Buying Construction Material Online Vs Offline: An Analysis

Building Materials Online

With construction materials accounting for 65-70% of the total project costs, it is critical to understand how buying construction material online and offline can help optimize the cost of procurement. Acquiring the best materials at the right price point across product lines is a critical function that all firms must focus on throughout the project lifecycle. That is why many procurement managers opt to buy construction material online and have complete control over the entire process digitally.

Both online and offline procurement offer key benefits, in terms of pricing, scale, and transaction efficiencies which is why it is important to select the right avenue when buying materials. While buying building material online may be better for streamlined procurement, certain buyers may have existing long-term relationships with physical suppliers that may provide personalized service.

Standardization and transparency
Online platforms offer a standardized product portfolio across a range of construction materials at one place, thereby simplifying the procurement process. Buyers can search for products, grades, brands, and specifications to find the right solution for their project. This removes the hassles of coordinating with multiple suppliers and tracking each order separately.

Transparency is also a key benefit when buying building materials online. While physical outlets may focus on domain expertise or project know-how, online platforms offer a highly transparent buying experience across all forms of procurement. The payment terms, documentation, quality checks, product benefits, key features, and service effectiveness are all listed clearly for every product page within the portfolio.

Wide range of product portfolio
While offline building material suppliers may provide a limited stock portfolio, online platforms are designed to be inherently extensive. Procurement managers can buy construction material online, browsing through various grades of RMC (Ready mix concrete), TMT steel (Thermo Mechanically Treated steel), cement, and other construction material brands. Buyers gain access to the widest supplier range in the country, giving them the best prices across material categories.

Offline outlets may also have pre-existing partnerships with certain manufacturers which may introduce bias into the process.

Cost benefits of online procurement
The cost benefits of opting to buy from online building material suppliers are significant. Procurement managers can forecast better by scouting for the latest prices and place an order based on future requirements. With the wide range of brands available, buyers can directly compare pricing to features for each product category. Also, online suppliers don’t need to store materials physically which helps reduce overheads and associated costs. Buyers can directly engage with suppliers virtually and gain access to the best prices seamlessly.

Additionally, risks related to shortages in productions or disrupted supply lines can be mitigated when opting for online platforms. When buying building material online, firms can raise RFQs based on customized requirements and have multiple suppliers fulfil the request. Buyers can engage with multiple vendors at scale and shorten the time to fulfilment significantly when opting for online platforms.

Physical testing of products
Quality testing is an important advantage of working directly with manufacturers for small-scale construction projects. Developers may prefer procuring raw materials and scheduling deliveries in-person when working with shorter project lifecycles as well. Additionally, there are key benefits to developing locally-driven partnerships with building material suppliers.

For multi-site projects, as well as, scale-driven developments, it is beneficial to opt for online sourcing. Smart procurement platforms are designed to provide optimal customer experiences while giving buyers the best prices for a wider range of products. With online platforms performing stringent quality checks of the manufacturer’s portfolio, buyers can also be assured of receiving high-quality materials upon arrival.

Better time and manpower utilization
Online platforms offer ease of procurement, through their sophisticated suite of features and benefits. This helps reduce the time for issuing purchase orders while providing complete real-time updates on the progress of each order & their latest status.

Procurement managers can also schedule orders for projects in advance so that there are no delays in shipments or arrival. They can automate ordering and refilling seamlessly, thereby reducing time to delivery and optimizing the resource management of their materials. Automation efficiencies also help lower the cost of acquisition significantly while enhancing the procurement experience for buyers in a holistic manner.

In conclusion
Based on the procurement requirements of a construction project, the appropriate sourcing methodology may be utilized. While traditional procurement from building material suppliers offers one-to-one relationship-building opportunities, online platforms offer a wide portfolio of key assets for a diversified buying experience.

Construction firms can benefit from the online advantages offered by procurement platforms such as BuildSupply. These platforms are designed to provide a streamlined buying experience for the acquisition of quality assets across a range of brands. Buyers are also empowered throughout the process due to the inherent transparency of procuring raw materials through online platforms.



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