There are few things more worthy of a rip-roaring, old-fashioned “#$&@%*!” moment than learning your carefully planned shipment of building supplies: a) arrived late; b) arrived damaged; or c) arrived late and damaged.

Crazy stuff happens in construction. No project avoids it. The key? Minimize stuff happening to your team, especially when it comes to building materials delivery.

Raul Peralta understands. He knows what a messed-up delivery costs in worker downtime, equipment rental charges, missed delivery targets, and owner frustration.

Peralta is the national accounts manager for Tamlyn, a leading supplier of building products. It’s his job to keep the company’s customers, which include production, multifamily, regional and custom home builders, happy from order receipt to job-site delivery and installation. His 12 years with the company have taught him many valuable lessons. Let’s call these six Peralta’s Project Principles of Performance:

1. Shop Aggressively. “Logistics is more than shipping and receiving products,” Peralta observes, “It’s identifying what’s best for the customer.” Peralta says that often means aggressively shopping for just the right delivery company. “Sometimes we deal with up to 10 to 15 different carriers to find the best one for a customer.”

2. Low-Ball Caution. Peralta is a big believer in you get what you pay for. “The cheapest guy isn’t always the best,” he advises. “You want the carrier that takes care of the product. I don’t care if it has to be transferred through three or four terminals to get where it’s going. If the care is there it beats the shipper who still mangles it without many hands touching it.”

3. Please, Not That Forklift. “Most of the goods we ship out are eight- or 10-foot product. If the shipper doesn’t use the extended forks, they risk breaking the pallet and damaging the product,” Peralta explains. In some cases, the shipper will try to cover a mistake by transferring the product to a different pallet. “It literally looks like it arrived from the scrapyard,” he says.

4. Refuse It! If Peralta’s team at Tamlyn arranged the shipping and the customer is unhappy with the product’s condition on arrival, he advises to refuse delivery. “We’ll reship the product at no cost,” Peralta says. Product shipped with the customer’s carrier “… is out of our control” with liability and losses shifting to the customer.

5. Consistency Is Key. Peralta values consistency and predictability in carrier selection … just no surprises. “A pallet arriving in Austin, Texas in a day and then taking a week the next time is a red flag,” he cautions.

6. Overpack. Tamlyn manufacturers building trim, among many other products. The company goes to great lengths to ensure it’s safe arrival to the job site by packing it into impact-resistant tubes … placed on top of pallets … tightly shrink-wrapped … and then strapped-down for good measure. “I cringe when I see how some building product manufacturers ship their product. Packaging is a big, big issue,” he says.

No home builder should have to face a late or damaged supply shipment. Wisely select the manufacturers and carriers you work with to minimize delays, costs, and headaches. Learn more.