Materials Handling, Part 2

March 20, 2003

Thinking about materials handling before the job begins can save you big money over the life of the project.

On a large construction project, be sure to plan out what materials you will need for each phase of the job and where these materials will go on the job site. Have the supply house deliver only the materials needed for immediate tasks. Stockpiling materials on the job site that will not be needed for weeks only increases your risk of loss due theft, damage or man hours needed to move the materials if they get in the way.

Early in the job planning process, establish in writing with the general contractor a favorable area for your materials. Include in your contract documents what charges will be added if this area is not available as specified or if materials have to be moved more than X feet or a certain number of times.

Invest in wheeled carts for tools and materials. The carts can easily be moved to the area where work is being done to cut down on the walk time associated with fetching an item a worker needs. A wheeled tool cart is also much easier to move than a loose pile of tools if it is in a spot where work needs to be done. Build the costs of these carts into the overhead costs you charge for tools.

Just a little pre-project planning can save you large amounts of time and effort once the project begins.

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