Careful logistics planning and execution of the plan can make the entire construction project run smoothly, as the substantial experience of VERTEX consultants has proven over and over again.
Furthermore, logistics planning helps manage transport, procurement, materials, workers, and all other resources necessary for successfully implementing and executing a construction project.
Since all construction projects require meticulous organization of various elements, keeping everything carefully coordinated can prevent failure to meet project deadlines and is essential for the successful completion of any project.
In the Construction Management profession, logistics planning is the process of getting all the components ready and in the correct position at the right time. This includes workforce, equipment, and materials.
What is construction site logistics planning?
Construction site logistics ensures that equipment, materials, and workforce are carefully coordinated and that each element is in the right place at the right time.
This is the necessary condition that enables construction activity to begin and run smoothly. All the elements must arrive at the project site on time, be undamaged, and be placed into predetermined positions.
This can go according to plan only if the workers are there and available to perform the intended tasks.
If any of the components are missing, workers can’t perform the planned tasks, but they still need to be paid an hourly wage, leading to wasted resources.
This can also happen if the raw material arrives damaged or late, or if there’s nowhere to store the supplies because the storage center is not ready.
All these things can delay the whole project, raise its costs and cause companies to lose money.
It’s also important to consider the local environment, climate, and the time of the year during which the construction is to be performed – this will influence the type of equipment and materials being used and the construction timeline.
What are the elements of a logistics plan?
It is the job of construction managers to design an appropriate logistics plan. Of course, a variety of elements could be included in such a plan, depending on the type of project and its complexity.
Still, some of the essential ones that should be included in every construction project logistics plan are:
- Schedule. All tasks, deliveries, personnel, and other resources need to be efficiently scheduled and on time.
- Risk management. All construction companies should make safety their primary concern and carefully implement necessary measures throughout the planning process.
- Benchmark tracking is used to track progress and performance at the end of each project stage. This helps improve any future projects and mitigate or prevent bottlenecks.
- Traffic flow. This part of construction site organization is pretty straightforward. It deals with the movement of workforce and equipment, just like regular traffic. Its point is to keep track of entrances and exits, pathways for tall machines and vehicles, parking areas, and make sure essential walking paths and roads are cleared and in good condition.
- Storage. Depending on the size of the construction site, there may not be enough room for storing materials and supplies, so another solution or additional space needs to be found. Alternatively, the delivery schedule can be detailed enough to allow for supply access and personnel availability just as required.
- Security on a construction site usually includes armed personnel, cameras, staging equipment to block gate access, and other methods of preventing theft of raw materials, equipment, and other resources stored on the construction site.
- Personnel areas. The workforce must also be taken into consideration. For example, crew members need rest areas for breaks, places to take cover from rain or snow, or to hold meetings. There should also be designated space for offices and portable restrooms.
Leave room for change
Every logistics manager knows that things don’t always go as planned, no matter how hard you try to take into consideration every little detail and incorporate it into the logistics plan.
This is why it’s important to save some room for flexibility in case some elements need to be adjusted along the way or if new information arises.
If there’s a better way to do something, a good manager will recognize it and be prepared to incorporate changes into the existing plan.
Since keeping track of all the moving elements is a complex task, it also requires team effort and clear communication.