Avoiding Long Lead Times That Can Hamper Refit Projects

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“Modernization projects are known for being fast-paced and deadline-sensitive,” said Tommi Virta, project manager at the ALMACO Group. “Delays due to materials with long lead times are not uncommon, but there are ways to work around them and minimize the risk and damage.”

While a newbuilding project follows a set schedule, drydocks and refurbishments are not always traditional, said Virta.

“It is often necessary to start planning and preparing already during the sales and quotation process. The reason for this is the short preparation time, and long material lead times. In other words, we sometimes need to order certain materials before we even have a contract, but almost always order certain materials before we have any completed official design available,” he said.

Of note, wall panels can be some of the toughest materials to source quickly due to foil ordering requirements and long lead times.

Other items that present long lead times when it comes to sourcing products are wallpapers, fabrics laminates, doors, fixed furniture and wet units.

“There aren’t many modular wet unit manufacturers globally, and they have all been dealing with full orderbooks lately,” Virta explained. “In a project where we need to design a new wet unit, the lead time can be very long, and we often need to revise the PO with the wet unit manufacturer when the design is completed. These can easily have 12 weeks lead time.”

Contractors can run the risk of not getting materials to the ship or drydock on time.

“If you are aware of potential problem already during the quotation phase, highlight it to the customer,” advised Virta. “Propose alternatives if you realize that some of the materials are impossible to get already before the quotation. During the design phase, you can make the problem transparent to the customer’s designers and tackle the long lead time items with improvised design methods in a more agile way. Also, make sure to set exact critical path dates for each material and stick to that plan.”


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