Article

Same-Day Delivery Makes Last-Minute Change Orders Easier

Larry Bernstein
October 14, 2022

What’s the plan? Knowing there's a plan of action and scenarios have been considered is a comfort for the employees of a business. When plans go awry, as they inevitably do, how does a business pivot and adjust the schedule? Does the last-minute delay throw a project off, or is it a minor problem that is handled? Those involved in construction are very familiar with adjustments made to projects. Change orders happen on just about every project (typically, the bigger the project, the more change orders), and it's up to the construction team to adjust the project schedule to minimize delays in project delivery.

Having construction materials on-site when needed can help minimize delays. Using a courier for same-day delivery makes those last-minute change orders less burdensome and may make the difference in keeping a project on schedule.

What Is a Change Order in Construction?

Let’s take a step back. What exactly is a change order? It involves a change in the scope of work. It can be either an addition or a subtraction, and it's agreed upon between the contractor and owner.

Autodesk adds, “A change order represents a mutual agreement to change the work, schedule, price, or other terms of the contract.” In addition, they typically lead to cost overruns. 

The reasons for a change order are many. They include, “inaccurate specifications in the original designs or contract, ambiguous or inaccurate drawings, unforeseen conditions at the job site, such as obstructions that could not be planned for, workers or materials that do not arrive or come late to the site, faulty budgets and schedules.” A common reason for change orders on a residential construction project is a change of scope decision by the owner.

Change orders can happen at any point during the construction project. So, how can a contractor keep a project moving forward and minimize schedule impacts? A plan and options can help lessen the delays from change orders.

The Problems: Cost Overruns, Schedule Delays, and Client Satisfaction

Successful contractors typically work on a tight schedule. Before completing a construction project, they are working on securing the next one. The constant churn of projects requires them to be skilled at scheduling. Schedule changes lead to cost overruns and client dissatisfaction. 

Consider this scenario. A contractor has a signed agreement with the owner for a construction project. The contractor is on the job proceeding as they scheduled – materials are on site. They’ve committed to a timeline with the owner, who now is expecting that timeline to be followed. 

But wait – a change order arises when the owner request cellulose insulation instead of fiberglass. There’s a delay in agreeing on the change and the impact on the contract. Then, the construction team is unable to proceed without the new supplies. Employees are stuck on the project, waiting for a delivery. These delays inevitably impact the schedule and force the contractor to spend more time on the project, reducing customer satisfaction. It also leads to cost overruns on the project and the need to determine which party is responsible.  

Mitigate Project Timeline Slowdowns

When a client makes a last-minute change order, it can cause a series of project delays that impact every step in the building process. For example, the client refuses fiberglass insulation for interior walls and requests cellulose batts instead. 

There’s a two-day delay while you wait for the new product to come in, which can cause delays down the line. The drywall team will have to push back their work until next week, the painters will need to reschedule, and the flooring installation will also have to wait. The project will take 2-3 weeks longer than planned, impacting other projects and reducing your total revenue for the year.

Reduce the Expenses of Change Orders

Change orders typically require different materials. By having materials quickly delivered to the job site, delays are minimized. As seen above, one delay, no matter how minor, can lead to projects going multiple weeks beyond the scheduled time. This means crews can't move on to the next project, which reduces efficiency.  

When you work with Curri, you can be confident you can quickly get materials delivered to the job site. Rather than wait two days for delivery, our on-demand team can get it to the job site within two hours. So, schedule delays are minimized, and projects can proceed as expected.  

Reduce the Expenses of Change Orders

Who pays for change orders? That expense is based on negotiations between you and the owner. However, if the owner changes the scope because they changed their mind, they should be responsible for the added costs. 

The expenses associated with the change order for you as a contractor comes down to the impact it has on your schedule. By having the materials needed for the new scope delivered on the same day, the schedule may require minimal adjustments. Similarly, it minimizes added expenses.   

Keep Your Crew on the Job Site

A change order is agreed upon, and you determine the materials needed. To speed up the process, crew members must drive to get the materials. This may mean speedy delivery, but it can also be problematic.

Disrupting the integrity of the crew can impact the way the work proceeds. Someone has to take over for the employee who left, which means they are doing two jobs, or their job is left undone. You can keep everyone on task as planned and still have fast delivery when you work with a courier. With same-day delivery from Curri, you get materials quickly and keep the crew moving forward as scheduled.

Make Your Clients Happy

When the construction project completes and it matches what clients/owners imagined, you will have a happy client. They also want their projects completed as quickly as possible. Sure, it’s reasonable that last-minute change orders will lead to delays. However, clients may not be able to understand the big picture. They want their project completed as scheduled. Meet their expectations, and you will have a happy client.

Streamline Construction with Curri

Last-minute change orders do not have to cause significant schedule delays. When you work with Curri, you can streamline construction because materials are quickly delivered to the job site. Don’t let small problems turn into a significant hassle and expense. Keep a construction project moving forward with Curri.

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