Nigel Crunden: How to capitalise on industry growth

How to capitalise on industry growth

  • 16 Nov 2015

Guest Blog: Nigel Crunden, Business specialist at Office Depot looks at why strong buyer-supplier relationships are a key way to facilitate success and industry growth.  

The construction industry is accumulating strength on the back of output figures for the sector, which was up 0.2% for the second quarter of the year. Taking advantage of this is therefore a priority for many – but what can firms do internally to ensure they are ‘opportunity ready’ where winning work is concerned?

Streamlining costs and driving efficiencies

The fast moving nature of the construction industry means that in order to thrive – instead of just survive – firms should focus heavily on streamlining costs and driving efficiencies to ensure they are able to meet requirements and adapt as and when these change.

Lower costs are no guarantee of quality

How to capitalise on industry growthA shrewder approach to the purchase of products and services should therefore be at the heart of this drive. Taking a fragmented, piecemeal approach can increase costs and risk affecting service levels.

Of course, lower costs are no guarantee of quality so selecting on cost alone carries risk. Those that offer a consolidated package of varied materials, products and services are best positioned to provide good quality at lower price points.

Furthermore, vendors that understand the challenges firms in the sector face are better positioned to align their efforts with customer requirements and expectations.  Suppliers that take a narrower, more complacent approach to servicing the construction industry risk being left behind as the sector’s performance improves. 

How to capitalise on industry growthThe project-based nature of construction means that often, vendors are not offered long-term retained contracts.

This means that they do not have the luxury of gradually building credibility and instead have to hit the ground running by immediately providing more than a basic buyer-supplier relationship.

Firms in the sector looking to take the industry upsurge by the horns and directly benefit, have to consider how their needs will be met by external suppliers – and be prepared to realign these if current arrangements incorporate too much risk. For example, good suppliers will integrate intelligent inventory replenishment systems to ensure customers do not have to prompt them.

Strong buyer-supplier relationships are no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather a key way to facilitate success and growth.

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