Every business will tackle the conundrum of whether to shell out in the short-term or to focus on long-term investment, and the outcome will be dependent on many factors.

Chief among them is the nature of the project and whether it warrants a long-term approach or whether short-term expenditure will be sufficient. In the construction industry, things are invariably built to last and so all tasks are carried out with an eye on the future, but this does not mean that every part of the process requires bulk orders and stockpiling.

Another key consideration is the capital available and whether a long-term investment is an option at that moment in time. All businesses are at the mercy of cashflow, and it is an important factor when debating whether a long-term approach is required.

Storage is another factor that must be considered, as there is little point shelling out for a significant amount of stock if there is nowhere to keep it. Equally, there is the risk of it being left over time for a rainy day and eventually outliving its purpose.

In such instances the short-term approach may seem preferable, but this brings its own challenges, including the need to order ad-hoc and potentially running the risk of being ill-prepared to meet the specific requirements of the project. Multiple journeys will also come at a cost as far as transport is concerned, which can soon bump up the outlay and offer little advantage over the long-term investment.

There is another option, however – the all-in-one approach, which combines the benefits of the two options but without the drain on time or resources.

By using a sole supplier, materials and products can be ordered to a certain specification according to customer demands and set to a specific timeframe.

This not only reduces the amount of journeys that need to be completed, but provides oversight regarding ongoing activity and greater certainty about the location of products.

It also means that products and materials that are specifically intended to be used with each other can be ordered, to create further certainty around compatibility and completion times.

Although short-term outlay and long-term investment each provide benefits, the all-inclusive approach can help to save both time and money and create ongoing peace of mind while delivering on promises.

By Liam O’Hara, marketing director at SIG Building Solutions