It is not always that often that building projects run to plan, therefore contractors need to be flexible and ready to adapt to changing circumstances. Guy Windle, Area Sales Manager for sara LBS (Loading Bay Specialists) explained how his company’s proactive approach to installations helps main contractors maintain smooth and efficient progress.
As loading bay specialists, sara LBS installs and commissions scissor lifts, dock levellers, roller shutter and curtain doors, and all the other dedicated equipment needed to enable efficient loading and unloading of vehicles at factories, warehouses, logistics centres, etc.
In an ideal world, everyone would like to arrive at newly built loading bays and have plenty of time and space to install and test all the kit. In the real world, of course, things can be a bit different.
It is a simple truth that design changes, bad weather, late deliveries, missed schedules and other issues can all disrupt building schedules. As a specialist contractor, sara LBS understands this and has developed a number of strategies that help the main contractor to maintain the project’s momentum.
Prior planning prevents poor performance
The first thing sara LBS do is arrange pre-order and pre-start meetings with the main contractor and appropriate sub-contractors. The objective is to identify the major needs of all the contractors and work out how they can best be met without disrupting other people on-site. The company also note potential issues and best responses.
An important early job is agreeing outline schedules; time critical elements are identified and other jobs timetabled around them.
One issue sara LBS plans for is deliveries. Scissor lifts, dock loaders and roller shutter doors are big and bulky, so the first thing to ensure is that there is clear and convenient space for their delivery. Preferably this is straight into the loading bay where it is to be installed, but sometimes it is to a separate delivery area from which they will later need to be moved. Naturally, there may be scheduling requirements to consider alongside other important deliveries.
Security may also be an issue – electrical and control equipment can easily ‘disappear’ if deliveries are not managed properly.
The next stage for sara LBS will be installing and testing the equipment. Roller shutter doors, porches, inflatable shelters etc effectively become part of the building, so there needs to be close cooperation with the main contactor’s workforce.
Lifts, levellers, traffic lights, vehicle guides, pads, high speed curtain doors, safety light beams, etc also need to be installed, and with the main contractors we can identify the best times for installation and testing.
sara LBS knows it’s needs on site are not paramount; others will have equally valid requirements, hence the need to follow the main contractor’s lead.
By developing good relations with our fellow contractors, pre-planning, good pro-active communications and a willingness to be flexible, most potential problems can be designed out of the construction process. Problems always arise on building projects, but are never insurmountable - and usually best nipped in the bud.