Any well run business is constantly trying to find ways to save money and contractors in the heavy construction industry are no exception. With equipment costs in the millions, every dollar counts; the presence of a strong relationship with a construction equipment dealer can provide savings many times what might normally be seen in the difference of a purchase price. A strong relationship with a construction equipment dealer matters for the following reasons:
Better Pricing – Simply put, a long-term relationship will lead to better pricing in construction equipment purchases. While the most important aspect to any equipment purchase is total cost of ownership, an establish relationship will enable a dealer to “sharpen its pencil” when it comes to dealing with contractors that have established a regular purchase history.
An Understanding of the Contractor’s Business – The nature of any relationship is the understanding that each party has about the other; the purchase of construction equipment operates in the same way. An equipment dealer familiar with a regular customer simply has a much better understanding of the customer’s business versus another company without that knowledge. Using that history, the dealership is in a strong position to suggest equipment, recommend useful features and provide guidance to satisfy the contractor’s need.
Accurate Answers – Whether in a personal or professional setting, we’ve all encountered a salesperson or customer service agent that provided an answer just to eliminate the question, regardless of whether it was correct or not. When a strong relationship between two parties exists, more care is taken in answering questions accurately to prevent damage to that relationship.
Dependability – Having already established a relationship with a construction equipment supplier, a contractor has an established track record on which to rely. With multiple construction projects to manage, contractors are on tight deadlines and having a dependable vendor can mean the difference between a well-timed, profitable job and a reputation-damaging headache.
Preferential Treatment – A strong relationship offers the contractor preferential treatment, which can take many forms, such as access to limited inventory, priority given to a service request and a faster response time, but there are many others. When a piece of critical construction equipment is down, a desperate contractor can rely on the relationships developed with equipment and parts vendors to save the day.
Business Intelligence – Equipment dealers interact with a number of construction contractors; a good relationship with an equipment dealer can provide information that wouldn’t be available to a casual customer. Whether it’s leads on upcoming projects, industry leading practices that the dealer’s other customers use or simply rumors from “around the water cooler,” relationships prove to be valuable.
Purchasing construction equipment can be a costly endeavor, however the development of a long-term relationship between a construction equipment dealer and contractor can pay substantial dividends. While the benefits are many, a focus on the long-term is necessary. Therefore, short-term purchases from dealers of convenience should be avoided in favor of those that will contribute to a stronger relationship among a handful of suppliers to decrease cost and improve contractors’ long-term success.