March 13, 2022 | Lavish Jain
Networking and relationships have always been important in the construction industry. It's how subcontractors need to be on favored bid lists and boost their chances of obtaining business, so it's no surprise that relations are just as important when it comes to different suppliers.
Why Is It So Important to Have a Contractor/Supplier Relationship?
Trade contractors are always competing for bids and might be under a lot of stress. Most people will enjoy a setting where they feel they have a trustworthy collaborator on their side – someone who genuinely appreciates their business and wants to see it grow – when it comes to where they buy their building supplies.
A lot rests on the subcontractor's supplier: they've prepared a precise estimate for the general contractor, and they must adhere to the time and financial commitments they've made - otherwise, not only will they lose money on this job, but they risk hurting their brand for future business.
As a result, having a provider they can rely on to deliver orders in a timely manner and also at the agreed amount is critical to finishing the task, preserving their good reputation, and generating money. Contractors require a provider who is able to:
– They're up forthright about how they'll stick to advertised costs.
– Current supply chain difficulties are familiar to you.
– When it comes to inquiries and modifications, they are responsive and available.
Of course, it is not always feasible to fulfil all of the requests made in this case of bid. Environmental and economic catastrophes, like as trade conflicts among major nations, the Covid-19 epidemic, and the Suez Canal blockade, may wreak havoc on a complicated global supply chain, lengthening lead - time and making it tough for suppliers to store items they expected to have on hand.
There's no way to avoid shortfalls and setbacks like this, and contractors are well aware of this, but it remains a source of dissatisfaction. After all, regardless of what is going on in a particular region of the world, the contractor has agreed to the project's timeline - and the larger the task, the more each subcontractor's timetable is dependent on others.
Service and openness are the keys to preserving relationships and creating confidence in circumstances where suppliers have greater control over results.
How Contractors and Construction Material Suppliers Can Collaborate to Increase Profits
Consider your connection with your contractors as a mutually advantageous collaboration rather than merely as a means for customers to purchase products from you. The more trust you earn from a contractor, the more probable they are to choose you as their major supplier.
You can get proactive by asking ahead of time which upcoming jobs they plan to bid on, or by using a media source like Construction Journal to get notified to projects they might be interested in, which you can then pass on to your contacts, when you have a list of contractors who you know view your business as their first choice.
With your knowledge, you may come up with a price strategy that helps the contractor get the work while also profiting you. Remember that preserving the contractor's business for this and future contracts is more essential than generating a few extra bucks on a single purchase, so take advantage of quantity discounts and bulk pricing where you can. After all, you benefit if they win.
The Best Ways to Improve Your Contractor Relationship
You can do a few things to ensure that you're giving contractors the finest service possible:
– Increase the variety of your merchandise. Order your goods from a number of sites as long as you're not breaking any manufacturer's conditions. Assure you can recommend similar things as substitutes in the event of a distribution chain or logistical issue, and that you're informed and prepared to do so. Contractors will feel more confident in depending on you for their supplies if they know you have alternative plans in place.
– Complementary takeoffs should be performed. Contractors are busy, and they'll appreciate it if you can take measurements and estimates off their plate ahead of time. A preconstruction platform like SQ-FEET makes it simple to conduct takeoffs for your contractors, and as a bonus, you can link your products as components and assemblies to generate a bid for the task, making the process easier for everyone involved. Include sales tax in your quotations to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
– Clear and frequent communication is essential. When problems develop, and even when things are going well, over communication is the best course of action. Send notifications about when supplies will be delivered on a regular basis, and double-check where they should be placed on the project. Contractors have so much on their plates that it's difficult for them to keep track of material management, so make sure you call out as soon as possible if there's a chance of delays.
– Provide expertise and serve as a valued advisor. Notify your contractors when you get new items. Read and share the information supplied by manufacturers. You may also hold courses to teach contractors about the latest materials and assist their newer staff get up to speed, especially during the off-season. These sorts of events are ideal for marketing your company and strengthening your relationships.
You'll be able to cultivate solid business connections and keep consumers over time if you treat contractors like partners on the same team.