One of the most important elements of programming is procurement times. Procurement times change for many reasons. World shortages, strikes, inclement weather, all have an effect on procurement times. Italian stone for example, required in late August may take longer to arrive than other times of the year as many Italians tend to take annual leave in August. So we need to know what the latest procurement times are and to help us gather this information we schedule the procurement times on a long lead schedule. An example of a long lead schedule is shown below and an excel version can be downloaded by clicking the link below. This excel file automatically calculates the ‘order by’ date when lead in periods and expected delivery dates are entered.
Click here to download Long Lead Schedule
The first column lists the item. The second narrow column with the letters P F A stand for Planned, Forecast and Actual. Next to each, letter dates are entered whether it’s the planned, forecast or actual date. At this point we can’t add any dates, not even planned dates until the programme is finished. For the moment we can only complete the fourth column – the lead time and notes are in the last column. Remember these are the durations from time of order or commencement of manufacture. For example, with joinery there is an additional period for approvals. This is when the subcontractors develop workshop drawings that are checked and signed off prior to manufacture. The duration of the approval process is not included within the long lead schedule. This is discussed in later steps. Once the programme is finished we can return to the long lead schedule and enter the planned dates.
Now to find out the latest procurement times we turn to the tender specification. Some specs have schedules in the appendices that save a lot of time in extracting the information. A lighting schedule for example should list all the makes and models of the intended lights. We then contact the manufactures for the latest lead times of the lights specified. The same applies to architectural finishes. Architects normally include a ‘finishes schedule’ with contact details of the suppliers. Manufactured items like joinery have lead times and these need to be included. Some suppliers and manufactures can be a little vague when disclosing lead times. Often I’m quoted 6 to 8 weeks or week commencing from order. If this happens to you, then take worst case scenario. It’s best to be on the safe side.