Designers, builders and engineers likely remember the problems that they faced several years ago when supply chain issues caused needed project materials to arrive late or become unavailable altogether. These problems caused project delays that lasted months, costing valuable time and money.
Given what we know now about supply chain issues, it is important to be prepared for the possibility that the desired materials needed for a project may not be available when we need them. Having a contingency plan in place for potential supply chain issues can help avoid delays and possible disputes between parties to the project.
What to do when supply chain issues deplete supplies
If supply chain issues stop you from obtaining the planned materials needed for a project or makes obtaining these materials unduly cost-prohibitive, it may require a shift in what materials will be used to complete the project.
For example, more expensive materials may be available when the planned-upon materials are not. While you might not have considered these more expensive materials in the past due to their cost, when supply chain issues occur these once expensive materials might cost the same, if not less, than the planned-upon materials.
Moreover, taking a holistic approach towards the project might save costs when supply chain issues cause materials to run low. Repurposing unused materials already purchased, or utilizing what might previously be considered waste can help ensure a project is completed on time and within budget, even when the planned-upon materials are not available. This approach is also environmentally friendly.
How to handle changes when supply chain issues cause shortages
Making unexpected shifts in materials in a project used requires all parties to the project to be flexible and creative. Just because you have always used a certain product in the past does not mean you must continue using it in the future, especially if it becomes cost-prohibitive or is unavailable altogether.
Flexibility and creativity often start with the initial planning of the project. All parties, including builders, designers and engineers can work together from the beginning of the planning process to address the possibility that certain materials might not be available in the future. This way, the parties can have an agreed-upon contingency plan in place should the original plan become unfeasible due to supply chain issues. This is especially important when negotiating construction contracts.
Having an agreed-upon contingency plan can not only ensure a project is completed on time and within budget, but it can also help avoid conflicts between the parties when unexpected road bumps occur in the construction process. Avoiding potential disputes can ensure that parties do not waste precious time and money litigating disagreements.