Choosing a supplier for any type of equipment or material is tricky, especially if you are trade professional looking to forge a working relationship with a manufacturer or a supplier. This is because your projects and therefore clients’ satisfaction is dependent on a third-party, so you need to make sure that they are reliable and deliver excellent quality products too.
This is true of steel beam suppliers, where the ability to manufacture and supply these products in a timely fashion is essential in moving construction projects forward at a reasonable pace. Furthermore, steel beams need to be of a high standard if they are to be used in construction work – CE marked and ISO 9001 approved products should be the standard here.
With that in mind, there are several things to bear in mind when choosing a supplier. Here are some of the common mistakes that you might make, and how to approach the task differently to ensure success.
The first thing that you should consider is whether or not the steel beam supplier that you are considering can meet your very specific needs. This can include delivering a variety of products – from mezzanine floors and RSJ steel beams to steel platforms and racking. You should define your needs clearly, and then look for a steel beam supplier that can deliver on them.
A common mistake to make is to look for a supplier that delivers on the lowest price in one area but does not deliver the products that you need. What this can result in is you shopping around for several suppliers at once, all which offer the lowest prices.
Whereas this may mean that you are making some savings by working with the lowest priced supplier in several areas, consider that you will also be dealing with several different companies, each with different production methods, different teams of staff and different production and delivery schedules.
This can, of course, get very confusing and mean that you can spending more time than necessary coordinating all of these suppliers. Instead, finding one company that delivers across the board for a reasonable fee can be a far better idea, saving time in the short-term and money in the long-term.
The next common mistake that is made is choosing a company that uses a different means of communication than you by preference, or choosing one that is hard to communicate with due to a time difference or a language barrier. This is particularly the case when choosing an overseas supplier.
This is also true of domestic supplier however, as many trades people can find it discouraging that the company may have limited telephone contact hours, that the steel beam supplier rarely replies to emails or that the company does simple not offer your preferred method of communication.
It is essential that your modes of communication match up so that you are always able to get hold of someone should you run into a problem or if you want to make an urgent purchase of some stock products. Before you hire someone, make sure that you will be able to reach them in a way that suits you and investigate whether they have put in place a most wait time for responses.
The last error that many people makes is not investigating delivery times and costs, and also design and fabrication times. Some tradespeople work on very pressurised schedules, whereas others can afford to wait longer for high quality products. Similarly, some are on tighter budgets and others on more generous budgets.
Investigating how long the average production and delivery time is and how much it will cost will help you decide whether the steel beam supplier that you are considering is suitable for you. By avoiding this and other common errors mentioned above, you are more likely to find a supplier with whom you can forge a strong, long-term working relationship.