When a project is tendered by a client, the prices they receive back are assumed to be “like for like” in terms of quality, performance and compliance. The only thing that is different is cost, and there will always be someone who is cheaper than you. In the words of the late Frank Sinatra, That’s life!
The question is why? Do they have better purchasing power? Are they more efficient, or are there other reasons that only come to light when it’s too late?
Over-promising and under-delivering
We have all been let down at some point and there is nothing worse than being promised something that never gets delivered. In these uncertain times, having as much control over all the elements that make up what is offered in a price is key to giving yourself the best opportunity to perform. This means looking at the whole process from material procurement to manufacture, transport, labour and technical back up. It stands to reason that the more of these items you outsource or sub-contract then the less control you have and the more likely you are to under perform.
We have been in direct control of manufacturing now for over 30 years so it’s fair to say that we know what we are doing. Unlike some other decking contractors, we have a factory that only manufactures for our projects, which means that we are not 3rd in line or waiting for a big order to go out to someone else before they get to ours. This level of control puts us in a much stronger position when it comes to certainty of material availability in comparison to other decking contractors.
Working with SMD
We don’t make false claims about our delivery times or manufacturing processes. We never accept contracts that will take us over capacity and ensure that we can deliver on every contract we have in process – we can’t make more than what’s physically possible.
Our customers know we’re reliable and come back to us project after project. In the 2020-2021 financial year we serviced over 200 contracts to over 60 clients using our dedicated directly employed workforce. The majority of these projects for repeat customers, with whom we’ve built relationships with over many years.
Setting realistic expectations
As well as never over-promising on what we can achieve, we’ll manage expectations and let you know if anything unexpected happens. We schedule dates for maintenance to ensure our machines run at optimum capacity and minimise breakdowns, but as our factory handles the stresses of producing in the region of 1 million square meters of decking every year, it can happen. If there’s a break in manufacturing, we immediately let you know.
In the current climate with decking contractors, there are haulage problems across every industry, not just construction. We’ve built up long-lasting relationships with many companies who manage our haulage and they will always do their best to help us – but until the world settles into normalcy there may be times when there are delays with materials getting to our factory and going out to site. Again, we’ll always communicate this as efficiently as possible.
Finally, our specialist products, coatings and finishes tend to be made to order so these can take a little longer than stocked products. However, we’ll be open and honest and factor this in during the tender process so it won’t come as a surprise later down the line.
We’re always here to help!
Our team will always be there to help with any technical queries or explain our tender quotes. Transparency and honesty are key at SMD so we’ll be able to tell you exactly why we’ve quoted a particular price and how we can help during the project either from a technical or value engineering perspective.
Lastly, enjoy singing ‘That’s life’ for the next few hours!