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Sana Commerce

How Your Construction Company Can Benefit from E-Commerce


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The construction industry is moving at a rapid pace. In fact, by 2030, it is estimated that the global construction market will be worth over a trillion dollars. Businesses hoping to remain competitive and reap the benefits would do well to position themselves now with the tools they need to move ahead.

Construction firms that believe what’s always worked will always work may find themselves falling behind as digitization and e-commerce lead their competitors to more profitable positions.

However, it’s important to approach digitization with a long-term strategic plan. If your construction firm is weighing options and investigating solutions, no doubt, you have a lot of questions. We’ve listened to our clients’ concerns and have identified the most frequently asked questions regarding construction e-commerce. Here are the questions and our answers:

1. Our traditional sales methods are working well enough now. How necessary is e-commerce?

E-commerce for construction may not affect the immediate survival of your company, but going forward, it will be an important part of your strategy. Traditional business methods may be effective, but they will allow you to remain relevant only if other construction companies continue to use them too. Digitization is becoming more mainstream even in traditional industries, and customers realize that they have power and choices. They want fast and efficient service with transparency. You have to keep your customers if you are going to keep your business.

Also, a predicted labor shortage raises productivity concerns. It’s estimated that fifteen million construction workers will retire or leave the industry within the next ten years. If that happens, construction companies will need to adapt, doing as much or more with fewer resources.

Integrated e-commerce will help you meet the challenges of a changing market. It’s a good idea to get started early and invest in e-commerce now, so you’ll be well situated when it becomes a necessary part of business strategies across your industry. It can also help you:

 

2. Our company already has a web store. What more do we need?

How up-to-date is your web store? A first-generation web store is a good start, but the key to mastering e-commerce is ongoing investment, improvement, and innovation.

As your customers become more e-commerce savvy and want more features, choices, functionality, and availability than your current web store offers, it may be time for an upgrade.

3. Additive manufacturing is changing our industry. How can e-commerce help?

By combining architecture, design, and robotics, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is paving the way for better and more accurate prototyping. Additive manufacturing allows some businesses to create spare parts on-demand, eliminating the need for inventory space and easing concerns about overstocking or running out of materials. Additive manufacturing can help relieve issues with product availability: information which you can then reflect in your web store to drive more purchases. With the option to pad your product inventory with additive manufacturing, you’ll be prepared to sell whenever your customers are ready to buy.

4. Our customers want speedy delivery. How can e-commerce solve this issue?

Integrated e-commerce supports faster transactions, easier ordering, more efficient order fulfillment, and more reliable tracked shipping. Your B2B customers will spend less time worrying about or checking on their orders. That’s more productive for you and for them.

With data from your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution, clients can find up-to-date product information, shipping calculations, and all the information they need to make a buying decision. Order changes or modifications can be made easily as your clients’ demands change

5. Investing in e-commerce is expensive. How can we control the cost?

With so many stages in the supply chain, there is always a question of how and where costs can be cut. E-commerce allows for easier direct-to-consumer sales, thus allowing for cost-savings and a shorter order fulfillment cycle. E-commerce increases efficiency and conserves resources by eliminating manual tasks and allowing buyers to pay and manage invoices online.

6. How can we use construction e-commerce to integrate processes?

Sharing data across an organization with integrated e-commerce can make a world of difference when it comes to productivity. With your ERP as the hub for your e-commerce data, information can be shared across your organization resulting in streamlined project management and increased efficiency and profitability. You can also have templates for subcontractor agreements, work orders, change orders, time sheets, inventory, etc., all tailored to your specific needs.

7. What are the industry-specific benefits of integrated e-commerce with Sana Commerce?

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, an e-commerce strategy with Sana Commerce allows you to:

  • Stop inventory blocking: In the construction industry, you always run the risk that customers may order all your remaining inventory, leaving you out of stock for other possibly higher tier customers. Sana Commerce can prevent that by setting up different tiers of customers that would allow higher tier customers priority when stock is low.
  • Manage the complexity of different user roles: With Sana, user roles can be set, allowing you to manage your internal approval processes more efficiently.
  • Offer tier-pricing and volume discounts; allow clients to pay invoices online: With a Sana web store, you can use the existing data in your ERP to enrich your e-commerce experience. You can offer volume discounts to customers ordering in bulk and provide tier pricing for lower costs to your top customers. You can also enable your clients to manage and pay invoices from your web store.

 

If your construction business is ready to move forward with a construction e-commerce solution and you’d like more information, contact our experts at Sana Commerce, or read our 2019-2020 Construction Industry Trend Report.

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