Job checklist with no shopkeeper

Tylermoc

New User
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Occupation
Electrician
Hey mike, so with my business, our problem is the materials. Not pricing or anything like that just missing materials when we get to the job , I just don't have the money to have a shopkeeper/foreman to go around and bring materials to my guys, and when they leave a job to go get those materials, it costs me an arm and a leg. How would I go about making an efficient check list for jobs so that we aren't missing any materials. Check list as in when we look at a job, we already know what that kind of materials we will need and will have for the whole job. I know it sounds simple but it seems like every job I lose money from guys leaving to go grab something and I can't go get it b/c I am dealing with invoices, website, pulling permits, dealing with scheduling next week, etc. Any system/check list you ever came up with?
 

Beaches EE

Senior Member
Location
NE Florida
Occupation
Electrical Engineer / Facilities Manager
It might be worthwhile to calculate the impact to your profit on each job and include the costs when the crew has to leave the job site to pick up materials, etc. It might make sense for you to do more of that work and hire someone to deal with invoices, scheduling and other general office work.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
1. Welcome to the forum.

2. Mike sponsors this site, but doesn't regularly participate, so you're stuck with us.

3. I'm basically a one-man show now. When I'm working, I start a shopping list as I reach a point on a task where I cannot proceed without an item. I then move on to the next task, and do as much as I can, and add to the shopping list.

I also mentally complete each task to see if I will need anything else before I go, with the goal of only having to make one shopping trip for the rest of the job. Only when I can not do any more work do I go shopping.

If the job is big enough to take more than one day, there should be plenty to do without having to interrupt the work, and go shopping at the end of the day or on the way to the jobsite the next morning.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Hey mike, so with my business, our problem is the materials. Not pricing or anything like that just missing materials when we get to the job , I just don't have the money to have a shopkeeper/foreman to go around and bring materials to my guys, and when they leave a job to go get those materials, it costs me an arm and a leg. How would I go about making an efficient check list for jobs so that we aren't missing any materials. Check list as in when we look at a job, we already know what that kind of materials we will need and will have for the whole job. I know it sounds simple but it seems like every job I lose money from guys leaving to go grab something and I can't go get it b/c I am dealing with invoices, website, pulling permits, dealing with scheduling next week, etc. Any system/check list you ever came up with?
Do you use any estimating software? They are capable of generating a BOM for you. If not, you could easily take a weekend and generate a spread sheet and populate it with the assemblies you use on various jobs, such as a service change/panel upgrade, add an outlet, kitchen remodel, bath remodel, etc. For a given job, put in the number of each assembly you need and it can spit out all your counts. A receptacle has a box, the receptacle, cover plate, wire nuts, and some standard length of Romex, AC, or whatever. Maybe there are other things you like to group with a receptacle; go to town. You put "10" in the "number of items" column and that's linked to a summary sheet that tells you 10 boxes, 30 wire nuts, 10 covers, etc.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
My service truck has a large array of small and inexpensive materials I use routinely. I don't need to shop per job for those things nor do I even have to think about them. Once a week or so I will refill the truck. The larger and more expensive items I buy per job, usually a day or two before the job. I use my homebrew estimating software to create a bill of materials while I do the job mentally at the keyboard. If I haven't visited the site and I'm relying on the client's description, I may buy enough materials to do the job a couple of different ways just so I have everything I might need. It's better to have too much material and have to return some then to be short even one item and have to make a shopping trip mid-job. That will usually ruin a good job.
 

JoeyD74

Senior Member
Location
MA
Who ever is pricing the jobs should be doing a stock list, then just have it delivered to the job site or your shop. I know that some items get overlooked so those items can be called in an delivered the next day.
 

mikeames

Senior Member
Location
Germantown MD
Occupation
Teacher - Electrician - 2017 NEC
What Coppersmith said.

All basic items should be on a truck. Stock the truck. It may technically be more cost in overhead but it will save money. My GREATEST frustration was working for a company that required me to load all needed materials on the truck every morning. This company was over vigilant and it was a hassle. If you asked for extra they would look at you like " why would you consider extra" If you forgot one thing or the job had a slight change I was out of luck. I never understood it. I preferred to have my truck "a la carte" Stock it with everything and keep it that way. Wherever I went I knew how much work I could do out of my truck and then Only had to worry about the big job specific parts and materials. Then you will get calls from others in your company " Hey you got XYZ on your truck? we need one and we are 15 min from you.... yea sure come get it....."
 
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