Find a supplier you can rely on.
Finding a supplier is an early step in your project and it can be one of the hardest and most stressful decisions. It’s important to find a supplier that works well with your company and who will give you the best product and service offering.
Suggested qualities to look for in a good supplier.
Just because a supplier can produce a few impressive product samples doesn’t mean they can live up to this standard for mass production. Do your own due diligence and have a checklist to include characteristics which help you determine whether the supplier is the best for you.
- Accountability for quality issues.
Sometimes a mistake is difficult to admit. If you work with a supplier who takes responsibility for the quality of their product, it can be a game-changer.
A supplier who takes ownership will take responsibility for the issue and look to rectify it as soon as they can, but a supplier without accountability will likely deflect responsibility which can hinder your ability to meet deadlines and product requirements.
- Production capabilities.
Checking a supplier’s production capabilities is deeper than just asking your supplier. A good supplier should be able to consistently manufacture a product that meets relevant standards and expectations.
- Expertise in the specific market.
The more expertise the supplier has in the market, the more likely they are to be familiar with common issues related to the product. And if the supplier is experienced in the demographics of your company, they’ll be more familiar with the relevant quality standards and legal requirements for your area.
An experienced supplier will be more able to quickly identify and rectify issues before the issue becomes a greater problem and affects a large portion of your project.
- Ease of communication.
Dealing with a supplier who is easy to communicate with is key to your success because it will prevent many issues that occur due to lack of information or lack of specification.
A supplier who withholds information because it was bad news, or because they’re trying to hide specifics is a bad decision.
The best suppliers are open and direct with their communication, and they don’t hide information from you. If they will tell you the bad news upfront and if they need further clarification about requirements, they’ll ask for it.
Think about location when choosing your suppliers. Buying local should always be a priority to reduce risks to your business and your project. Local suppliers bring more flexibility, greater control and fewer supply chain issues overall, plus it helps our local economy.
Dealing with overseas suppliers may result in longer delivery lead times, extra freight costs and potential difficulties for any rectification works should that issue arise.
Does the supplier deliver the right product to the right specifications, and on time as they promised? That’s called a DIFOT… Delivery in full on time, ask your supplier what their DIFOT score is.
Larger suppliers generally are more reliable due to the better resourcing and systems they have in place in the company to make sure they can deliver on their promises.
To find out the supplier’s stability in the market is important especially if you have a long-term contract or if they’re the only supplier for the specific item you need.
Check the supplier’s credit history and ask for references to see if they’re financially stable. Generally, you should look for experienced who’ve been in business for a long time.
Affordability should also be a key factor in your decision. Competitively priced suppliers are an attractive option, but cheap prices do not always mean the best value for money. If the product or service is of poor quality, you may incur extra costs for rectification or replacements and risk losing business because of your damaged reputation.
- Business values.
Consider if your supplier’s business values align with the values of your own company. If one of your values is a quality product you should consider suppliers with high-quality standards and systems in place for quality control measures etc.
Causes of insolvency.
Late payments and bad debts are the main triggers of insolvency in businesses in many sectors. A major trigger of insolvencies in the construction industry is unprofitability. There are many companies in the industry and the process of winning contracts is highly competitive.
The rise in insolvencies within the industry can be attributed to the recent cost increases of building products and the shortage of labour, especially on projects that were priced and won a few years earlier.
Warning signs of insolvency.
The construction industry in Australia may be booming but beneath the surface, there is much uncertainty in relation to insolvencies and wind-up notices. Here are some warning signs to look out for to mitigate any risk:
- Constant production and delivery delays or lead times not being met.
- Delayed payments of subcontractors or others in the supply chain.
- Program or quality issues.
- Subcontractors refusing to go-to site.
How FTI Group fits in with all this.
FTI Group is an Australian family-owned and operated company with extensive experience in the construction industry having manufactured prefabricated formwork systems for over 25 years.
The FTI business’s foundations have been built on high-quality, compliant products coupled with offering expert technical advice whilst ensuring our customers receive exceptional service.
FTI have a central manufacturing facility in Australia with stocking facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney to ensure we can deliver product to our customers where they need it when they need it.
FTI are experts in prefabricated formwork with our products now featuring in over 3000 projects throughout Australia and New Zealand.
With large stock holdings and a large production capacity, FTI can offer fixed rates for concrete stairs and metal decking formwork to allow customers reliability, stability, and certainty with pricing for their projects.