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Keep on Schedule! Tips for Avoiding Construction Delays

In construction, timing is everything. Of all the things that can go wrong and delay a project, few are more damaging to progress than late deliveries. Delays are especially frustrating in rapidly growing or highly populated areas, where contractors are under immense pressure to meet tight 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 else deadlines get missed, and profits get tanked. Luckily, there are a few widely-recognized ways to avoid holdups.

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until the last minute to place orders. Instead, take the time upfront to ensure that material requirements are identified and mapped out before a project even begins. It’s crucial to get material to the site on the right day and at the right time of day. With global supply chain issues caused by international crises, labor shortages, and the lingering consequences of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to ensure the job site gets the right materials exactly when required.


These days, it’s harder than ever 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.

Ordering ahead can also save money. When customers order early, 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.

Good Phasing is Good Planning

Phasing can be another way to save time and money for projects that have limited space, a common constraint on urban construction sites. When you work with a building materials supplier like Metro, our sales team proactively suggest 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.

Working closely with your distributor on pre-project planning makes it possible to phase orders in these ways, track your inventory accurately, and supply the right materials at the right time.

Keep Inventory Organized

Most people in the construction industry have worked at job sites where equipment and materials are scattered, disorganized, and left exposed to the elements. When workers lose track of inventory on-site, it is also easy to over order or under order. Poor on-site organization wastes money, compromises safety, and can affect timelines.

Experienced building materials distributors work with customers to optimize on-site inventory management and support systems to keep building supplies organized. For instance, insulation can be delivered where needed and only when the job is far enough along to require them. Ceiling tiles can be wrapped to protect against the elements. Packets can be sized to work with the constraints of a tight workspace.

A dependable and experienced building supplies distributor can split deliveries into manageable increments that are small enough to optimize inventory organization yet big enough to minimize delivery disruptions.

Reliable Communication Avoids Delays

Clear communication is required to stick to a timeline. If a construction supervisor doesn’t keep their team informed, mistakes happen. 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 supplies distributors, clients, and inspectors. And since so much time and energy goes into planning out the details of construction schedules, share them with anyone involved in the project. Think of it this way: all that planning is pointless if nobody knows what the plan is. Meeting deadlines is virtually impossible unless subcontractors, workers, suppliers, and clients are all in the loop.

Don’t Hesitate to Repeat Yourself

If something is important enough to say once, it’s important enough to say twice. Most people don’t retain information after hearing it the first time. Sharing information with your team about schedules, delays, delivery requirements, and other relevant particulars should be done as often as possible.


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. Make sure also to keep your distributor in the loop since a reliable building supply distributor can use this information to help avoid mistakes, missed deadlines, and late deliveries.

Get a Trustworthy Building Materials Distributor

Even if you practice all of the tips above, a bad distributor can sabotage your hard work. At Metro, we strive to support contractors, developers, and facilities managers by getting them the supplies they need when they need them. For nearly 40 years, we’ve built a reputation for timeliness, partnership, and reliability. 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.