5 tips for efficient construction material delivery

construction site

Reliable, on-time construction material delivery is key to profitability on any construction project. Delays in sourcing supplies, over-ordering, and issues with onsite material storage lead to costly setbacks and, as the old adage goes, time is money.

5 Simple Ways to Improve Profitability in the Construction Industry

Profit margins are tight, but with a little time and effort, you can cut the costs that come with traditional on-demand ordering practices and supply chain management techniques.

Here are five tips you can use to reduce downtime, boost efficiency and improve profitability through better material management on your worksite:

1) Minimize daily ordering

Contractors often opt to order materials daily so they don’t have to worry about onsite storage, although that on-demand method has its drawbacks. Sure, picking up your coffee order daily makes perfectly good sense, but when it comes to construction materials, the logic just isn’t quite as solid.

Stop paying for downtime

Not only does daily ordering leave you vulnerable to supply chain issues, but it can also cause serious workflow troubles if your must-have supplies don’t arrive on time. After all, few things erode your profit margin faster than paying your subcontractors and workers to wait around for their supplies.

Develop a comprehensive material management strategy in conjunction with your suppliers to pre-plan deliveries in accordance with your project schedule. Not only will this minimize work stoppages due to material shortages, but it can give you access to volume discounts based on the total volume of your orders, rather than the smaller quantities you buy on a day-to-day ordering basis.

Are you ready to minimize downtime and increase order accuracy by 15%? Request a demo of Tread’s construction fleet management software today.

2) Request construction material kitting

Don’t settle for simply getting the materials you need, when you need them. Ask your distributor to bundle your materials into customized packages sorted for each part of your project. 

This process is commonly known as ‘kitting’, and it can go a long way towards minimizing excessive material handling at your construction sites.

Eliminate on-site sorting

Having your supplies packed by your supplier eliminates the need for on-site sorting, and that can quickly add up to some serious cost savings for your project. Kitting can go a long way towards increasing the overall efficiency of your construction business, because you’ll spend more time building and securing new contracts, and less time tracking down, sorting and moving materials.

3) Steer clear of bulk shipments

Suppliers love to push bulk shipments for one simple reason — it makes their lives easier.

While ordering supplies daily isn’t ideal neither is ordering more than you actually need. buying in bulk can be a great idea when you need to stock up on Super Bowl snacks, or when you’re doing some pandemic-fueled toilet paper hoarding, bulk buying is neither practical nor profitable on the job site.

Bulk isn’t always better

Any savings you might realize buy ordering bulk shipments are usually lost to the extra labor it takes to manage all that excess material. Suppliers are able to offer a deal on bulk shipments because they’re essentially passing on a significant portion of their costs to you. Consider the amount of fuel, labor and equipment it takes to deliver 10, 20 or even 100 loads of material, as compared to delivering that same volume of product in just a few runs.

When you add up all the costs involved with material delivery, it’s easy to see why suppliers often steer contractors to accept large shipments — and it’s also easy to see how the lower costs realized through bulk buys don’t really add up for you, the customer.

Rather than accept large-volume drops, work with your suppliers to optimize delivery schedules in a way that fits your particular needs. In the long run, paying a bit more for materials in exchange for a safer, more efficient worksite is worth it.

4) Improve onsite material management

Material loss is a major issue at every single worksite within the construction industry, and that’s especially true when you’re dealing with exceptional circumstances such as managing a construction site remotely.

Damage to your inventory can result from workers leaving your materials unprotected and site security issues. These damages and losses may seem insignificant on a day-to-day basis, but over time, they can seriously erode your profit margins.

Stop searching for your supplies

Not only can poor onsite material management result in excessive costs, but simply not knowing where materials are means your crew will spend more time playing hide-and-seek with your supplies, and less time actually doing the jobs they’ve been hired for. Worse yet, it’s all too common for project managers to simply reorder materials that they can’t track down, and that practice leads to some major cost overruns.

Focus on optimizing your on-site inventory management in order to reduce material loss and damages, increase productivity and boost your profit margins. Depending on the scope of your project, this could mean renting fencing to secure your materials, hiring a security guard to reduce after-hours theft rates, and designating specific workers to track your orders in real-time.

5) Maximize profits with Tread

Tread’s technology helps you level-up your construction business by making construction material delivery simple and stress-free. With Tread, there’s no endless spreadsheets to scroll through or tedious whiteboards to manage, and you can say goodbye to all those phone calls, emails and texts that come with tracking down your materials.

Work smarter, not harder, with Tread

With the Tread app, collaboration with multiple dispatchers and construction industry suppliers is easy. Tread lets you send, receive and track driver responses in real-time, so you and your workers will never be left wondering where your essential supplies are. You’ll know exactly when your orders will arrive so you can optimize your project scheduling, minimize downtime and achieve greater profit margins.

Isn’t it about time your ordering system works as hard as you do?

Our innovative, user-friendly logistics management platform is custom-designed to meet the rigorous demands of the construction industry. Contact Tread today for your free demo, and get ready to say goodbye to costly, time-consuming delivery hassles.