Time equals money, so using your time more effectively makes your business more cost effective and helps reduce waste across the board.

For businesses that have various operational and supply considerations, the best way to save time and money is by streamlining processes to minimise the number of parties involved.

This approach can free up resource to focus on other aspects of the business, boosting both traceability and accountability, which can have many financial benefits. It also means you can make savings from having to spend less time speaking with multiple contacts.

Vertical integration

Using a vertically integrated supplier can play a major role in streamlining the costs associated with sourcing from multiple suppliers, as well as removing the uncertainty.

Reducing the number of contacts involved in a process provides an operational relief. The more parties involved in a process, generally the more chances there are that wires will be crossed, variables will come into play, and the process as a whole will take longer.

Another seemingly unavoidable consequence of dealing with multiple people is that sometimes there will be issues over certain products in terms of compatibility, delivery or specification.

Issues are not limited to structural problems either, ranging from acoustics to thermal efficiency.

When one project is utilising products from various suppliers, there is always a question over compatibility and – even if this is not the case – there can still be discrepancies when it comes to colour or textures.

Having a sole supplier for this can eliminate the need to liaise with multiple suppliers and also help to speed up the process if any additions or changes need to be made to the order. With one supplier if there is one problem, there is one guarantee and one solution.

Large supplier

When items are specified from a large supplier, there are the manifold benefits of having a larger selection of products and materials to choose from, and also the increased certainty over how these will complement each other.

Not relying on different suppliers means that the project will not need to change in line with restricted materials offerings giving you greater control over your project. Any issues can be dealt with by one person, meaning that costly conversations will not need to take place, having a direct impact on peace of mind. For the specification, one supplier can also provide test data for all components easily.

By using one supplier for a system, a specifier is covered by a single guarantee. The alternative is for each individual product to have its own guarantee, which would mean that if something goes wrong there is potential for confusion or disagreement between third parties.

If the system is specified as a whole – such as the roof – then any issues that do occur can be rectified with a single phone call. With one all-inclusive guarantee covering multiple elements, issues can be traced efficiently and solved quickly and easily.

This then has a beneficial effect on reducing remedial work, avoiding weeks or even months of delays, and potential reputation damage.

In short, one person handling the provision of multiple products pre-specification enables them to provide a wealth of information, and means that fixing any issues post-specification takes far less effort. Although products cost money, time costs money too, and effective management of both is essential.

The process in a nutshell

The benefits of having a single source are not restricted to the areas of logistics and communication. They extend to the entire process, with time being saved at every stage, from fewer purchase orders to less distance travelled.

From initial design to installation, and even processes such as colour matching, having a one stop shop in the form of a single supplier can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to get the ball rolling and see the product through to completion.

The specification of a sole building envelope has additional benefits, as the guarantee will cover where systems meet, effectively supporting the interaction between the wall and the roof.

The time saved can then be reinvested into other parts of the business and help to reduce overall project costs, while enabling others to get off the ground faster.

By Liam O’Hara