As a construction business, you should be aware of the fine lines between success and failure. And if there is one area that you need to get right to ensure the former rather than the latter, it’s your suppliers. The companies that provide you with essential services, raw materials, and maintenance and repairs will all contribute a lot to your potential success – so you need to ensure you choose the right business partners right from the off. Here’s a brief guide for construction companies that should make sure they make the right choices.
The selection process
There are no guarantees that a service or supplier will give you everything you need, and you won’t be able to judge them until you see them in action. However, there are a few things to look at during your selection process. First of all, check their customer service record – and speak to previous clients if possible. Ask them about their delivery commitments, too, and look out for reliability and the systems they have in place for responsiveness.
Make sure that you understand your needs before making your final choice so that you can be sure the service or supplier will be able to meet them. As New Era Fuels point out, construction businesses are often working in hard to access areas, so things like raw materials, fuel for equipment, and servicing machinery will need to be able to get to your sites. You should also consider timing – can a service provider get you what you need within a set amount of time? Any delay on the site can lead to losing money and unhappy customers – and they will all be blaming you rather than the supplier.
Once you have selected the right suppliers, it’s important to develop a deeper relationship with them. There are a few reasons why. First of all, you don’t want to lose a good supplier – when you find a partner that works well with you, they are worth keeping. You’ll also be able to start talking about discounts as you start to use the company more and more. And finally, you never know who your suppliers will be talking to – perhaps they will push some business your way via word of mouth.
The importance of measuring quality
It’s important to keep measuring your suppliers as time goes by, as things change for every business. For example, they might switch to using a weaker or lower quality material than what you might expect. Or, the company you are using might be subject to a takeover, and the quality and customer service starts to slip. Unless you robustly measure performance, you won’t have anything to judge them against, and it can be difficult to see where things might be going wrong.
Finally, always keep the communications up between your construction business and your suppliers. While it won’t guarantee a perfect working relationship, communication is always the sound basis of an excellent partnership. It will also make it easier to discuss any potential issues you might have.
Hope this has helped – let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!