Property development has become one of our fastest growing and most lucrative UK industries however, as with most successes, it comes with its share of challenges. These come in many forms however, whether you’re an experienced multi-property developer or a first-time investor, a number of these challenges remain the same. One of these challenges always remains the elusive efficient client-supplier relationship.

So why is this so important and what element of this relationship could possibly have a major impact on your build/renovation? The issues can be many and varied however we will cover some of the most frequently experienced:

  1. Budget

Most developers have pushed the budget at one time or another, often to their detriment. The temptation to source materials of a slightly higher quality or design than is needed for the project’s target market or resale value. And, when volume is needed, the price associated with this quandary becomes significant. Beautiful aesthetics over affordable cost – in an ideal world, we want both.

  1. Flexibility

Products that are custom made, designed to enhance the style and design of your project. Surely these will take endless months to arrive and cost more than the land or original property? We feel your pain. This is one of the first areas that ZODA was created to address when it comes to high-quality glazing. How do we do this? – by forming solid relationships with some of the UK’s premium aluminium glazing manufacturers – ones that we have personal experience of dealing with over many years and ones we trust – both in terms of product quality and delivery times. We regularly tailor our packages to suit the individual requirements of the developer or contractor. Our product reach goes further than the displayed range on our website and, when required, we source products to suit individual specifications.

  1. Knowledge

There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with a supplier whose main aim is to simply ‘shift boxes’. We now expect advice and guidance. Will a product work and last in an unexpected situation? What options do I have when adapting a plan? Can you advise on a selection of options to present to a client? Not only does supplier knowledge help you develop a build of exceptional quality, but it can save you a great deal of valuable time and money.

  1. Time Frame

There are very few industries where the old saying ‘time is money’ is more accurate. Delays relating to material supply can, and do, cause all manner of costly problems. In addition to the main issue of delays to a build deadline, setbacks caused by the non-appearance of materials can mean cancellation fees associated with tradesmen that have been scheduled, costly extensions of on-site machinery/equipment, and that’s before you’ve updated your frustrated client and everyone else involved. With over twenty years of experience, Luke Heaver – founder of ZODA has extensive, first-hand experience of the problems that delays can cause. With this in mind, he created a glazing business that made supply times a primary focus and delivers directly to site, reducing these timescales even further.

  1. Quality

All developers, quite rightly, want to source the highest quality for a realistic price, ensuring their build maintains quality, durability and style. This usually takes a great deal of research and negotiation however the benefits it brings contribute to the developer’s reputation and, consequently, future business.

  1. Communication

And lastly in our list, but just as importantly, communication is key. If things aren’t running to plan or to time – you need to know well in advance and be presented with the options available to you. If a product isn’t going to fit the brief, you need an alternative. If costs have changed – tell you. This also works both ways – you need to be able to contact your supplier easily to inform them of changes to your requirements. We understand this and make two-way communication as easy and efficient as possible.

Obviously a new-build or a renovation requires a raft of suppliers of numerous materials and services. However, no matter what product, material, or service you are sourcing, it would be worth keeping some or all of these issues in mind. There are significant cost-savings associated with the efficiencies brought about by solid, trusted supplier relationships.

Some of the best suppliers are established by those that started life in the industry – there are few things as valuable as the first-hand experience that working in a real-life situation brings. Certainly, at ZODA, we have found this experience essential to creating the new way of delivering the solutions we provide.

We’d be interested in hearing the elements you consider to be most important when selecting your suppliers and welcome your experiences and views in the comments.