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Top 5 Takeaways from COVID-19 for Construction Companies

Each construction project requires significant hours of labor and depends on quality materials to get the job done right. In 2020, construction companies learned how a global pandemic can affect labor, materials, and other aspects of completing a project safely, swiftly, and effectively. Between finding concrete forms for sale and skilled labor for the job, COVID-19 illuminated aspects of the construction industry that needed reworking in the modern age. In order to complete a project on time while meeting all safety standards and customer needs, construction companies had to learn a few hard lessons in 2020 about how to pivot the workflow to more effective methods. Here are the top 5 takeaways from COVID-19 for construction companies:

1. Create and Distribute Purchase List

The key to a construction project done right is to be as proactive as possible. That starts with creating a purchase list of all materials that are anticipated for the project and distributing it to key members of the team. Once the project is detailed and designed, compile a detailed list of all the materials necessary for the project. From concrete forms to concrete formwork ties, hardware, and accessories, a purchase list should be as detailed as possible so the job can move forward with as few questions and concerns as possible. Break down the list into sortable content based on department heads and areas to determine where specific materials will be needed and by what date.

2. Order Materials Needed as Soon as Possible

Once the design for a construction project is finalized, the necessary materials should be ordered as soon as possible. Larger projects should plan ahead months or even years ahead to anticipate any potential disruptions or issues with the supply chain. Purchasing construction materials that need to be ordered ahead of time can help cut down on last-minute price hikes and help to reduce expensive surcharges from suppliers and subcontractors. Utilize the highly detailed purchase list to sort the materials needed for each department and order in batches so they arrive at the same time and are delivered to the appropriate job sites which is why construction documentation is important.

3. Establish Oversight Process for Requisite Materials

Appoint a logistics manager to oversee the entire process, from developing the requisite list of materials to the ordering and through delivery. A logistics manager will provide oversight for what materials are soon to arrive, their final destination, and who will be available to receive those items. Providing proactive management over the purchase and ordering of project materials will help establish an effective timeline that can then coincide with project management and for effective communication and status updates for subcontractors at various job sites. All logistics and records on needed materials, purchase dates, delivery dates, and more should be housed online with access to appropriate parties so this kind of logistic work is transparent and easily accessible.

4. Inventory All Ordered Materials as They Arrive

Upon delivery of materials, the master list of purchased items should then be updated by the logistics manager to determine when the materials arrived, at what location, and where they were stored. Develop a thorough inventory process for all materials to confirm the accuracy of the order and delivery. Once all products have been reviewed for accuracy, the correct quantities, and assessed for any damage, the materials should be stored appropriately until they require transport to the job site for use. All materials should be inventoried and labeled, preferably with an easily identifiable tag or QR code so the warehouse team and construction site are all in agreement of what materials are being delivered and where they need to go next.

5. Schedule Deliveries to Appropriate Job Sites

Establish a schedule for deliveries to appropriate job sites that are coordinated and organized to eliminate any confusion or backlogs. All deliveries of requisite materials should occur at appropriate hours according to the job site schedule and logistics. Because the materials are tagged for their specific need and area ahead of time, these materials should be sorted and shipped together. This will help cut down on repeated trips to the same job site with various deliveries, which in turn helps to reduce road congestion and vehicular emissions. Proactive development of a purchasing list and subsequent deliveries will help to reduce job site backups and allow construction crews to work more efficiently.

The global pandemic of 2020 taught the construction industry valuable lessons in how to effectively complete the task at hand when logistics, labor, and supply chains were thrown into chaos. Utilize these proactive strategies to support time management and proper budgeting on each construction project in the future.

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