Connecting the Construction Supply Chain

Jason Barber

In my mind construction is the lifeblood of society. Whether during ancient times or modern times, humans have modified and built their worlds to survive and thrive. When you look at society’s basic needs - food, water, shelter, clothing - plus the next level of needs, like sanitation, education, healthcare or even the internet; construction directly enables all of them.


Sometimes I forget or take for granted what it takes to get these big, important projects built. Whether it is an innovative housing project like Bullfinch Crossing in Boston, MA or a transformational healthcare complex like the Destination Medical Center in Rochester, MN, every project can be a complex, dynamic symphony of people, parts and pieces. A developer partners with an owner to find the right site and get it funded. A general contractor coordinates and prices the construction or the trade contractor building it. All must work together to get the job done.

As the durations of projects shrink, shortages in the workforce are only increasing. That only compounds the risks of poor coordination. There has never been a greater need for tools to foster collaboration and communication, and that need seems to grow at an exponential rate. Accelerated project schedules require the full construction supply chain to be in sync. Long lead time equipment has to be delivered just in time. There simply isn’t time or space to stage them. Nor to build float into your schedule. The workforce shortage requires builders to do less with more. You have to build it safer, faster and with higher quality to address the need. Offsite construction and prefabrication are two excellent ways to solve that need.


With the advent of the internet, smart phones, and cloud computing, the ability to communicate all the things, all the time, is no longer a future requirement. It is here. But how do you sort through the noise? You have to know what is the most pressing need that requires action now. Software tools like Manufacton enable your teams to pull together a plan that lets everyone know when things need to be coordinated, need to be detailed, need to be fabricated, need to shipped and need to be installed. Ensuring just in time delivery. The world can now connect and construct.

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