bids, quotes, schedules, purchasing, logistics, and more can be shared with project stakeholders, keeping them on the same page and giving them information needed to make important project decisions. Empowering everyone from suppliers to haulers to contractors to improve decision-making can help bring projects in on time (and under budget).
ESTABLISH STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
When we collaborate with our suppliers, producers, haulers, and contractors, we are able to improve product schedules, productivity, and costs. The more we collaborate and communicate with each other the more value we get out of our business and relationships. We’re also more accountable to each other and benefit from each other’s operational efficiencies.
A strong relationship is crucial in the event that there is a material shortage. Having a solid foundation of trust and understanding with suppliers from the beginning of a construction project can offer insight into a potential problem before it arises. Materials can’t magically appear if they aren’t there, but what is available is the necessary knowledge to prevent a shortage from becoming a massive issue that completely shuts down a jobsite.
You can’t have too much communication on a construction jobsite or with team members. To be successful, it’s vital to be transparent and have project visibility with all involved parties. Using supply chain management software at your job/plant will help support those characteristics, and ultimately result in an increase in communication, as well as adjustments to costs in real-time.
About the author:
Kyle Wilberts is a business consultant with more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry; 11 years in the contractor space; and 4 years in the supplier/producer space. Wilberts currently works with BuildIt, Command Alkon’s electronic ticket management system for the heavy work jobsite. BuildIt enables better collaboration with trading partners and equips users to order, receive, and account for materials being delivered to the jobsite.
Modern Contractor Solutions, January 2020
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