The Construction Products Association has forecast that construction output is continuing through to 2017. Although the long-term sustainability of the recovery was reported as uncertain, industry statistics for the foreseeable future show signs of recovery. Andrew Jackson from SAS International asks: are you ready to answer demand?

As work load increases, price and lead time will prove crucial for sub-contractors. Distributers should have products in stock, ensuring vital items are readily available for pick-up, as and when needed. But as a supply chain, are we answering there requirements?

First of all suppliers need to review their businesses and identify any potential bottlenecks – then take action.

Take a look at your delivery options. Do you have logistics in place to handle contractors’ demands as they work to strict lead times? Is there room for improvement on your service?

Are staff able to respond quickly and efficiently to enquiries? Having expert staff on hand is vital, but is there a level of training required on any particular areas? This can also help with ongoing sales as staff are able to provide a joined up approach and up sell where applicable.

As a manufacturer we work closely with the project team at early design stage to ensure the best solution is created. However, we also understand that refurbishment projects and new builds also need value engineered solutions that have little or no lead-time and offer a high quality, cost-effective choice.

To answer demand during the recession SAS International opened a network of depots around the UK called SAS Direct stocked with SAS commodity products. These depots continue to provide contractors with the ability to collect products on reduced lead times. Recently we have also enhanced our service offering for our standard door profiles which are now stocked ready for next day delivery or collection at five depot locations across the UK and Ireland.

It is important as a manufacturer to strive to reduce lead times. Contractors are working to tight budgets and timelines; therefore suppliers with stock available will help them to complete jobs on time, answer increased demand and also impact the bottom line.

Having a quality product, at best price, with immediate availability is crucial for suppliers to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a company that offers a solution of choice. Having a comprehensive range of commodity products demonstrates your continued commitment to contractors and facility managers.