How to Keep Your Modular Home Project on Track Despite Supply Chain Challenges

Modular Homes Supply Chain

Modular homes are a great way to build a new home quickly and efficiently and are quickly becoming the go-to method for housing projects, construction sites and locations that need good quality, yet quickly built housing. In a recent report, Make UK Modular cited that 3,300 modular homes were built in 2022, one in 60 of every new home constructed. 

However, unlike traditional house building methods, modular homes are often made in a factory and then transported in parts on the back of a lorry to the desired end location hundreds of miles away.   

The transportation and supply chain of modular homes can be a source of uncertainty for builders and developers. This is down to several factors that can impact the arrival time of modular units, including weather, traffic, and production delays, not to mention the units arriving on site before the site is ready to receive them. 

We look at some of the key issues currently affecting the supply chain and how by being able to remove the uncertainty from your supply chain and increase visibility on both sides can help increase efficiency and supply chain flow. 

Supply Chain Transport

Unscheduled Downtime 

When modular units arrive late to their customer’s site, it can cause unscheduled downtime for construction projects. As the modular homes are often oversized units (think of a normal house split into 2 and transported), they are not easy things to just drop off at a site entrance and leave. Site managers have to prepare the site for the arrival and ensure there is sufficient capacity and space to get the units into place. If the modular homes turn up unannounced, allowances will then have to be made last minute. This can lead to lost revenue and increased costs as workers are pulled from other jobs to help facilitate the arrival. 

Finding Suitable Storage 

If modular units are ready for delivery before the construction site is ready to receive them, they may need to be stored in temporary locations. This can be a challenge, as most construction sites do not have the space or resources to store large modular units. In these cases, modular units may be stored in warehouses or factory yards. This can be costly and time-consuming, and it can also increase the risk of damage to the units. 

Here’s an additional tip for storing modular units: To keep on top of inspecting the units regularly, you can use humidity sensors that provide you with data to ensure that the modules are not becoming damp, adding an extra layer of information to support your inspection process. 

Damaged in Transit 

No method of transport is 100% safe when it comes to transporting goods, and even more so when you are transporting massive housing units on the back of a lorry. Trees, overhanging bushes, tight corners and other road users can cause damage to the units as they make their way to the final customer. As these units are often wrapped up, damage can be difficult to see until they are in situ, resulting in difficult conversations regarding who caused the damages and the delays it will now cause due to repairs or even replacements needed. 

The points above are not exhaustive, and merely the most common issues arising from zero visibility and supply chain uncertainty, but there are ways you can help reduce them. One of the most effective ways to do this is to track your modular homes using active tracking technologies.

Supply chain downtimer

What is Active Tracking? 

Active tracking involves real-time (or near real-time) tracking of your assets. The main distinction between active tracking and passive tracking is that active tracking operates independently without the need for a reader, while passive tracking relies on a reader, such as a doorway reader or a barcode reader, to gather data. 

Both active tracking and passive tracking have their advantages; however, when it comes to tracking modular homes, setting up infrastructure at every construction site may not be feasible. Therefore, we believe that active tracking is the most suitable and practical solution in this scenario.

Active tracking will allow your logistics teams, construction site teams and other interested parties to view the precise location of the modular home and receive location-based alerts too. 

What data does active tracking provide? 

We provide location, humidity, temperature, impact, and motion data, all conveniently bundled into a user-friendly, standalone GPS unit. Simply attach this unit inside your modular home, and you’ll have active tracking capabilities readily available. 

Removing the Supply Chain Uncertainty

I have access to all of this data, so what? 

Now you have access to all this data, you can use the data in a bundle of different areas to improve your operations and save on wastage. 

Firstly, any uncertainty surrounding modular home transportation can be put to rest, allowing you to spend your time in other areas that matter. Additionally, you can share this data with construction sites, enabling them to plan more effectively. 

By closely monitoring factors like temperature and humidity, you can take proactive measures to ensure that your valuable assets remain in optimal condition. No more worrying about the potential damage caused by unfavourable storage conditions. 

Active tracking empowers you to hold transport companies accountable for any mishandling of your modular homes. By capturing data on impacts and vibrations, you can pinpoint exactly when and where damages occur. This valuable information allows you to take appropriate action, ensuring that the responsible parties are held to account. 

Now, imagine the added bonus of leveraging this wealth of data to potentially lower your insurance premiums. The comprehensive tracking data acts as a virtual black box for your modular homes. Insurance companies often value transparency and risk mitigation measures, and by demonstrating your commitment to proactive monitoring and control, you can make a compelling case for reduced premiums. It’s a win-win situation – you protect your assets, gain valuable insights, and potentially save on insurance costs. 

With active tracking, you are equipped with an arsenal of tools to enhance your operations, the possibilities are endless, and the benefits are undeniable. Embrace the power of data-driven decision-making and take your modular home management to new heights. The future of tracking is here, and it’s time to seize it!