Setting up a construction material logistics plan
Construction material logistics plan roles and responsibilities
The first stage of setting up a material logistics plan (MLP) is to establish who is responsible for what role within the plan. You will need to identify who is responsible for producing the MLP and ensuring that it is implemented at each stage of your construction project. This could be:
- the client
- the main contractor
It is the client's responsibility to set the structure and requirements of the MLP - for example, the overall project costs and environmental credentials.
If you are the main contractor, your role is to deliver your client's requirements through the MLP and manage materials through the supply chain. This will include estimating material quantities and making sure these are met, and ensuring that all subcontractors do the same.
You should also appoint a logistics manager for the project. For larger projects, this could be a dedicated, full-time role, but for smaller projects, you could combine this role with other project management responsibilities.
The logistics manager should be appointed as early as possible in the project so that logistical details can be considered at the design stage when it is still possible to make changes to accommodate good practice.
The main contractor is also responsible for working with the design team to identify potential material savings from the design.
Subcontractors may be responsible for ordering and managing most of the materials for the project. Therefore, you should engage any subcontractors on your project from an early stage to identify and minimise any material wastage.
Subcontractors will be important for implementing any on-site logistics practices - this may require training. Subcontractors are also responsible for providing accurate material data, such as quantities and delivery details, and how they fit into project timescales.
Once you have established each person's role and responsibility in developing the MLP, it is vital to communicate these to all parties involved, especially the subcontractors. You should hold regular meetings with staff and contractors in order to reiterate the importance of the MLP and their roles within it.
Construction material logistics plan training and communications
Once you have established the roles within the MLP, you will need to consider a training and communications plan. This is the second stage of setting up an MLP and should take into account the level of training required by everyone who has responsibility for developing or implementing the MLP.
The training should include making sure that everyone is aware of any site-specific issues and logistic strategies - eg the use of a construction consolidation centre or on-site market place. You can also deliver bespoke training courses or have courses incorporated into your existing training sessions - such as an induction.
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