In planning his schedules, Friedell Co. production manager Dave Carson knows delays will accumulate around three key activities:
- Exterior work. "So many uncontrollable variables, especially weather and soil conditions, affect how fast this work proceeds," he says. "I stress to clients that any schedule is tentative until the foundation is in and we begin framing."
- Finishes. Often, as customers see how nice their new project looks, they request new finishes in other rooms -- especially painting the adjoining rooms or sometimes the entire house. "We try to accommodate them, but in some cases we have to tell them that we can’t fulfill that request immediately. We try to set it up as a separate contract and return when we can fit it into our crews’ schedules." In most cases, he adds, the customers understand and accept that proposal.
- Specialty products. Imported ceramic tile in particular has become a major bottleneck, Carson says. He has learned that knowing the product has been loaded onto a ship doesn’t help because ships often sit for extended periods awaiting a full load. He now proceeds with projects only after he has received word the product has left port. "When I used to wish my ship would come in, this isn’t really what I had in mind," he says with a laugh.
Right on Schedule