How DIS-TRAN uses field marshalling to improve project workflow

“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.” – Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

DIS-TRAN always strives to keep projects moving forward seamlessly, and one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal is field marshalling – or organizing equipment and materials for streamlined delivery, receipt, and distribution.

“Our logistics team and coordinators communicate directly with customer jobsites to make sure they get the right materials at the right times in the right conditions,” explains Brad Fontenot, Vice President of Project Support Services at DIS-TRAN.

To make that happen, marshalling must be more than just parking everything at DIS-TRAN’s warehouse facilities prior to shipping.

We start by performing quality checks on everything to ensure correct fit, labeling, and “that it’s not broken in the box,” Brad says. He explains that materials coming in the door can sometimes be poorly packaged by manufacturers and suppliers. DIS-TRAN will reject lower quality materials on the front-end (particularly with conductor pipe) and re-package everything in our own high-quality packaging. For example, we want shipments to be able to hold up in a variety of weather conditions, and our packaging is designed to withstand the rigors of variable field conditions.

“Then, we organize materials in the order they will be needed on site,” Brad says. “The goal is for customers to be able to find what they need faster to know where everything is when they are needed. We treat each job like a custom delivery on the front end.”

So, if the customer is working on Area A, they’ll have all materials marshalled together and labelled correctly for that area. And so on. A great example is our packaging for Transmission Lines: every post has the same (or closely similar) list of components. As we marshal those, we’ll package and label them in individual boxes that can be dropped off at each pole in a crate to await assembly.