Does your organisation’s reputation stand up to scrutiny?

As the latest construction output figures record a historically steep drop in new orders, Suppliers can no longer assume that a reputation for quality will be enough to help them win projects. Buyers are looking for more from their Suppliers – and Suppliers must be able to prove they can meet their growing expectations.

Some Suppliers see prequalification as just a tick-box exercise; a time-consuming but necessary activity that must be carried out before they can start the real work. However, as the number of new projects dwindles, it’s never been more important for Suppliers to stand out at the prequalification stage. And while a reputation for quality work may have been enough to achieve this in the past, it’s just one of the many expectations Buyers place on their Suppliers in today’s hyper-competitive construction sector.

This means that Suppliers are having to work harder to differentiate themselves from the competition, which is particularly challenging when the rising price of materials and labour is forcing many to cut their operational costs. But savvy Suppliers could find that their unique selling point lies in an unexpected area: compliance.

What do Buyers want from their Suppliers?

A good reputation has always been a valuable tool in a construction organisation’s arsenal, and it still is today. Buyers need to know that they can rely on you to deliver on time and to their high standards, because poor work by your organisation could damage their own brand’s reputation or even force them to incur penalties.

Buyers are facing growing pressure to demonstrate and improve their practices in a range of areas, as well as taking an enhanced level of responsibility for their supply chain. This means that while quality is still very important, it’s not their only consideration when choosing a supplier. They’re also looking for Suppliers that can help them to uphold their values when it comes to operating safely, ethically and sustainably.

New regulations indicate that this increased scrutiny throughout the supply chain is here to stay. The new ISO 45001 standard for occupational health and safety, for example, expands the definition of ‘workers’ to include both employees and contractors. A recent government-commissioned review of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act has also found that the legislation needs major reform, and recommends steps to ensure that businesses take meaningful action to identify and mitigate risk across their supply chains.

Compliance can be a commercial opportunity

So, it’s vital for suppliers to be able to demonstrate that they can meet Buyers’ increasing expectations across the board, and this is where compliance can present Suppliers with a real opportunity to prove their credentials. Certifications and accreditations can help your organisation to stand out from the crowd by providing Buyers with strong evidence of your standards.

Thankfully, it’s getting easier for you to shout about your track record and get your reputation noticed by more Buyers. Build UK recently introduced an industry standard, designed to reduce the costs and lengthy timelines associated with pre-qualification. The new system means that contractors can access PQQ information from any of the three recognised assessment bodies – so you only need to be certified by one. The question set also gives you an efficient way to demonstrate your commitment to ethics and sustainability.

At Constructionline, we’re proud to be one of the founding bodies that helped to create the standard. That’s why we’re making it even easier for our members to promote their credentials with our new Verified VIP service. As a Verified VIP, you’ll be able to demonstrate your compliance using our FastTrack service, so that any updates to your profile are visible to buyers as soon as possible. We’ll also give you exclusive branding to use across your marketing materials, to show you’re one of the first to meet the standard!

To find out more about how becoming a Verified VIP could help your business to stand out from the crowd click here.

Blog Buyer, Buyers, Verified VIP
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