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Avoid Construction Delays with These Scheduling Tips

Timing is crucial in construction, and missed deadlines can significantly impact profitability. Delays create a domino effect, setting off a series of issues throughout the project.  When deadlines are missed, it postpones the completion date and can also increase costs and reduce productivity, even resulting in penalties or fines.

Delays are especially frustrating in rapidly growing or highly populated areas, where contractors are under immense pressure from clients and the city to work within time constraints. As a result, many contractors are stretched thin in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York City, and Long Island. Materials must be delivered on time, or profits drop. Luckily, there are a few practical ways to avoid holdups.

Plan Far in Advance

Global supply chain issues persist, so don’t assume you’ll be able to find all items in stock at all times. To ensure your job site gets the right materials exactly when required, don’t wait until the last minute to place orders. Instead, take the time upfront to ensure that material requirements are procured and scheduled for delivery before a project even begins.

These days, it’s risky to make up for planning mistakes with “game-day decisions.” For example, if a crew is behind schedule, it may not be possible to delay a drywall delivery by a day or two. The supplier may have trouble getting trucks or drivers to make last-minute changes. Flatbeds may already be loaded to capacity, slated for other locations, or unable to add even small orders.


Early orders can also save money. When customers order well in advance of the delivery date, Metro is able to share upcoming price increases or use value engineering strategies. As a result, price savings from early orders can often amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, especially on larger jobs.

Keep the Job Site Neat and Organized

Poor on-site organization wastes money, compromises safety, and can affect timelines.

When workers lose track of inventory on-site, it is easy to order too much or not enough.

While most people in the construction industry have worked at job sites where equipment and materials are scattered, disorganized, and left exposed to the elements, an efficient work site looks very different. On a well-organized job site, contractors work with experienced building materials distributors to optimize on-site inventory management and support systems to keep all building materials and supplies organized. For instance, Metro can recommend materials that arrive in smaller, easy-to-stack boxes. Or we can ensure that insulation is delivered only where needed and only when the job is far enough along to require it. Ceiling tiles can be wrapped to protect against the elements.

When contractors use a dependable and experienced building supplies distributor like Metro, they can split deliveries into manageable increments that are small enough to optimize inventory organization yet big enough to minimize delivery disruptions.

Embrace Phasing

Working closely with your distributor on pre-project planning makes it possible to phase or bundle orders and deliveries. Phasing allows your team to track inventory accurately and supply the right materials at the right time.

With phasing, building materials arrive in smaller, multiple deliveries instead of all at once, it’s also a way to save time and money for projects with limited space, a common constraint on urban construction sites. When you work with a building materials supplier like Metro, our sales team proactively suggests ways to bundle deliveries. For example, phasing can ensure the lumber or steel necessary for each building stage is delivered at the right time. In another example, we often kit acoustical ceiling supplies by floor or area of the build.

Keep Everyone in the Loop

You can’t keep people on schedule if you don’t update the teams regularly. Clear communication is required to stick to a timeline. But communication needs are not limited to the job site. It is just as important to communicate well with people outside the team, such as building materials distributors, clients, and inspectors.

Think of it this way: all that planning is pointless if nobody knows the plan. Meeting deadlines is virtually impossible unless subcontractors, workers, suppliers, and clients are all in the loop.

Issue Updates and Reminders

If something is important enough to say once, it’s important enough to say twice. Most people don’t retain information after hearing or seeing it for the first time. So, it’s smart to repeatedly share verbal and written information with your team about schedules, delays, delivery requirements, and other relevant particulars. Emails, texts, phone messages, and scheduling meetings are all effective ways to keep every team member on the same page.

At Metro, we use customer’s scheduling information to help avoid mistakes, missed deadlines, and late deliveries. So, don’t be afraid to repeat timelines and goals in every status meeting, every call with vendors, every update to the client, every discussion with workers, and any other time you have the chance.

Get a Trustworthy Building Materials Distributor

Even if you practice all the tips above, your project can quickly get delayed if your building materials distributor is not committed to meeting deadlines. At Metro, we strive to support contractors, developers, and facilities managers by bringing them the supplies they need when they need them. We’ve built a reputation for timeliness, partnership, and reliability for nearly forty years. We have helped to plan and supply countless projects successfully. Contact us today to learn more about how our sales team can help your business keep on schedule.

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