As we approach the end of March 2021, we thought it might be advantageous for everyone to take stock in their relationships (and review ways that builders, manufacturers and service providers keep and build those relationships). 

We would encourage each participant in the relationship to establish a pattern of open and honest communications with the goal of having everyone be able to gain something from the relationship.

Here are some tips for developing mutually beneficial relationships:

Manufacturer & Service Providers:
  1. Reach out to your current partners and make sure everything is going well.  Don’t assume that everyone is happy.   
  2. Develop a list of builders with whom you would like to develop and/or strengthen relationships.
  3. Identify and document the benefits of the relationship for your company, the builder and your distributor and/or contractor.
  4. Meet with your distributors to review the list and benefits, along with address any concerns that arise.
  5. Take your distributors with you to meet with builders, review the benefits, and identify and address any concerns.
  6. Develop and implement an action plan for each issue and opportunity.
  7. Follow-up. Follow-up. Follow-up.

  1. Communicate with your current partners.  Don’t assume that they know what issues you might (or might not) be experiencing in the relationship.
  2. Work on solutions that might be mutually beneficial before you communicate.  Simply stating there is a problem is not enough; come prepared with ideas on how to fix things.
  3. Don’t just communicate problems, communicate successes as well.  This will enable partners to duplicate things that work well.
  4. As it relates to pricing, the concept of price visibility is not new; it has been practiced by builders for years and, with varying degrees of success. Many builders have been trying to separate and identify the cost of material, the cost of service and the cost of installation in an attempt to better control supply chain costs. It allows everyone in the chain to identify the true cost of installed materials.
    1. If all members of the chain go into the price visibility process with an objective and open mind, the process will provide benefits for all in the chain. An honest discussion about each member role in the chain may actually reinforce the worth of each chain member.  
    1. Since the builder is usually the one that initiates the price visibility process, it is important that the builder do so with the right attitude. If the builder approaches this process looking for a “win” for all of the players in the chain, chances are the process will be successful and the supply chain will be more efficient and communication more open. That should be the goal for everyone.
These are just a few ways that relationships can be strengthened.  Come up with ideas for improving your connections, bounce them off others, and (perhaps most importantly) always communicate with your partners at every turn.  It’s better to over communicate than to not communicate at all and assume that everything is okay.

We at Builder Partnerships are here to help you strengthen your relationships.  Reach out to us to discuss opportunities to engage other partners, help you make connections, and/or increase your opportunities to grow your business.