Article about cement shortage and scheduling of projects

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Cement shortage threatens construction projects, jobs...
Diane Dennis Enterprises © June 2004

A cement shortage is affecting construction projects and jobs, and is now spreading westward across the United States. Florida imports about 40 percent of its cement needs and has been particularly hit in the southern part of the state.

I had actually planned on getting this story out two weeks ago but due to computer issues (groan AND ugh!) I didn't get it out as soon as I wanted to.

When I originally planned on including this info in our newsletter it pertained to Florida, with the shortage "advancing across the nation to the western United States".

Now however, just two weeks later, the shortage is actually here and it is affecting some big projects. We have several freeway improvement projects here in Victorville that are being delayed due to the cement shortage!

I would think that this means that other projects in California are being delayed or will be delayed soon. This could put behind almost every single trade on any given job.

Stay in touch with your customers (Subs to GC's; material suppliers to contractors) to make sure the projects you're due to work on (or supply material to) are on schedule.

What can be worse than having work on the books but no work available for your workers? Worse would be that those same workers find work elsewhere and then aren't available when your jobs are finally ready to go.

GC's, keep your Subcontractors posted. If your job is behind due a cement shortage (or for any reason really) your Subs really do need to know this.

An unplanned delay on your project can cost your Subcontractor(s) dearly. If he's on another project when your project is finally ready to go, he's going to have to skip out on someone, you or his other customer.

If he delays his other customer then he's at risk of 24/48/72 hour telegram notices; threats of non-payment; possible legal suit; loss of future work for that customer; etc.

If he delays you (which let's face it if he has to delay one of his projects then it should be the job that caused the delay to begin with) then you're back off-track before you even had a chance to be back on-track!

In addition, if he suddenly doesn't have work for his installers then they might leave and head over to a shop that does have work available and then when you're ready for him he won't have anyone to man your job.

At least if he knows what's going on with your job (and presumably with his other projects since of course those other GC's will be keeping him posted on the progress of their jobs ;) then everyone will have a fighting chance to get through this with as little pain as possible.

If your Sub knows that you won't be ready for him in two weeks (or however long) like originally planned then he can see if he can slip into one of his other jobs early (to clear up some time later on for when you'll be ready for him) or he can let his guys know that they're going to have some time off in a couple weeks so they can prepare for it (line up some temporary work or a side-job, etc.).

Maybe we can't control material shortages but we can control how we handle the situation and to an extent how smooth (or not smooth) it goes...

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