At some point in the life of your construction company, you’ll need to transport goods from location A to location B. But unlike regular firms, you can’t just put aggregate in the post and hope for the best. You need professional services that deal with those kinds of heavy-duty inputs.
As a manager or executive in a construction firm, however, logistics isn’t necessarily your expertise. Yes – you know a little about it. But you wouldn’t want to sit an exam in it tomorrow.
In this post, we take a look at how you can get your logistics off to a flying start, step-by-step.
Develop A Plan
The first step is to develop your logistics plan – hopefully before you start your project. In it, you need to detail things like:
- The key players you’ll use
- Any special contractors you need
- Your weight requirements
- Whether you’ll use shipping scales
- How far you need to transport goods
- The number of suppliers in your network
- Your budget for transporting items
- The time constraints you face
Integrate The Logistics With Other Professionals
The next step is to link design professionals with logistics companies to ensure that they can work together, especially if your project requires large and unusually-shaped items.
Create A Communication Plan
Once you do that, the next step is to create a communication plan with your logistics provider. Usually, third-party companies will provide you with a high level of service directly. However, they may not give you the kind of day-to-day support that you require automatically.
Having a communication plan spells out what each party can expect of the other. For instance, you may want to be able to communicate with your logistics provider 24/7. Or you may want an account manager who knows your requirements inside out.
Decide If You’ll Use Your Own Logistics Center
Many firms use 3PL companies for both transport and storage. But you might take a different approach and decide to run your own logistics center.
If you do this, you’ll have more control over package tracking, sorting, shipments, consignments and storage. However, you’ll also have more administrative overheads and higher costs.
Decide If You’ll Partner With Third-Party Logistics Team (3PL)
The alternative is to partner with a company that does all the legwork for you according to your instructions. Most new firms find that this is the easiest route for them.
3PL companies offer a host of benefits for construction firms. For instance, they can lower your logistics costs by combining your shipments with those of other clients. Always filling containers increases efficiency and makes the whole process considerably more affordable.
3PL companies are also great at informed decision-making. So, for example, they’ll be able to chart out costs for you well in advance, ensuring that your logistics spending comes in under budget.
3PL companies also takes compliance issues off your hands. Most companies have software that automates all of the documentation you need (especially at border crossings) allowing you to get your consignments to your work site faster. This helps you avoid fines.