Perhaps one of the trickier issues to tackle in this industry is the issue of dual sourcing. With more and more manufacturers producing a variety of products that are grabbing the attentions of installers, it is becoming tempting for installers to spread their purchasing options between more and more suppliers.
Whilst this is good for installers, it does mean that suppliers are finding that revenues from established installers are heading in a thinner direction. Of course, suppliers want as much business from their installers as possible. But this isn’t always possible, no matter what the efforts of the supplier might be.
This is when it can become a little awkward between installer and supplier. Some honest conversations have to happen. This is the politics of dual sourcing.
Solidor and Residor
The relationship between an installer and their suppliers should be strong. It has to be helpful both ways and beneficial for both too. An installer has to show commitment to their supplier in order for the supplier to support the installer in their efforts to sell their products.
But there are occasions where the direction of that installer means they don’t have access to the types of products that they need. It’s then that the supplier has a problem.
An example of this is Solidor. Their solid hardwood composite door has placed them for many years at the high end of the composite door market. On the pricing front, it has meant that their products are justifiably at the higher end. However for installers looking to cover all bases, this didn’t give them a “value” option from the same supplier.
So some installers were forced to look elsewhere for a cheaper option. They had to dual source. This meant some installers were buying from Solidor and other composite door manufacturers. Not ideal for any party.
This is why Solidor created Residor. A foam composite door option which passes the new PAS24 regulations and also a cheaper alternative to the solid hardwood composite doors from Solidor. But it now gives installers a very good reason to buy their high end and value composite doors from the same company. Easier for the installers, better for Solidor to capture previously lost business.
Suppliers have to step it up
No supplier likes their installers buying from them and other suppliers. Naturally they want them to buy as many products as possible from under the same roof.
So if this is to happen, fabricators and suppliers have to step their game up and offer a wider range of products so that installers don’t feel compelled to look elsewhere in the market to get what they need.
Dual sourcing installers will never go away. It is near on impossible for a sole fabricator or supplier to offer an installer absolutely everything they require. But it is possible for fabricator who currently offers a limited range to expand it to capture some of the lost business back. That should be the focus for fabricators over the coming years.
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“Dual sourcing” is one of those business babble words that at many levels in our industry could just as easily be substituted for “cherrypicking” or sometimes more bluntly “taking the piss”. Your example is one thing, but with the more (in people’s perception) generic products of this industry such as IGUs and other similar components, dual sourcing is often merely used as a way of trying to batter down suppliers in price or just using a local supplier in an ad hoc way to try to cover their rears when things go wrong with their nationwide supplier or when they… Read more »