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Building Supply Managers: Buy in Multiples - Offer Multiple Payment Options

Posted by Brandon Weaver on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Reclaimed WoodWhether you’re a local building supply company, regional chain, or national organization; chances are you buy inventory in multiple quantities. And when you buy in bulk, you may even enjoy purchase discounts. No matter your business’ size, your target clientèle likely consists of contractors, electricians, and plumbers because they need your materials to perform their job. To support them, building supply stores also make repeat purchases, and they buy in multiples.

Lumber – Building Supply’s Bread & Butter

Lumber is not only a big item (literally) but a big ticket item, too. You can think of lumber as the skeleton of a house and the foundation from which all subsequent building takes place. Your foundation as a building supply manager is inventory. If you want to make more, you have to sell more, and to sell more you need to have inventory on hand to satisfy demand. Whether your customer’s jobs are new housing starts, building remodels or additions, you probably cater to them all - and salivate when the industry gains momentum. To that point, the United States Census notes, “privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February… were 7.7 percent above the revised January rate… and 6.9 percent above the February 2013 estimate.”

Eco Friendly Building MaterialsSome building supply materials that are catching more attention this year are not really considered new by industry professionals. Recycled and reclaimed wood may be the top materials in that regard. The key to these materials are their energy efficiency and sustainability. With spring in full swing and summer fast approaching, construction is likely to pick up and you are buying more inventory. To get some insider secrets to building green while making even more green, check out this free eBook: Building Materials Go Green.

Pipes – Keep the Customers a Flowin’

Since a house’s frame is like the human skeleton, than pipes are the veins serving water and natural gas to the house. Depending on your state of origin, building codes will dictate which pipes can be used for certain purposes so it’s important to carry an adequate selection for your customers. As you know there are three main functionalities of pipes: supply lines, drain lines, or gas lines – and all are essential to your clientèle. Water pipes typically consist of CPVC, PEX, PVC, and copper whereas natural gas pipes typically consist of cast iron, PVC, and polyethylene. No matter the type of pipe, you probably sell them in designated lengths, which are not always to the customer’s exact specifications. You probably buy them in multiples, and your customers do too.

Lighting – Shine on the Savings

light bulbsIf lumber is one of the building blocks and a foundation for many construction jobs, lights and wiring are not far behind. Customers have to have lights, right? Just like recycled wood may become more in-demand, stocking up on energy efficient lighting seems to be a no-brainer decision. This is where LED lights come into play because of their efficiency and durability when compared to incandescent and fluorescent alternatives. The United States Small Business Administration actually states, “Lighting accounts for 20%-50% of electricity consumption,” which no doubt influences more and more customers to switch to more energy efficient solutions. Besides, lighting usually provides one of the highest returns on investment of major upgrades, too. Why else do people install solar panels… the sun is free!

With contractors, electricians, and plumbers making repeat purchases, why not offer a multiple payment option that is flexible to meet their needs? A multiple check program may be the solution. Customers can write up to four checks for the total amount. You typically deposit the first check within three days of the purchase. You then agree on a payment schedule with them to pay off the account within 30 days. You’re guaranteed full payment and your customer is happy because they get to take their merchandise home the same day of the purchase. It’s like layaway, only better.

We all know the famous quote, “If you build it, he will come.” The same can be said of multiple check: If you implement the service, customers will follow. Get the full details below.

hold check, payment flexibility, increase sales

Tags: Building Materials