The phrases “data-based decision-making” and “statistical analysis” sound like they belong more to the realms of technology and engineering than to the construction industry. But the truth is, if you’re not making decisions based on data, you’re making them based on intuition and assumptions, and you could be making the wrong decisions for your business, costing you time and money and hampering your efficiency.

What is data-based decision-making?

Data-based decision-making is, essentially, tracking data about your business (how long it takes to complete a job, material costs per job, labor costs per job, credit pickups, etc.), analyzing that data, and using it to make improvements to your processes. Analyzing this data can help you discover where there are problems or bottlenecks in your process, which allows you to resolve them and become more efficient.

How Zeeland is using data-based decision-making in our operations

We believe that in order to manage something you have to measure it, and that’s what we practice. We measure truck turnaround time in our yards so that we know how quickly we can get materials to our customers and so that we can adequately plan our truck schedules.

We’re also measuring customer-specific data. We measure the number of deliveries we make to the same job address, we keep track of each client’s average days to pay, and we monitor deliveries by timeslot. We also look at the percent of sales that are returned for credit by each customer (industry best is 2.6%, while Zeeland customer’s average is just over 5%.) When both parties become aware of and understand this type of data, we can work together to improve activities and processes.

We look at our metrics weekly to monitor status and progress, and we share this information with our customers to help them improve, as well. Not everyone is doing this—in fact, very few companies in the industry are doing this—and that’s part of what sets us apart from the rest of the industry. We’re working with you to improve and grow.

Over the last several years, Zeeland Lumber & Supply has embraced data-based decision-making practices and new technologies that make us more efficient. Let us show you how our system and products can benefit you as a customer.

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