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The five retail secrets that can revolutionise construction supply chains

Construction projects are notorious for delays, budget overruns, and missed deadlines. Project managers will often blame “unforeseen supply chain challenges,” but let’s face it, that’s often a euphemism for poor planning.

The fast-paced world of fashion and retail, on the other hand, thrives on efficient supply chains. They can’t afford delays – new trends emerge in seconds, and customer expectations are high. At Ligentia, we work with a range of industries, but one of the ways we’ve honed our craft is through working with some of Australia – and the world’s – most sophisticated retailers. In this blog, I’ve explored five key strategies that the construction sector can leverage from fashion and retail.

1.Omni-channel sourcing: Building resilience through options

Imagine relying on just one supplier and hoping for the best? Retail giants don’t do that. They explore alternatives, anticipate disruptions, and secure backup options. Construction can adopt this approach too. Here’s how:

  • Reduced vulnerability: By having multiple sourcing channels, construction companies become less susceptible to delays caused by unforeseen issues with a single supplier.
  • Competitive pricing: Knowing you have options encourages suppliers to offer competitive pricing.
  • Business continuity: If a disruption hits one supplier, you have a backup plan to keep the project on track.

2. Risk management: Sharing the burden, sharing the success

Saying “we have zero supply chain risk” because materials are delivered isn’t enough. The risk has simply shifted to a supplier who doesn’t have visibility or accountability of delivery of the entire project. Fashion retailers partner with trusted partners who understand the bigger picture. Construction can benefit from similar expertise:

  • Proactive problem-solving: By working together, construction companies and suppliers can identify potential risks early on and develop mitigation strategies.
  • Shared responsibility: A collaborative approach distributes risk, ensuring both parties are invested in a successful outcome.
  • Transparency and trust: Open communication between construction companies and suppliers fosters trust, leading to a more secure supply chain.

3. The power of collaboration in RFPs

I once reviewed a construction project RFP requesting cargo vessels to call at a port that doesn’t exist! This might be a funny anecdote, but it highlights a crucial opportunity. Retailers know the importance of clear, collaborative RFPs. Here’s how construction can benefit:

  • Shared knowledge: By collaborating during the RFP stage, construction companies can tap into the expertise of potential suppliers. This can lead to more realistic timelines, identification of potential hurdles, and the development of win-win solutions.
  • Innovation through partnership: A collaborative RFP isn’t just about ticking boxes. It’s about brainstorming and co-creating solutions. This can lead to innovative approaches and unexpected cost-saving strategies.
  • Stronger, more reliable partnerships: The RFP stage sets the tone for the entire project. A collaborative approach fosters trust and transparency, leading to a stronger, more reliable partnership between construction companies and suppliers.

4. Data-driven decisions: From hunches to hard facts

How much guesswork goes into construction timelines? Retail thrives on data. They analyse lead times, pinpoint potential delays, and optimise resource allocation. Construction can leverage similar strategies to save time and money:

  • Improved accuracy: Data-driven decisions lead to more accurate timelines and resource allocation, reducing the risk of costly delays.
  • Cost optimisation: By analysing historical data and market trends, construction companies can identify cost-saving opportunities.
  • Informed decision-making: Data empowers construction companies to make informed decisions throughout the project lifecycle.

5. Real landed costing: Seeing the bigger picture

Beyond the sticker price, there’s a hidden world of storage, handling, and market fluctuations. Fashion retailers factor these costs in. Construction can adopt this approach for smarter decision-making:

  • Transparency in costs: Real landed costing reveals the total cost of ownership for materials, including hidden expenses like storage and import duties.
  • Better budgeting: By accounting for all costs upfront, construction companies can create more accurate budgets and avoid cost overruns.
  • Strategic decision-making: Understanding real landed costs allows construction companies to make strategic decisions about sourcing and logistics.

Imagine the impact:

Imagine being the construction hero who avoids a disaster with a solution learned from the world of activewear! Ligentia can help you achieve this. We’re experts in global supply chain management, with the tools and technology to transform your projects.

I’ll be at the Sydney Build Expo on May 1st and 2nd, and I’d love to catch up and discuss strategies for revolutionising your construction supply chain.

About the author

Tim Polson has worked across many facets of supply chain including the retail and construction industries over his 20 year career. In that time, he’s participated in a variety of infrastructure projects including  the Sydney Convention Centre, Gladstone LNG, Diamantina Power Station Upgrade, Wiggins Island Coal Terminal, Amrun and more. Tim is a knowledge seeker who is passionate about delivering innovative solutions to address our customers’ supply chain challenges.

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