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Tracking and Managing Project Materials

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] There are many things that can hurt productivity. Don’t let materials be one of them.

 

[00:00:15] Hey their Elite contractors glad to have you here in another episode of the contracting coachcast, your place to find ideas tips and knowledge to help you take your contracting career or business to the next level. I’m Tony Booth, your host and founder of contractingcoach.com, where you can find this coachcast along with other great tools and resources to help you build a prosperous contracting business or career. Thanks everybody for tuning in on this Wednesday November 15th. We’re only halfway through the month of November. We are going to start getting into the remainder of the year and

 

[00:00:58] I want to spend some time with everybody kind of getting ready for 2018.

 

[00:01:07] Those of you that been with me all this year you know the end of 2016 I talked about making 2017 a great year one of the best years ever and I always want to look at all that stuff and how do we make every new year the best year ever. And so we want to talk about that we’re going to go through several different things on that.

 

[00:01:31] I want to talk about something I haven’t done in a while, is talk about my whole goal pyramid process. I want to go through that. I want to talk about a little bit of strategic planning for 2018 and really helping everybody kind of start moving in the right directions and really getting that stuff going. So whether it’s stuff in the business and also personal. We got to get out and start getting prepared so that when 2018 hits.

 

[00:02:06] We can start taking the action to to keep on getting better. So that’s coming up. I am working on the stuff I mentioned about the Academy and got some new courses coming in there and I’ve got a few people that signed up on the coaching calls to them to look at that. So if you’re interested again just go to the contractingcoach.com site. Click on the coaching info button. I do have a couple of slots open I’m going to fill up and I’m going to be doing some some great stuff beginning of The Year end of the end of this year beginning of next year. So some of that coaching will shift at that time so get in now and I’ve got a couple of slots where we can get on so just go there fill out a card. Nothing else it’s worth it to spend an hour just you and I talk about things that you’re looking at and how we can help your business. All right.

 

[00:02:59] So today our project management day want to talk about tracking and managing project materials because on a project we have many things that can come in and impact our productivity. You know there’s so many things on the project level whether it’s interference with other people whether it’s the weather the you know even our own you know our own staff our own team can come in and you know somebody is having an off day can impact our productivity equipment breaking down you name it. Materials that have the right materials we’re running out of materials. These can all have a big impact on productivity.

 

[00:03:54] And many of them we really can’t control we can do our best to prepare you know.

 

[00:04:00] I mean we can watch the weather forecast and kind of prepare for that. We can try to keep everybody in a great mood and organize things but things are going to happen. But the one we can control the one that we can keep our fingers on is materials we can plan our materials properly we can know what we need when we need it how much we need and how fast we’re using it up. So it’s a shame to me.

 

[00:04:35] To see things happen where we don’t get the materials on the job site to do the work.

 

[00:04:44] And it slows us down. So as project teams we should never allow material you know material deliveries to impact our productivity.

 

[00:04:58] And that’s been a lot of time you know working on this especially in my younger days in my career because we were we were doing paving and that’s a fast pace activity.

 

[00:05:13] You know I mean we’re we’ve got to move quickly. And when that paper stops you’re not making money because the paver stops because it runs out of material. And so that was a big thing. And I remember looking at jobs when I first started in in this and I’m seeing my paver sitting there waiting for a load of asphalt and I’m like, this is crazy. Like I got especially doing public work where you’re paying operators and your equipment you know your equipment operators your team all your labors you know you’re paying this high dollar wages and I’m looking at a paving operation that costs me thousands of dollars per hour to operate and it’s sitting idle because of $50 an hour dump truck that we didn’t read enough of. So you have to really pay attention to that you know. So that’s why if you’re not real familiar with with highway paving which I know many of us are but if you ever go down an interstate and you see you know a paving operation going you’ll see 10 15 trucks lined up with asphalt waiting to get to the to the paver because there’s no way we’re going to slow down that operate you know putting that material in place over a dump truck that was bringing it to the site. And the same thing goes for any trade any work you’re doing. I mean think of a group of electricians putting conduit and you run out of three quarter inch conduit on the job site what happens. We just stopped our productivity because we didn’t manage our materials properly.

 

[00:07:03] And it’s a shame because that’s one thing we can control. We can plan and manage for that. We can track and verify that we have what we need when we need it. It’s up to the project teams to pay attention to this. Many times we don’t because we get into the habit of thinking well you know I’m keeping an eye on it if I see a starting to run out of three quarter inch conduit I’ll just call the supply house and have it sent out. They’ll get it to me in a day or two. Well, that may not be good enough sometimes. And what if it’s a material that has a long lead item would have it’s a material that you forgot to get some in and get approval for yet. That’s why it’s so important to track our materials from the beginning. So what we want to do to really manage this is create a material log when we are doing our project planning when we are going from our estimate to our construction plan. We’re doing our budgets we’re doing all that stuff. Create another log of all the materials that you need to purchase so that you can track that information and know where it is. What I always did was had a log of materials I could compare it to my schedule so that I could assign dates of when I needed that material on site.

 

[00:08:37] So if I’m going to start you know in-store my do it next week I want it delivered this week I want it on site so I know when I when it’s time I’m I’ve got the material there for the for the men and women to install it. So your material log is going to have you know the material you’re looking for and you want to have an anticipated delivery date. You also want to look now at ad approvals because if I have a material you know if I have a material that’s coming in that I need deliver by January 15th and I know that the manufacturer told me that it’s going to take three weeks from the date I placed the order until they can have it on site and I know that it’s going to take me three weeks to get it submitted and approved without any problem.

 

[00:09:37] And I want to be a little bit cautious with that. So I know now January 15th is only eight weeks away from today so I better get that Schmidle in immediately so that I have time to get it approved and ready to go. And the order placed so that I can get it delivered by January 15th. Now if you don’t put all that out into a tracking log how do you know for sure. How do you know what materials to focus on to get the submittals in.

 

[00:10:12] And if any of you have ever dealt with long lead items like we did a lot of custom-made air conditioning systems with the with the big chiller units those things could be 16 18 weeks in manufacturing. Not to mention it would take the manufacturer several weeks to put together a whole shop a wholesome middle package. So we knew you know if we didn’t start immediately with that work there’s a good possibility that my conditioned air in the building could get delayed.

 

[00:10:50] So we want to make sure that we put this all in a log so that we can we can know what we need now. Granite an idea of something like three quarter inch conduit. Chances are your supply houses got plenty of that in stock. And if not. Home Depot has some if you had to get it in a pinch.

 

[00:11:10] So I don’t say that you need to track the incidental materials like that as far as in this log this log is for stuff that we’re ordering now. I would the conduit and things like that would be on my list but I’m not going to list out one inch half inch three-quarter inch. All the different sizes. But I do want to make sure that all my conduit is approved and I get it on site before I need it. The main thing that we want to capture in all these logs is those big-ticket items those things you know the approvals side of everything. And then getting it on site for that first delivery we used this tracking log this whole material log to help coordinate with our suppliers as well because when we know I need material on January 15 I can let my supplier know. Now this is when it’s come in. They can tell me you have me you know get my approved order released. And if they think it’s going to take three weeks they might today get it by December 15th. And I know I can have you stop by January 15th. So we use this for the whole coordination process as well. And that’s the first step in making sure we manage our airmanship materials and track them properly onto the job site. And then the next step is once that stuff gets there we need to make sure we’re logging all the deliveries.

 

[00:12:53] I don’t know if it’s happened to you but it’s happened to me many times where supplier house comes in and they drop off the materials they put it back you know somebody sees him come in they go Oh put it back there in the corner of the site they go back they unload everything. We don’t think anything of it. We don’t check what’s out there. Everybody goes on about their business and then Thursday we send Joe out to get something that is supposed to have been delivered.

 

[00:13:21] And it’s not there.

 

[00:13:24] Now if that’s something that impacts productivity we’re were rushing around calling the supply house saying you didn’t deliver this.

 

[00:13:33] So we want to make sure when we get those deliveries that we’re tracking it that we’re going there and going through the stuff that was delivered to make sure we got what was promised to us. We don’t want to be scrambling last minute to get a supply house to bring something out that wasn’t on the truck the first time. And it all helps with our accounting because all of this stuff is managed by humans still. So it’s easy for the guy to forget to put one pallet on the truck that was in the warehouse. It’s easy for him to deliver and not pay any attention that he forgot that pallet. And then for that pallet to be restocked. And nobody ever know that we didn’t get it on the job site but it was on the ticket so the invoice comes charge is for that pallet. So make sure we’re paying attention to all our deliveries going through that. It may seem like a pain at the time to set someone free to go verify all that but it pays unspayed in knowing that we have everything we’re supposed to. So once we know we got it delivered to the site we need to make sure we’re paying attention to what we’re using.

 

[00:14:55] If you’re getting drywall delivered you better be paying attention to how much drywall you’re using every day to make sure you’re getting your orders in in time to get it before you run out. This applies to just about anything like the conduit the brick whatever you’re using whatever materials pay attention to your usage how you track that is you know depends on your job and the type of materials and all that. Some of it may just be that at the end of the day somebody reviews your your your laydown yard to make sure you still have three quarter inch in one inch conduit and plenty of it some more important materials like doors hardware things like that you may track every individual item.

 

[00:15:44] But we want to make sure that we’re paying attention to that usage. So that we can keep our stock filled on the job site. Which brings me to my final point.

 

[00:15:58] When it comes to managing and properly all this stuff we need to make sure that we’re getting that stuff replenished in advance make sure that we’re if we’re looking at it every day and we see we’re running low. Don’t wait till the last minute to call make sure that the people tracking that stuff know to let the project team know that we need to reorder. Three quarter inch conduit or we need to reorder our our prime pain whatever those materials are. Make sure we’re paying attention to them and make sure we know what that delivery schedule is. Maybe your supplier is not far away and he takes care of you and he knows he’s going to you place an order today. He’s going to deliver tomorrow but maybe your supplier is not that close. Maybe they did the best they can do is get it to you within five days. So we need to be paying attention to our usage so that we are getting that material replenished and delivered and stocked up on site well in advance of running our Because all of this is very important because it is one of the things that we can control about productivity.

 

[00:17:22] And let me tell you from being on all different sides of this from being the crew that’s doing the work to the manager to the owner of the business there is nothing worse than having a bang up week where we’re just knocking stuff out just getting stuff done. Only to run out of materials on Friday and end up back to our average. I’ve had it happen so many times with pipe and stuff like that where we get off to a great week and then we run short. So we don’t end up making the extra productivity. So don’t let that happen on your jobs. Don’t let materials something that we can manage that we can track and take care of. Impact your productivity and profitability. That’s it for today folks. Thanks so much for tuning in everybody have an amazing day.

 

[00:18:19] Stop Waiting. Start Building.