Use Pre-Job Planning to Get the Job Done Right

Contractors reviewing plans

How effective is your pre-job planning? Are you going into a new job with a clear picture of what you want to accomplish?

It can be tempting to rush your pre-job planning and get right into the work. After all, you do not get paid until you have boots on the ground. However, that is often a mistake.

According to Quintinus Henry, Director of Quality and Service at Graybar, “When you’re trying to meet a project deadline, what happens if you don’t do pre-job planning, is that your project could potentially fall behind schedule, or you haven’t properly aligned the work with skilled labor, so your guys are spending time on unskilled tasks like opening boxes and disposing of trash.”

With labor shortages negatively impacting job schedules, proper pre-job planning can help you use your time and labor efficiently. This allows you to meet deadlines, leading to faster time to completion and faster revenue generation so you can move onto the next job more quickly.

“According to statistics provided by MCA, Inc., a contractor spends 40 percent of their time on non-installation related activities,” says Quintinus. “But good pre-job planning can fix that, with contractors getting to where they spend 90 percent of their time on skilled tasks.”

Pre-job planning can also solve small issues before they become significant problems, and better prepare you for dealing with surprises on the jobsite.

What to do

The number one best thing a contractor can do as part of the pre-job planning process is to bring a distributor in early, according to ReNae Stueve, eBusiness Development Manager of Graybar’s California district.

“We feed contractors the material that they install, and like any other production process, that flow of material just when you need it is critical,” says ReNae. “Planning allows users to overcome any obstacle along the way because we know where we are, and everyone understands their role, understands what’s going to happen and when.”

A good distributor also excels at logistics, and by letting them do what they do best, you as the contractor can focus on what you do best. The first and last time you should touch the material is when you install it.

When you bring a distributor into the pre-planning process, they can do just-in-time delivery to the construction site, so you do not have to store material on-site and keep moving it around. Someone else makes sure you get the material exactly when you need it.

It will not eliminate emergencies, but once you plan, you can reduce surprises and deal with obstacles.

Make sure to discuss these things during the pre-job planning process:

  • What delivery times are available?
  • When is truck access available?
  • Is there a loading dock?
  • Is there a forklift?
  • If offloading equipment allowed?
  • Where can rooftop cranes be loaded in?
  • Where’s the lay down area, and how big is it?
  • Will you need storage trailers? Wheeled carts?
  • Who are the points of contact on-site?
  • Who are the authorized buyers and persons to release material?
  • What’s the estimated release date?
  • What underground materials will you need?
  • What rough and trim will you need?
  • What fixtures and gear will you need?
  • Is on-site storage available? Can you distributor store on-site as well?

With this information, the distributor can handle all the other details so you can focus on what you do best: installation.

Want to learn how Graybar can help your pre-job planning? Contact us at 1-800-241-9965 or fill out the form below.

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