Building and construction is one industry that has significantly ramped up activity post lockdown.
At MaxOptra, one element of this industry which we are seeing notably increased activity for is door manufacturers.
This may be unsurprising, as in August the government pledged a £1.3billion investment to delivery homes, infrastructure and jobs. And as of September the Home Secretary unveiled a huge £12billion boost for affordable homes, including homes for social rent to help the most vulnerable.
In addition, construction output grew by a record 23.5% in June 2020, substantially higher than the previous record monthly growth of 7.6% in May 2020. And it is creeping closer to the pre-COVID-19 levels of 24.8% in February 2020.
Of course, with increased homes and building construction, comes an increase in door requirements. But there are further reasons why door manufacturers are seeing an increase in business:
The construction industry is one that has arguably not stopped during COVID-19. Much construction work has been allowed to continue in England and Wales since the lockdown, in fact, the industry has been repeatedly encouraged to stay open.
Traditionally, the summer months are the busiest for the building and construction industry. This is because better weather results in better conditions for the industry to work in, without having to face the autumn and winter challenges of snow, rain and wind.
Additionally, B2C customers will have spent more time indoors during the previous months, feeling an increased need and desire to make changes and improvements to their homes once they have saved money and are able to be outside more frequently.
Which leads us nicely onto the fact that due to COVID-19, B2C customers have spent a lot of time indoors recently. This has led to an increase in home improvement and DIY, as well as an increased focus from customers on getting their home environment just right.
In fact, as of May, hiring of external contractors from B2C customers started to increase once again, showing that this audience is ready to make changes to their home once lockdown restrictions enable them to.
For door manufacturers, this increase in business is obviously a positive. However, due to the previous decrease in activity, and many workers being furloughed, this swift ramp-up in activity does come with challenges.
However, there are solutions to these challenges that can ensure businesses deliver their doors fast and reliably. We have worked with many businesses in this industry to support them during lockdown, as well as planning for post-lockdown. Here are some of the solutions we suggest:
Better plan delivery loads
The MaxOptra system alongside your vehicles can be set up with a capacity measure to ensure that you are planning a specific amount of doors per vehicle. The system will then allocate the most appropriate doors, re-allocating any additional items to other vehicles.
Alternatively, if you have door dimensions in your CRM, this can be pulled into the MaxOptra system and used to allocate doors based on cubic metres and weight.
Improve your fixed routes
For the door construction industry, or anyone in the construction industry supply chain, now is the time to ensure that routes are as efficient and streamlined as possible. Due to high expectations to ramp up activity, dealing with delays or impractical routes is the last thing a business would want to be dealing with right now.
We know that fixed routes can degrade over time, so by using route optimisation software you can be confident that you are getting the very most out of your fixed route network: managing priority customers and any route changes that have come about.
Upgrade to dynamic, optimised routes
Alternatively, now could be a great opportunity to upgrade from fixed routes to dynamic, optimised routes. This will enable businesses to save time and resource by allowing software to produce multi-drop routes in seconds, as well as taking into account traffic, vehicle information, route restrictions and driving times.
Integrate your business systems
Don’t waste unnecessary time due to bad integrations. Now, more than ever, it is important that all of your business systems are fully integrated and running smoothly. This will ensure no bottle-necks or issues during such an important time.
By using a system, such as MaxOptra, that offers an open API, you can easily integrate all of your existing business systems.
Improve customer communication
It’s a stressful time for the door construction industry, meaning that you don’t want to add to their worries with late deliveries or a lack of communication.
Keep your customers informed with advance and on-the-day email and SMS communications, such as predicted delivery times, and real-time updates on where their order is.
Track vehicles and performance
Of course, if you’re putting measures in place to ensure you keep your end-customer happy, you will want to track the success of your efforts.
That’s why it’s important to know what’s going on once your vehicles have left the depot. You can either link systems such as MaxOptra to your current in-vehicle telematics, or use our Driver App to monitor what’s going on in real time.