The construction sector’s supply chains remain under extreme pressure. Despite the worst effects of the pandemic now slowly subsiding, other factors, such as labour shortages and inflation, are likely to remain amplified. Delays can seriously impact a contractor’s balance sheet if not accounted for. Simon Herod from EstimateOne digs deeper…
Even pre-COVID, the intricacies of the supply chain often gave rise to inefficiencies and delays, ultimately hindering construction projects’ progress. Now, with labour shortages and rising inflation, the industry must turn to digital technology to help them centralise and reshape their supply chains. While these problems may appear to be ‘on-site’ issues, steps taken by the estimating and procurement teams is the first step towards alleviating risk.
Having engaged in daily conversations with estimators over the past six years, it is apparent that the workings of the industry’s supply chain are far from simple. The process of sending out project specifications, obtaining quotes, and aligning subcontractor services with the main project contractor can often result in a mixed-matched supply chain that’s confusing for everyone. Online tendering is part of the solution.
So, let’s get into the tips and tricks to ensure your supply chain is running like a well-oiled machine…
Casting a Wider Net
Due to insolvencies, no one’s subcontractor network looks like it did pre-pandemic, and as the availability of skilled labour continues to dwindle, main contractors must now look to expand their horizons and seek out new sources of supply beyond their usual go-to pool of subbies. For these working partnerships to succeed, seamless collaboration throughout the build is non-negotiable.
Digital tendering platforms, like EstimateOne, aim to create a buffer against construction delays and disruptions, ensuring smoother project execution. Empowering main contractors and subbies alike is the aim. With automated platforms, contractors can advertise job opportunities and extend invitations to potential subcontractors to submit quotes, cutting out the back and forth.
Constantly refreshing your network is important to keep a competitive edge. Broadening your pool of suppliers, main contractors can bolster their resilience and reduce their dependency on a limited set of subbies.
Automate, Centralise & Collaborate
In the face of challenges, the evolving landscape of the construction industry has compelled main contractors to reimagine their supply chain strategies all together. The persistent labour and material shortages have pushed contractors to evaluate and adopt alternative approaches to sourcing subcontractors. Even the smallest blip holds the potential to throw your supply chain into chaos; having a centralised digital platform could mitigate this risk.
In the hustle and bustle of the construction game, when it comes to tendering, it’s all about building connections, not drowning in a sea of paperwork. Trusting old-school methods for managing tenders can lead to missed chances and quotes that are way past their prime. Collaborative networks offered by these platforms make it easy to keep documents safe, work together seamlessly, and track quote progress in real-time. Your estimators won’t be wasting time sifting through quotes or splitting doc packages, but investigating the real deal – actual quotes.
Automation doesn’t always mean relying on a robot to get the job done. This automation equals faster processes that remove the repetitive tasks and let you get back to the build at hand. Automated addenda management can remove the risk of document superseding mistakes. Access to digital document audit trails provides a helpful overview of which subcontractor has which document and reduces the risk of document disputes.
The future supply chain
The rocky supply chain shows that it’s time the industry looks towards automation in order to diversify – the tendering process is no exception. When both parties do better, subbies win more work, and you have more accurate quotes, it’s simple! We aren’t calling for a complete tech-infused makeover, but instead start to embrace the streamlined processes that let you get back to fostering solid relationships. Because, in the end, our aim is all about bringing things together for enhanced teamwork and smooth builds.