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Communication is Key to Good Client and Supplier Relationships

Tammy Hall Material Shortages
January 25, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.

RCS Influencer Tammy Hall says communication and strong relationships with suppliers is the secret to success in managing the material shortages. 

Material shortages are plaguing everyone in almost every industry.  At CFS we planned early last year to make communication our number one priority. Every contract we receive the first thing we look at are the terms and conditions.   

We want to ensure that there is allowance for price escalations as it relates to materials and time allowance for availability of materials. We put qualifications into every estimate that there may be a price increase at time of purchase, and we reserve the right to pass this increase onto the owner/contractor. While no one likes having an unsure contract we have found success in being very communicative.  

The second thing that has been very successful for us has been our knowledge of our product lines and the relationships we have with our suppliers. We continue to monitor availability and adjust product recommendations based on this availability. We also have been fortunate enough to benefit from orders that have come in and not been assigned or contractor canceled at the last minute and the supplier is looking for a home for the shipment. This gives us an opportunity to retain pricing and move a project up in the queue.  

Our third suggestion deals with customers. We have found by setting the expectation and keeping them informed has saved us tremendous conflict and frustration. No one likes getting bad news, but certainly no one likes to be the last to know or worse not get information from you that is relative to their project. Our customers have been very receptive to pre-release of material costs sometimes even before the contracts are signed to ensure price guarantees and timing of deliveries. Again, communication resolves many unwanted phone calls and provocations. 

There is no special sauce for how we navigate through these challenges in 2022 but our advice would be COMMUNCIATION, throughout your organization, with vendors/suppliers and most importantly with your customers. When you set the expectation honestly, most people are understanding and ready to help. Stay safe and wish you much success. 

Tammy Hall is the Director of Marketing and Service Division for CFS Roofing Services LLC championing over 25 years of marketing and corporate consulting experience. Read more about her in her full bio.  



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