Why The Building Supply Industry Needs to be Digitized

The Building Supply and Garden Centre Industry is Inefficient. The Solution? Digitization

With over 30 years in the building supply and garden centre industry, I’ve experienced firsthand the inefficiencies and pain points business owners encounter when dealing the value chain and operational management. This industry is a core cornerstone of our economy, yet, despite its success, it is one of the least digitized.

This market represents a diverse group of participants, including large manufacturers, niche suppliers, one- and two-step distributors, and countless retailers and contractors involved in these products' daily transactions and movement. While this article is in digital form, many players in the building supply and garden centre industry still do business through handshakes and filing cabinets filled with paper.

Seeing the common issues time and time again was the motivation behind launching Phoenix. While we do offer Velocity, an ERP, we support industry players in every area of digitization, including Virtual CFO services (VCFO), digital marketing solutions (Agentia), business insight (XRay), and a suite of software tools (Spectra).

Whether you're new to the building supply and garden centre industry, or a seasoned veteran like me, you're likely to have experienced challenges that are very specific to your line of work that affect your bottom line. And you're not alone. We'll discuss some of the most common pain points below.

Waste throughout the value chain

Identifying waste areas is the first stage in a company's digital transformation. Waste can include anything from wait times and bottlenecks to inaccurate estimates. Many people do not realize that waste is lost revenue, which eats into your profits each year and, in time, can cost you hundreds of thousands, if not millions. One way to put a stop to waste is by eliminating manual and paper based processes. Paper-based transactions and filing processes are like leaky faucets. While a single drop seems inconsequential, it can add up to gallons without you realizing it.

Growth barriers due to lack of strategic planning

A strategic planning and management system aligns your business activities with your financial goals. While smaller businesses might not have the resources to hire a full-time CFO, introducing a virtual CFO can give you the results of a high-performing finance team on an as-needed basis. VCFOs are CPAs that enhance overall financial performance monitoring, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Fragmented communication with external parties

Emails can slip through the cracks, and logging every phone conversation requires time and energy. Communication inefficiencies can be between customers, suppliers, logistics providers, and commercial partners. Adopting current communication tools can minimize the time needed to onboard trading partners, synchronize teams, and even allow users to track and share data easily, giving a clear vision and transparency across all operations.

Not recognizing data as a valuable revenue-generating tool

In many organizations, data quality management is an undefined responsibility or, worse — is not acknowledged at all. Poor data quality can lead to revenue loss owing to insufficient inventory, increased transportation costs (expedited shipments), surplus stock, and low customer satisfaction. Data is as much of an asset as intellectual property and equipment.

If any of the above resonated with you, you're not alone. The good news is Phoenix has the solutions to overcome those challenges. The building supply and garden centre industry and smaller businesses that operate under that umbrella have enormous potential for digital transformation, providing several benefits ranging from increased productivity and communication, improved accuracy, and significant cost reductions.

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