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Logistics management in construction

Source: Designing Buildings WIKI

Logistics management is the process of planning, implementing and controlling supply chainfunctions from one point to another in accordance with a client’s requirements. These points are generally the point of origin, such as raw material accumulation, to the point of destination, i.e. delivering goods to the construction site.

Effective logistics management is important for a construction project as it can enhance efficiency and productivity that have a positive overall impact on cost and time.

For example, good logistics management ensures against the workforce being unable to carry out an activity due to delays in the materials being delivered to site. This can have a knock-on negative impact on the whole construction programme.

Logistics management involves the integrating of many of the following activities:

  • Inbound and outbound transport management.
  • Warehousing.
  • Materials handling.
  • Waste management.
  • On site vehicle management.
  • Plant and materials delivery.
  • Inventory management and order fulfillment.
  • Supply and demand planning.
  • Sourcing and procurement.
  • Production planning and scheduling.
  • Packaging and assembly.
  • Customer services.

Due to its complexity, dedicated simulation software is used to model, analyse, visualise and optimise logistics.

Having a timeline of project stages planned in advance, with a full inventory of materials and toolsrequired, is a key part of logistics management, as this enables the efficient flow of materials. In addition to keeping the construction programme on-schedule, other advantages of good logistics management include:

  • Cost savings and waste reduction as productivity is enhanced.
  • Logistical planning on site enables materials to be stored correctly which improves efficiency.
  • Sites can be kept safe, clean and easy to move around on.
  • Deliveries can be made regularly and on time.

A construction consolidation centre (CCC) is an important aspect of logistics management. This is a location near to but not necessarily on the site, to which deliveries are made and stored. They are then brought to the site on a ‘just in time’ basis as and when required. This has the advantage of keeping the site clear of obstacles, cutting down on required storage space, and ensures that the logistics manager is aware that the materials are available close-at-hand.

For more information, see Construction consolidation centre (CCC).

The construction logistics manager is responsible for all aspects of the logistics supply chain in order to meet the needs of the project. The main responsibilities of the logistics manager are the coordination of the workforce, goods and equipment at the construction site. They should engage with the project planner, commercial management and construction manager.

For more information, see Construction logistics manager.