Have you ever been on a crew that ran out of material or didn't have enough supplies or proper tools? I know I've been there more than once. I remember thinking "how could this happen? Didn't the foreman know what we needed and how much?"
What do you think these mistakes cost your company? The most obvious one is if a crew runs out of material, production stops. One of the most common mistakes that seem to slip through the crack is from the tool ordering.
As an industry, we need to get away from the mentality of not wanting to spend money on tools. Think about the real cost of saving money on tools; If you have a crew of eight and only two Skilsaws, you save $180 on a saw, but it will cost far more than that in lost production with guys waiting to make their cuts. The focus when selecting tools and quantities needs to be on productivity. That old adage "don't step over a dollar to pick up a dime" is as true when supplying your crew as anywhere.
Here are some things you should be thinking about when ordering tools:
- How will your crew be spilt up? Do every two carpenters need a set of power tools? Or every three or four?
- Are you getting the right tools? What system are you using? Are there tools that will speed up the guys with this particular system?
- And of coarse, make sure you have the proper tools in time. Hold yourself accountable for supplying your crews with no lost production due to waiting on supplies.
Basically all of the same principles apply to ordering materials as with tools. It's all about timing. I can't stress enough how important it is to have no lag in production from not having enough material. You need to thoroughly plan your work. If you have material for this weeks work, will you have enough for next week, or the next? Same thing with material as tools. Most of the time it's worth spending a little more money to make sure you're not waiting to strip a wall you poured that day to start the next sequence.
Thoroughly plan your work, sequence, schedule, and crew size when ordering materials. Think about these things when ordering:
- When does each phase of the work begin? How long will it take your suppliers to get the materials on site? Some forming systems have long lead times. Make sure they have their time to deliver your forms.
- How does your job sequence? Do you need forms for two areas at the same time?
- Do you have enough staging area for all of your materials? If your site is small or congested, you might need to plan deliveries accordingly.
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