Remodeler Paul Morse was losing money and time on jobs when his carpenters drove to the local lumberyard for last-minute items. In Morse's case, it became a daily ritual. So a year ago, the president of Morse Constructions in Somerville, Mass., instituted a purchase order system designed to minimize trips. He promised his field crew that if they filled out a purchase order form and faxed the list of items they needed to the office in the morning, the items would be delivered to the site the next day. (The company has a four-day workweek and processes forms on Thursday afternoons for material delivery to the jobsite the following Monday.) "We've cut down tremendously on lumberyard trips," Morse says.
The new system requires the crew to plan ahead. At first they were reluctant, but that has changed. "If the crew notices we are over budget on labor hours, one of the first places they look is the trips to the lumberyard," Morse says. "They are monitoring themselves." See " Good Form" for a copy and detailed description of Morse Constructions' purchase order form.