GEODIS customized delivery solution on worksite

Customized delivery: the logistical cornerstone of a successful worksite

Choosing the right delivery method is essential to good site management

While carefully organized project management, quality of the architectural plans and expertise of skilled workers are indispensable factors for a successful construction site, delivery logistics to the worksite, including tools and materials, is just as important. Without meeting the dual imperatives of fast and quality delivery, no project can be built to the owner's satisfaction.


The specificities of the construction environment yield very peculiar constraints that can affect deliveries and have a cascading impact on the entire chain. Choosing a customized delivery solution that addresses the specific constraints of worksites boosts both responsiveness and efficiency, all with a view to better control over costs and deadlines.


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The first strategic step in a construction site supply chain


Setting up a solid supply and delivery chain, as it is a vital link, should be the first step in any project undertaken by building industry professionals. The preliminary organization of inventory and flows ‒ of materials, equipment and staff ‒ is as important as the construction itself.


Several rules, such as limiting noise, visual pollution or and CO2 emissions, must be taken into account, either because they have been requested by communities or because they are part of the project specifications. As in heavy manufacturing, on-site delivery must comply with all applicable safety standards to protect both the delivery and worksite personnel.


Delivery method have to adapt if there is a crane handling several tons of concrete above the personnel’s heads. Waste management, especially in urban construction, must also be managed and planned in advance to avoid negative externalities of the project.
For all these reasons, delivery to a construction site is a very special issue: the costs of responsible management increase proportionally to all the constraints specific to this specific environment. Thus, carefully planned delivery arrangements can lead to better cost control, in a context where costs sometimes tend to exceed initial estimates.


The key concepts here are responsiveness and optimization:

  • Responsiveness to get to the site as quickly as possible and to react to any unexpected events that may arise.
  • Optimization, because avoiding surpluses and delivering the right quantities at the right time (just-in-time), not only allows for immediate cost reductions but because it also lowers all the external risks ‒ losses, theft, deterioration due to weather ‒ not to mention the space freed up.


This is even more valuable because other providers, such as companies that rent equipment or tools, will be sensitive to optimizing the use of their resources, so they can assign them to other tasks with shorter lead times. All these considerations compel us to pay attention to the specific constraints of delivering to a construction site.

Constraints of on-site delivery


Compared to other industries, the sector has its own characteristics: the presence of many small and medium-sized companies, which often means that there is no dedicated logistical structure, and an environment where each construction is unique or nearly unique, hindering the creation of a repeatable process for each project, unlike a factory with a production line. In addition, the use of subcontractors and the large number of people involved in a given project make it difficult to coordinate all the stakeholders.


The conditions of the delivery itself can be problematic: unclear addresses such as street intersections in cities and peri-urban industrial zones or multiple delivery points at a single site that can cause congestion and disruption. The environment is often noisy ‒ you cannot hear directions ‒ and hard to understand: where is the right person to talk to and how do you find your way through the maze of a large-scale construction site?


All these factors, relating to the delivery itself or to the sector in general, turn delivery into a complex affair, with the result being longer lead times and confusion that can undermine smooth site operations. To avoid these problems, a tailor-made service must be set up for each site.

Choosing the right delivery method to ensure work proceeds smoothly


Let's face it: every job site has unique characteristics that require adaptation and so a customized service. This is achieved through "white glove" delivery, which is synonymous with demanding, precise and quality service. This top-notch service is defined by several components, from the scheduled grouping of multiple deliveries to the same site to software that organizes and optimizes drop-off, storage locations, and incoming flows.


Delivery must be fast, including an express delivery network with a large geographical cover for the last few miles. In addition, pre-qualification can begin as soon as an order is placed: a department employee contacts the worksite delivery manager directly to facilitate acceptance by obtaining precise information about the site. Packaging retrieval, with a view to recycling and getting rid of debris that interferes with smooth operations, can be incorporated into the process.


Finally, we should remember that safe delivery, ensured by working with trained drivers (e.g. holders of safe driving certificates) or by creating dedicated spaces with specific standards, must never be underestimated: it is an imperative in terms of ethics but also involves cost control considerations.


The delivery management model at Hilti, the world leader in power tools for construction and building professionals, is particularly enlightening in showing what good management can achieve. Developed with GEODIS, the tailor-made solution, with uniforms for delivery personnel and customized equipment bearing the Hilti logo, has enabled nearly all deliveries to be qualified: they arrive on-site within two days, with included packaging pick-up.


Choosing a reliable and responsive delivery solution that is suited to the specific constraints of construction sites is a competitiveness factor for construction companies and suppliers of materials and construction equipment.


For more information :

Laurent Rocchesani, Responsable National Course/Medical Direction Commerciale GEODIS Distribution/Express

Laurent Rocchesani

Head of Sales for National Course/Medical in GEODIS Distribution/Express

Laurent has a strong management experience acquired as a Sales Director at GEODIS and when he was Deputy General Manager at GEODIS Ciblex for more than 4 years. He is passionate about developing and nurturing key accounts business after working as a Key Accounts Director in France and Europe. For the past two years, Laurent has been in charge of Health and Courier services under the Distribution & Express line of business.