The COVID-19 pandemic brought a number of new challenges to the construction industry, one that is having a direct impact on project schedules and success is supply chain disruption. Since early spring of 2020, our industry has experienced an array of supply chain disruptions. Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was common for manufactures to be forced to shut down for 2 weeks each time a COVID-19 infection was confirmed in their manufacturing facilities which often lead to long material delivery delays.
Since then, the industry has seen vinyl material shortages, PVC shortages, aluminum shortages, drywall shortages, microchip shortages, just to name a few. All of this disruption has created new challenges that Ironmark has worked hard to overcome to keep all of our projects on schedule and minimize the risk of any supply change disruption.
One strategy Ironmark project teams have implemented in order to overcome this disruption has been to order materials for the project far in advance and arrange for storage of materials either onsite or offsite. Ironmark superintendents have been working on long-term coordination and storage of materials that are coming months in advance of when they are actually scheduled for installation.
At Ironmark, we are contracting the majority of our material vendors within just a few weeks of the project being awarded. Our proactive approach allows us to lock in material pricing to prevent escalation due to lack of supply. It also allows the project management staff to discuss what products the suppliers are having challenges obtaining with our estimating team so they can work together to create a project specific strategy to secure those materials. In addition, Ironmark’s project management staff are checking in with all material vendors on a weekly basis to ensure that we are up to date on the ever-changing supply chain disruptions and get all materials delivered to site ahead of schedule.
Supply chain disruption will likely be a challenge for some time. Ironmark will continue to implement these strategies into their best practices, among others, and adapt as needed to minimize risk and maintain future project success.