The commercial construction supply chain is becoming more and more global every day. Keeping your project on track and in line with your pro forma despite global pandemics, natural disasters and international transportation bottlenecks can seem like an insurmountable task. It can be done with the right planning and flexibility. Getting organized early will help you make the best decisions during due diligence and pre-construction to keep your project moving forward.
Before material gets ordered, permits get pulled or workers are on site there can be months of due diligence and pre-construction. Major decisions are made that will eventually translate to cost and time before the project is complete. Should you use wood or metal? Pre-cast or site cast? Open web steel joist or steel I-beam? If you are flexible and organized, you can quickly react to changing supply lead times and avoid costly delays when you are ready to start purchasing material.
We recently had a ground up project in pre-construction that was being designed with open web steel joist to support the roof structure. We started to hear rumors on other projects that the lead time on this material was climbing to almost a year from date of purchase to date of delivery due to various factors. Knowing that the cost of lost income due to a delayed opening date would far exceed the cost to change to steel I-beam we quickly pivoted and adjusted the design. This saved the client months of costly delays before we even started construction and helped us avoid change orders once construction had started. There are many alternate materials and methods available and each should be selected with a view to the cost as well as lead time to keep a project moving.
— Geoffrey Furey, Project Manager