Your jobs use massive amounts of Inventory, and all of it has to be sourced, delivered, and managed, so it’s available when the right person needs it. However, having excessive Inventory means absorbing unnecessary shrinkage costs and, to add insult to injury, paying more to move excess inventory off-site, either to another site or a landfill.

Take Time to Plan:

It starts with planning. Don’t assume how much product you’ll need based on broad strokes; dig into the details. The extra hour it takes could mean the difference between having excess materials sitting on site at completion or making an excessive number of trips to buy more during the build.

Staging Site Nightmares:

Take the time to properly manage your staging sites by running through the worst-case scenarios and preparing for them. Is your lumber sitting on or around dirt that could quickly turn to mud, degrading the bottom layers? If so, find a dry space where your lumber is safe from water damage.

If you don’t have access to an enclosed area, spend the money for proper fencing. External theft is a massive loss of inventory and is easy to avoid. For more extensive insurance, install a camera in a highly visible spot to deter would-be fence climbers. If you’re not able to hook it up to make it work, don’t worry: it just needs to look like it works.

constructions plans and construction site

Building Supply:

We all want to be confident in our businesses, but when confidence leads to idealism, over-inventory can be one of the side-effects.

Here’s a scenario: times are good, orders are piling up, and you could save 20% on materials by ordering a huge batch of pre-made trusses to service these and future orders, should the pattern continue. Instead, the orders dwindle, and the trusses sit. You’re now left either paying to store them inside, or watching the elements wear them down. That’s where idealism leaves a bitter taste.

You’ll pay a little more for the pull-driven system, only ordering the materials when orders come in, but that extra is well worth it if the orders stop and you’re prepared.

Document Your Inventory:

This will feel like a chore, and many will shrug it off in favour of just getting it done, but documenting your Inventory can ensure serious Waste reduction.

Whether it’s tools per truck or yards of sand on a site, make it company policy to write down where everything is. When a hammer is lent to another crew and 10 yards of sand are laid down, make a note of it. Here’s why:

  • Theft: things will get stolen, but this will tell you what and from where, so you can take precautions next time.
  • Borrowing: If one crew needs to borrow another crew’s equipment, they’ll be able to see if they can spare it, or if they’ll need it tomorrow. It will allow you to move tools, materials, and equipment back and forth between crews and sites without having to buy excess.
  • Placement: Knowing what is in whose truck will help in scheduling tasks proactively.