Focusing on Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) during a construction project can be beneficial for all companies involved.
Establishing positive relationships from the very beginning is key to limiting potential challenges and increasing the likelihood of great results. And developing lasting relationships can work well for all parties in the long term. Trust is essential and once this has been established, it’s much easier to create strong partnerships.
Some key things that enable successful supply chain relationships are:
1. Good communication from initial contact through to delivery and beyond
2. A reliable and dependable delivery service
3. Availability of products i.e. stock
4. Availability of products through builders merchants who offer client rebates & discounts
5. Ease of ordering and invoicing queries
6. One point of contact i.e. a Business Account Manager
7. Feedback is taken on board to avoid repeat issues
Here are some areas to bear in mind when when managing suppliers and subcontractors:
Prequalification Questionnaire (PPQ) to become a supplier/subcontractor
Before being a part of a ‘tender list’, it’s good practice for the supplier or subcontractor to complete a PQQ. This enables the contractor to assess the suitability and capability of the company looking to work with them.
This would usually involve looking at:
- The company’s financial status
- Health and safety policies & procedures
- Insurance, accreditations, quality procedures, environmental policies & equal opportunities
- Previous projects
The involvement of suppliers & contractors
Early involvement of suppliers & contractors can help to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible and removes the ‘them’ and ‘us’ culture that too often exists. It enables a collaborative and logical approach to the project and any problems/issues that may arise. This should help highlight issues at the earliest opportunity and hopefully result in them being resolved before the project moves onto site.
We’re on hand to assist with the early stages of a project and to support with site visits. Please get in touch if you’d to talk about a project.
Clear planning involving all parties
The exchange and sharing of knowledge between all parties is crucial to ensuring the smooth running of a project. It’s important for everyone to have full awareness of all expectations, dates and deadlines to avoid any miscommunications.
This can be done through weekly/periodic contractor & subcontractor programmes reviews. A morning may be set aside for the senior management from the contractor and subcontractors to meet and review the progress to date as well as the requirements for the next stage. From these meetings, an action list can be put together to address any critical issues and timeframes. Reports may be distributed following the meeting as a reminder and record of any agreements made.
Weekly/Monthly progress reviews
Just as important as discussions surrounding upcoming works are reviews of the previous period. Weekly or monthly meetings can help determine whether anything needs changing in the long-term schedule of the project, to ensure targets are still achievable.
Supply chain collaboration
Working as one team rather than separately will benefit everyone. Gaining input from the supplier/subcontractor will help the progress on-site and ensure there are no surprises for anyone: such as long lead times on materials, labour shortages, discontinued stock etc. This may also allow for the supply chain to bring their expertise and experience to the table, to suggest alternative products or designs to overcome issues that may not have been foreseen without their input.
To summarise, successful supply chain management promotes a policy of ‘inclusion.’ Having all parties included in the project at the earliest opportunity while being in agreement and working towards the same goals will enable projects to run smoother. Meanwhile, a collaborative approach and early involvement of the supply chain will allow expertise to be utilised at a time where changes can be made, rather than having to overcome problems when it’s too late.
Have a project involving wood flooring? We’re here to help with assistance at the early stages, site visits and ongoing support. Get in touch if you’d like to talk.