People usually don’t enjoy missing deadlines or having incorrect product sent to a job site. However, LaForce needs to have specific legal documentation signed and/or approved prior to moving a process forward. To prevent issues and delays from occurring, below are a few tips to help keep projects moving forward.
1.) Answer the questions on submittals and approvals in a timely manner: In construction management, submittals include shop drawings, material data, samples, and product data. Submittals are required primarily for the architect and engineer to verify that the correct products and quantities will be installed on the project. LaForce sends job submittals with a “sent date” and a “requested return date” to help general contractors (GC) stay organized. If the GC is able to return the submittal(s) close to the date requested on the submittal letter, then we are able to release the items to be produced and have the product delivered to meet the job completion dates.
2.) Answer all the questions on the submittals and approvals to prevent Requests for Information (RFIs) and save time: LaForce is obligated to obtain specific documentation prior to releasing materials for an order. All the questions on the shop drawing submittal letters need to be answered and all the approvals need to be signed by the GC prior to LaForce ordering/producing material. If questions in the submittal are not fully answered, LaForce will need to send an RFI to get those answers. These extra steps slow down the process, therefore extending the lead-time for the product. Answering all the questions on the submittal will help ensure that potential problems are resolved on the front end, instead of fixing the issues after the material was produced and shipped. Also, it will cut down on the email correspondence required between the project manager (PM) and general contractor (GC), therefore saving time and leading to quicker lead times.
3.) Manufacturers determine lead times; LaForce does not set the lead times: LaForce is a distributor that purchases from manufacturers, and manufacturers set their lead times based on the market demand. LaForce has a few select items in stock and manufacturers a number of products, but LaForce does not stock every piece of hardware, frame or door we sell. Therefore, if a lead time is eight weeks it may take the manufacturer seven weeks before they are even able to start your order because they may have to accrue raw material or process other orders first. Once your order is processed, it is made and then the order is shipped, causing the lead time to be a total of eight weeks. Being realistic about lead times, allows a GC to plan a material needs list and a construction schedule.
4.) Some of the hardware pieces are packaged together at the manufacturer’s warehouse as well as at LaForce’s warehouse to allow for fewer shipments: If there are missing pieces of hardware, before calling LaForce, open every box and check each piece of hardware against the packing slip to verify the hardware is indeed not packaged in any of the boxes.
5.) Pictures really do say a thousand words: Even if precautions are taken by each party involved, there can still be mistakes, incorrect shipments or damaged material. When this happens, the issue can be fixed more quickly if the issue can be shown via pictures. Pictures are helpful in understanding the entire situation, especially if labels are included within the picture. The pictures can help determine the appropriate actions needed to rectify the problem.
These are just a few ways that general contractors and architects can help keep a project’s time line on track, meeting the completion dates. These helpful hints can prevent stress for the contractor, the construction manager and LaForce.