It was recently announced that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is introducing a new Ultra Low Emission Zone in Central London from Monday 8th April 2019. Whilst this is a clear step towards reducing pollution within the City, the restrictions are the latest addition to a long list of challenges facing construction companies and suppliers that work and deliver in London. Carl Ghinn, Managing Director at Fixmart, discusses how suppliers like Fixmart, can help customers overcome these challenges by providing flexible delivery solutions.
In order to provide an effective solution that helps our customers, I believe it is important to understand the challenges they face. When we visit our clients on site, they frequently discuss the challenges of strict delivery timeslots. Failure to meet these can result in large penalties for the contractor, and to a company that is working to tight margins, this can result in a loss for the project. A good way of combating this is by finding a supplier that offers timed delivery slots and communicating with the site before the delivery is due. It enables workers to prepare for the delivery and be advised of any potential delays.
Health and safety is also a key consideration. There are specific rules that delivery companies must comply with before they are allowed on site, especially in London. Many require vehicles to be FORS accredited, which is a voluntary scheme that promotes best practice in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental protection. I have also known delivery drivers to be turned away if they are wearing shorts rather than trousers due to health & safety regulations. Similarly, if a product isn’t packaged properly it can become a safety risk and the site manager won’t accept the delivery. By being aware of the restrictions, and ensuring drivers and vehicles comply with regulations, you can help avoid a failed delivery.
Another key issue facing contractors is the lack of available space on site. With a variety of different trades operating within the same space, storage is at a premium, and as a result, many need products that cannot be delivered too far in advance. Whilst this may be a simple requirement, it poses a great challenge as workers need to trust that their supplier will have the right products in stock at short notice. On the other hand, this needs to be balanced with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone which has resulted in many developers pushing for fewer deliveries. Consequently, workers are looking for increasingly flexible delivery options to support this. At Fixmart, we offer an order cut-off time for next day delivery of 5pm, as well as the option for customers to cancel an order up to 2 hours before the delivery is due, free of charge. This enables workers to react to changes on site without incurring extra costs.
In conclusion, as restrictions continue to tighten, it has never been more important for suppliers to fully understand the complexities of delivering in London and provide a flexible solution that helps customers to overcome these challenges.