3 Steps to Eliminate Lumberyard Runs Forever

Remodelers are always struggling with the cost of an employee leaving the job site to pick up materials.

Simple calculations often reveal that this consistent behavior costs companies about 2-4% of their annual sales volume. Preaching doesn’t change it; threats don’t change it.

So what does?



Daily planning does! Three simple steps will dramatically reduce slippage due to lumberyard runs.

Step 1: Awareness

Have them do the math. Ask these questions and lead them through discovery with the backup data needed.

  • Ask – How many trips to the lumberyard do we make each month? (Have this number already established from book keeping) Typically individuals will only know of their own and the numbers will be low.
  • Give them the real number.
  • Ask – How long does it take to make one trip? Get an answer.
  • Ask – How much does one trip cost us? (Time for each trip x cost per hour) Now multiply by 2 for lost production on the site.
  • Ask – What is the cost per month? (Answer)
  • Ask – What is the cost per year? Answer above x 12

Usually, this is a big number – you can use it as a % of annual volume or just a dollar amount.

Step 2: Time & Plan

The Lead Carpenter sets aside time every day to plan the job for the next 2-3 weeks. This plan includes goals for tomorrow, tasks that will start in two days, three days, one week, and two weeks. This plan can then translate into:

  • What materials do I need to order for each time frame?
  • What subs do I need to call?
  • Who do I need on my site?
  • What questions do I need to ask the client?
  • Is there a detail missing or a question for sales to answer?

This planning time has to set aside time of enough length to get past the immediate, top of mind, issues and force the Lead Carpenter to dig into the future. Done right this can reduce the last minute calls about details and questions.

Step 3: Use an Ordering Cheat Sheet

Most of the items we leave the site for are not the major components but are small items we forgot to order. Another class of pick up items are the ones we are convinced the yard cannot get right. So a checklist that has all the ancillary items on it used while placing an order can help us remember to order things like nails, screws, glue, etc.

For the “they can’t get this right” items, list the make, model number, or store item number on the cheat sheet and order them that way. By doing this, the yard can simply pull it off the shelf and add it to that pile of lumber they are sending out.

Knowing the costs, effective planning, and using reminders can eliminate lumberyard runs … forever!

What about you?

What have you done to help reduce the need for costly runs to the local lumberyard? Please share your stories in the comments below!


This article was written by Tim Faller for www.remodelersadvantage.com.  Click here to view the original article >>

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