Productivity is the key to success

Decking as far as the eye can see – Why productivity is key to our success, installing 70,000m² of metal floor deck in 6 weeks!


It seems we have almost become accustomed to expecting on-line orders to be delivered the next day. Instant fulfilment has become standard and this “order it today, receive it tomorrow” approach is also reflected in the construction sequence and durations that are now needed to build the distribution warehouses that service our “one-click orders”.


These mega distribution hubs are a good example of how efficiently we can construct in the UK when we put our minds to it. Life on these projects is not for the faint hearted and if you blink then chances are you’ll miss something. The numbers are truly eye watering and if the “Fast & Furious” franchise were looking for ideas for another movie installment they could base it on a typical day on one of these projects. To give you a flavour, on an ongoing example of one of these hubs that SMD are undertaking, the typical volumes that we are achieving are:

140,000m² (nearly 20 premiership football pitches) of TR60+ floor decking material will have been manufactured and delivered from our factory in just over 7 weeks – That’s just short of 1900 Tonnes in 35 working days!

50% of the entire floor area (70,000m²) has been installed in just 6 weeks by the SMD direct labour gangs. That’s what you call ‘pulling up trees’ by any standard. 

These numbers don’t just happen by chance. They are only possible if you have the right approach, have a plan from the start and follow it through with military precision. When you break it down it’s all about productivity and I am not just talking about what happens on site. 


Productive Design

This is all about making sure that material location and size is optimised. The design opted for by SMD saved hundreds of crane lifts for the customer compared to a standard approach, ultimately making them more efficient. 


Productive Manufacture 

Dedicated in-house manufacturing allows us to control the output and turn it up or down to suit site sequencing. Material is required at a ravenous pace and if you miss a slot then production on site can grind to a halt. 


Productive Installation 

When things flow, they work. Having multiple trades all working on top of each other simultaneously (as is often the case these days) feels like you’re making headway,  but in truth it’s a false sense of progress as in reality productivity will be half what you think and a quarter of what you need. To be efficient at the level required for this type of project, working on a clear open steel frame is the order of the day. In this way, installation rates of 2000m2/day, EVERY DAY, can be achieved, which, of course, leads to very high customer satisfaction.

The Amazon project in Gateshead will be our third such “mega shed” that SMD have delivered and we should be proud of this achievement. It just goes to show that when we all pull in the same direction the level of productivity that can be achieved sets new benchmarks in what we can do.  

More Insight!

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