Advanced Automation: How an Industrial Contracting Project Manager Handles Supply Chain


Project managers play key roles in ensuring that jobs stay on track, on time and on budget; and the supply chain challenges over the last two years have made their job even harder. Advanced Automation Host Josh Gravelle welcomed Jeff Smith, project manager of Boulter Industrial Contractors, to share how his company minimizes the strain. Boulter, an industrial contracting company since 1892, provides transportation, rigging, steel fabrication, custom crating and packaging, and more.

At Boulter, Smith manages logistical projects for just about any customer needs and enjoys the variety, planning and coordination involved. Reciprocatively, customers appreciate the partnership with Boulter since they only work with one contractor to handle any project needs.

However, the pandemic has thrown a wrench in the supply chain, and Boulter immediately felt the pains. “Materials for crating and packaging have been an issue with lumber shortage. The steel shop has, too,” Smith explained. “Things we could get next-day now could have a lead time of eight weeks.”

Smith described how many projects, like a brewery in Rochester, came to a halt: “The project was underway, and then the pandemic hit. The job site wasn’t ready, so we received the tanks and stored them until they were ready.” Thankfully, once construction began, Boulter could finish the project, delivering and installing the catwalks successfully.

Smith continued to talk about how Boulter is taking measures to minimize the supply chain issues, such as:

  • Ensuring superior internal and external communication
  • Logging accurate paperwork
  • Accounting for delays in scheduling
  • Ordering early and extra resources
  • Investing in new technology

For more information on manufacturing, storage, shipping and transportation needs, contact Boulter today.

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