May 24, 2024

Tired of Playing Blindfolded Tennis?

Have you ever tried to play tennis blindfolded? Didn't think so, but that's the analogy a site manager on a busy and logistically tight project recently used when he described managing 30 material deliveries each day.

A recent survey of site teams indicated a heavy reliance on phone calls and text messages between dispatch, coordinators, and the drivers to “guestimate” the arrival time of materials onsite.

Site teams aren’t the only ones experiencing the pain - couriers and drivers also want to complete their jobs as quickly and smoothly as possible. This is made difficult when clear site gate locations are hard to convey down the supply chain and driver’s that could be assigned on the day don't have ready  prescribed site routes and a site contact.  Drivers therefore rely heavily on the Chinese whispers that are required to convey detailed instructions. 

Logistics Coordination of a Construction Site

Not having an accurate ETA or effective way to communicate to your supply chain is a blindfolded tennis match, you might get lucky and the delivery will be on time, most will miss the mark and every so often you’ll get hit with something you weren’t expecting, right where it hurts. 

What’s needed is transparency between the site team, subcontractors, suppliers and drivers. Knowing when and where your deliveries are and having this easily viewable in one screen. Armed with that information site managers can coordinate the workforce and schedule assets for maximum efficiency. 

The impact goes further than just reducing overtime and downtime. When drivers aren’t properly informed of site entry protocol or the correct route, they inevitably create compounding issues like taking routes not approved in the traffic plan. 

Trucks can heavily damage roads, generally due to taking roads that are not designed for their size and weight. Further, complaints from families and commuters are largely due to trucks driving in restricted residential zones. Ultimately the general contractor is impacted by this with fines and the loss of brand reputation even if the trucks were from a subcontractor.

Don’t worry, you can remove the blindfold:

Developed to complement our site scheduling and coordination tool, our Driver Tracking module allows you and your team to view a truck map showing the live location and actual ETAs of your incoming trucks. You can see your supply chain in real time giving you the ability to adjust the schedule and direct your workforce with accuracy. 

Some of the more common use cases: 

Workers know what is coming and exactly when it’ll arrive 

Some downtime is inevitable on construction sites with unexpected weather, issues on the road, plant and equipment breakdowns etc. You can't change the weather but with having an accurate ETA of your deliveries and supply chain you can proactively schedule and coordinate workforces. 

Subcontractors can also now view the live location of their incoming materials and delivery ETA, meaning they aren’t unnecessarily waiting for trucks that have been delayed or stuck in traffic. So if something is running late, work continues on the current task and no one is standing around waiting. 

Reduce congestion - trucks know when to come in 

Limited cranes, hoists and other assets to move materials, as well as limited loading areas, gates and materials laydown area means that trucks waiting around are common and clashes are inevitable.  Having the transparency to see your supply chain in real-time allows you to better coordinate and make decisions on when to let the the plumbers hand unload squeeze in front of the late concrete truck or move that critical KFC delivery ahead of the schedule.