What Contractors Really Need: A Straight-Talk Perspective

How Accurate Information Fuels Efficiency in Construction

By Jim Johnson, President & CEO, NEMRA

Recently, I shared about what contractors really need to stay on track at eBiz 2023. In an industry where deadlines are fixed, let’s dive into why getting accurate, real-time information from the start is vital for the success of construction projects—and what you can do about it.

Real-time Data: A Non-negotiable Need

In the high-stakes world of construction, contractors need clear, real-time data on product lead times and delivery dates. This is essential for efficient labor scheduling and risk mitigation, enabling contractors to keep projects moving smoothly, finish jobs faster, and sidestep those pesky change orders. IDEA makes it easy for manufacturers communicate and update this critical information, putting it in the hands of their front-line sales force: distributors and manufacturer’s reps.

The Unyielding Nature of Project Deadlines

Contractors are bound by unmovable completion dates. Delays in lead times compress their schedule and leave them facing penalties. Accurate information helps our customers finish the job and safeguard their reputation—as well as ours (the manufacturer, the rep, and the distributor).

The Ripple Effects of Inconsistent Communication

A recurring challenge I’ve observed in the industry: inconsistent communication can wreak havoc and lead to costly delays. Contractors frequently face situations where they receive different answers from various points in the supply chain. When contractors receive conflicting information, they might resort to alternate product sources to get the job done, which can instantly sideline both the manufacturer and the rep, and sometimes even the distributor. The impact can extend far beyond this one project; it can result in the loss of trust and future business.

Manufacturers, Listen Up! Your Role is Crucial

For my friends in manufacturing, transparency isn’t just a courtesy; it’s a necessity. Use IDEA Connector to be upfront about lead times and supply chain realities. Continually update the “Lead Time” and “Lead Time UOM” fields. This tells customers how long things take and how you measure that time. Whether it’s days, hours, or weeks, this information is invaluable for keeping the supply chain efficient and profitable.

Final Thoughts: Let’s Level Up Together

Let’s join forces to ensure timely access to crucial information across the board. Together, manufacturers, reps, distributors, and contractors can turn challenges into opportunities for growth and improvement. With tools like IDEA Connector, we can streamline our processes and build stronger, trust-based relationships for the future. Let’s unite to lead our industry in integrity, efficiency, and success within project budgets and timelines.