Building Materials Shopping Basket

I cringe when I hear customers talking about what about great deal they made on x project by buying materials directly from the manufacturer.

After 20 years in the industry, rarely do I ever see a deal where that customer actually saves money.  Sometimes they lose on price, sometimes it’s service, and usually it’s both. In almost every case they are convinced they are getting the best deal.

There’s about a dozen other things that aren’t as easily quantified into dollars that eventually costs them money. The one constant is that it eventually negatively impacts their bottom line.

Issues with handling & storage, accounting, leadtime, quality control, warranty claims, and other complications add up to lost dollars.


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shopping basket of building materials
Starting out

When people start a business, they go in guns blazing with business plans, market research, networking and advertising.  They find vendors, open lines of credit, and start closing jobs. After a few months and some success, all those things seem to get shelved for “more pressing” needs.

Owners wear lots of hats, and the things that drive immediate income take precedence over everything else.  When you only spend $30,000 in a year on materials, leaving 10-20% on the table isn’t as painful as when you spend $300,000 or $3,000,000.

Businesses evolve and change over time and their needs change, but purchasing seems to get neglected.  As long as product shows up and complaints from the field are minimal, all is well.

But is it? When was the last time an owner, partner, or C-level executive took a hard look at the market (or markets) they are working in to compare vendors?

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