Cab delivering building materials
Photo illustration: John Kuczala

In Leslie Shiner’s presentation during the latest JLC Live, entitled “10 Easy Things That Can Put Me Out of Business,” error No. 7 involved running to the supplier too often. Your crew’s time is too precious, and their per-hour costs too dear, for you to let them fritter away hours and dollars by driving off to the local supplier, she argued. Once you figure those expenses, she asks, how much did that forgotten box of nails really cost?

It’s in that context Shiner suggests you do something that might seem odd: Set up an agreement with a taxi company to pick up your order from the dealer and bring it to you. That errand could cost $50, but it’s still cheaper than the productivity you lose when full-time workers spend an hour going to and from the yard, she says.

And if you’re working in a city, you might soon have other options. Uber, the Internet-based alternative taxi service, has just rolled out a courier service in New York City called Uber Rush. It uses bicyclists and pedestrians to ferry goods across Manhattan now, but if the concept succeeds, Uber could expand its service in other cities as well as consider deliveries via auto.