The Importance of Good Merchant / Customer Relationships

Keith Bunn, Senior Sales at Ridgeons discusses how housebuilders can use their merchant to help overcome hurdles faced during a project.

The National House Building Council’s latest registration statistics revealed that more than 12,000 new homes were registered to be built in the UK in February. It is therefore vital that housebuilders have the necessary support in place, which is where builders’ merchants, such as Ridgeons are able to help.

No two building projects are ever quite the same but having worked alongside housebuilders for 42 years on numerous projects, I have come to understand some of the similar challenges that they face. These can vary from not getting the right materials on site at the right time, either because someone in the supply chain has overpromised or not planned effectively, to facing delivery issues because the site has limited access. These are unnecessary hurdles that have the potential to throw a project off schedule and can be overcome by establishing a good relationship with your builders merchant.

Involve us early

By involving us early in the planning process, we are able to get a real understanding of your project. It is always helpful when housebuilders bring in a set of their drawings for us to work from too. By seeing the whole picture, we are best placed to offer support and guidance when needed. Engaging early with your builders merchant also helps to predict any problems you are likely to encounter, such as an extension on the manufacturer’s lead time. By working together, this information will allow you to ensure you can keep to your schedule.

It’s good to talk

Communication is the key to a successful partnership between housebuilder and merchant and remember, there is no detail too small to mention. For example, if you think that there could be a problem with a delivery vehicle having access to the site, tell us. We will then be able to send the most appropriate vehicle from our fleet to site. By keeping in contact, we are able to plot where you are with your project and ensure that any required materials are available immediately when you require them.

Let’s combine experience

Utilise our experience! We have a team that includes specialists in specific areas who are a great resource to pull in at different stages of your project. They should be able to offer you advice on product selections and help you find solutions to any problems that arise throughout your project.

It is inevitable that throughout a housebuilding project there will be challenges that you face, however many of these can be avoided or a solution found quickly if you engage with your merchant early in the process.

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