16th March 2015
Three crucial relationships to keep your construction business running smoothly
Construction companies use the services of plenty of other firms in order to succeed in business.
When your construction firm first started out, it was probably fairly autonomous. You might have started the firm on your own, or with a partner or two. Maybe you brought on a few labourers and an accounts manager, but you almost certainly operated with a skeleton crew until the business became much larger. As your construction company grew, it inevitably came to rely on more and more individuals and other firms – the larger the company today, the more productive working relationships you’ll have forged along the way. Are all of these relationships as mutually beneficial as you’d like them to be? Take a look at these three crucial construction industry relationships and ask yourself: could yours be improved?
Construction firms rely on strong links up and down the supply chain. When you win a contract, you’re going to need raw materials, parts and equipment in order to see it through to completion. You may well deal directly with a supplier (particularly if yours is a very large contractor), but you’re more likely to secure deals through a builders’ merchant. For this relationship to work for you, you’ll need the builders’ merchant to offer a range of stock suitable for fulfilling all of your forthcoming contracts, alongside a fast ordering and delivery process should you need to order products that aren’t available in-store. If you have a particularly good relationship with your builders’ merchant of choice, you may find that they offer you loyalty discounts and keep a record of your previous orders to make future transactions more expedient. Are you getting everything from your builders’ merchant that you should?
Most contractors above a certain size will need to bring in subcontractors from time to time. It doesn’t make sense to keep a large number of labourers on the payroll on a permanent basis, so it’s likely that you rely on subcontractor labour whenever a new contract comes in. Perhaps you bring in limited company contractors to fulfil these jobs, or, more likely, you use a recruitment agency to provide you with labourers when necessary. Whatever approach you take, you almost certainly return to the same subcontractors or recruitment agency again and again because you’ve had good experiences with them in the past. It’s important to build up a strong relationship with your subcontractors – knowing you can rely on them to do a good job will provide you with welcome peace of mind, while the knowledge that they’re unlikely to cause any compliance issues will prove equally reassuring.
There’s a tacit understanding in the construction sector that companies large and small must employ some form of construction software. Whether you use generic software or a construction-specific software package, automating many of your accounting processes will undoubtedly save you time and almost certainly help to prevent costly human error. For some construction companies, the idea of upgrading to a new software system (perhaps from a generic software programme to a construction-specific one, or adopting software after previously handling processes manually) can be daunting. You might feel that there will be teething problems as you get used to your new software, or issues migrating existing data to the new system. For that reason, it’s important to establish a strong relationship with your construction software provider. It’s important that your software provider sticks around for longer than it takes to sell you a software package – they should be on hand to help you bring the software live, and available long afterwards to offer you troubleshooting advice and support as you get used to your new system. Do you have a strong working relationship with your current construction software provider, or no relationship at all?
Here at Integrity Software we appreciate that the aftercare aspect of software integration is often the most crucial aspect of all. Our personable and helpful customer service team will always be on hand to help you make the most of your Integrity software package once you’ve made the decision to start a working relationship with us. To find out more about our software, visit the Integrity Software website or contact us today.