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Ongoing Turmoil In The Construction Industry And How To Best Deal With It

Construction Materials

The Construction industry is dealing with an incredible amount of pressure on its supply lines and systems. During one of our projects, our door delivery time forced our tentative schedule 18 weeks out from our original starting date, and then our window delivery window pushed it another 4 weeks.  

It has now become a common practice for our suppliers to raise prices nearly every two weeks, as well as situational surcharges to account for things such as fuel costs.

Unprecedented slow turn around times, coupled with increasing overall costs, material suppliers are at their wits end, and it is only getting worse. 

Pandemic weakened supply chains, labor shortages, inflation, and even international political turmoil has become the perfect storm for unparalleled complications against the construction community.

Which leaves the question, how can business and homeowners invest in their infrastructure whilst still being adaptable to all these continuous changes?

Secure Pricing – 

One of the biggest steps we have taken is to consolidate our subcontracts as quickly as possible. It is essential that we work along side with our key subcontractors and suppliers to secure materials as soon as possible and lock down prices, prior to construction, in effort to minimize the effects, as well as the frequency of mid or late material purchases.

This helps us avoid large and sometimes drastic increases to original proposals, as well as limits later purchases primarily to change orders, or additional work orders that are outside the original contract. 

Early planning – 

With the delivery times being moved back every week, the faster you plan your project and get a team in charge of the scheduling involved, the easier it will be to acquire and keep deadlines that will not push back the delivery of the project.

The Critical Path – 

In Project Management the critical path refers to the slowest parts of a project that must happen in order for everything else to keep going, scheduling projects with this in mind helps us avoid unproductive periods of time where the construction is inefficient and not moving along simply because some trade somewhere is stuck waiting for some material or equipment to be delivered. 

Working together with our trade subcontractors and scheduling around slow delivery turnaround times we are able to promote continuous flow of activities and remove gaps between work performed by different trades. 

Integrity and open communication – 

The best way to deal with any problem caused by all of this changes is to be honest and open about the real time and financial costs of an ongoing project, this way clients and vendors can have a realistic picture of what their project is going to take, and make decisions accordingly. 

This times resemble a crazy storm pushing everything around and shaking the core of how we operate, but at the end of the day we are all in the same boat going trough these chaotic waters together, and the only way we are getting by is navigating in collaboration with everyone else in a way that helps all come out on the other side with higher resilience, better adaptability and stronger relationships.