Home News Alfie Rowe explains how to add value and cut the overall cost of a project for a contractor | Armorduct

Alfie Rowe explains how to add value and cut the overall cost of a project for a contractor | Armorduct

Winning customers is a competitive business, but it is an expensive mistake to view cable management products as a commodity.

Instead, argues Alfie Rowe, Managing Director at Armorduct, involving the manufacturer from the beginning allows you to add value and often cut the overall cost of a project for the contractor.

When a contractor is tendering for business, price is a vital element for many jobs but their cost will be for both materials and labour. The latter is in short supply and is generally by far the most expensive element. Instead of just looking at the base product cost, if you can cut your customer’s total cost for a project and/or offer a higher quality solution, then all parties win.

Your customer is more likely to win the project and you will sell more products, or more accurately, more systems, at higher margins. When you contrast this with simply cutting product costs then you are only in a race to the bottom and ever shrinking margins. And if you opt for cheaper products then the quality is likely to suffer. Chasing ever-lower prices is a fool’s game that benefits no one.

A better approach is to work closely with your supplier from the beginning and understand your customer’s real needs. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that such an approach often leads to a more cost-effective answer for your customer anyway, and that may also mean repeat business for you.

Saving materials 

Even for relatively simple jobs it’s worth asking a few questions. Cable tray and trunking for example, tends to come in standard 3m lengths, but what if the contractor needs different lengths? Perhaps some at 2.8m and others at 1.6m. Responsive manufacturers like ourselves can manufacture this exactly to length and supply it ready to fit without needing to do any extra work on site.

Involving your supplier means that you can use their expertise and their manufacturing capability to best meet your customer needs. It’s something that we’ve been doing for years, and this supply chain cooperation has taught us that there is a real need for flexibility.

It’s why we’ve created a specialist section within our manufacturing plant that is dedicated to producing bespoke items. Whether it’s as simple as manufacturing something to length, or designing fully bespoke solutions, it means that we can reduce the lead times on these products dramatically because we do not need to interrupt the production of our off-the-shelf ranges.

Using design expertise

But the real value comes if you work with your supplier from the beginning. At Armorduct for example, we have a dedicated computer aided design team to help you and the contractor meet particular on-site requirements and bespoke solutions. You can leverage this capability to really help your customer add value and ensure their continued loyalty to you.

This service can vary from a complete solution that is ready to assemble quickly on site, providing all the benefits of factory-controlled quality and reduced installation time, to a few simple tweaks or minor redesigns. Both will help meet tight deadlines and save on labour.

Sometimes these design solutions come from a verbal brief, sometimes as a result of a BIM diagram, and sometimes from a site visit. Our early involvement can help design better solutions that often save money on the project. It pays to make the most of our expertise as it will help give your customers the edge in winning more business for them, and for you. 

Flexible and fast

This partnership approach really comes to the fore if something goes wrong on site, which is when you really need a fast and responsive service. It might be for example, that the BIM diagram is not what the contractor actually sees on site. Other services such as ducting or air conditioning can get in the way and people make mistakes. If that happens you need a supplier who can respond quickly, and often this problem solving involves more than supplying standard products.

Getting your supplier involved early in a project brings together a team that will help your customer win more business. It allows you to leverage our expertise to add value for everyone’s benefit, and in many cases reduce the overall cost to the contractor without affecting your margins.

It’s a mistake to solely rely on lower product pricing with customers. They will show you little loyalty – if they can get a better price down the road then they will. What they will value is your service and expertise, and for that it pays to access all the help you can get from your suppliers.

Get us involved from the beginning of a project, it will help you maintain your margins, win more business and delight your customer.

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