Merchant suppliers feel the knock-on effects of a slowing construction trade as 90% of subcontractors are not paid within 30 days

A new report by has revealed that 94.9% of specialist subcontractors are not paid within 30 days for publicly funded projects. The news reveals the financial inconsistencies in the construction trade, and highlights areas of worry for builders’ merchants.

‘If you have ever run a specialist contracting business, you would know that delaying payment to your labour force or suppliers isn’t an option. The lads walk, and the suppliers put you on stop,’ said StreetwiseSubbie MD, Barry Ashmore.

Suppliers not being paid is one of the key areas of concern with these results, as Ashmore continued: ‘small businesses are the foundation of the industry and the economy. We cannot carry on allowing them to fail.’

If construction companies are not paying their specialist contractors, what does that mean for the rest of the supply chain? Cashflow problems hamper construction projects across the UK, with the sector facing a slowdown in recent months. However, there are measures that merchant suppliers can put in place to trace sales and ensure a constant cashflow in order to weather tougher patches for the construction industry.

Implementing EPOS (electronic point-of-sale) software systems in stores will help minimise back-office administrative requirements, and give merchants control over promotions – depending on demand and stock availability. Real-time price changes will benefit smaller merchant suppliers in their need for a competitive edge in the market, and a software system designed to do this will help immeasurably.

The knowledge that construction projects are often waiting on the payment of suppliers and subcontractors puts retailers in good stead to prepare for potential shortfalls in matching up debtor accounts. Invoices for traders can be developed with shorter or longer payment periods, and cashflow forecasts more easily generated based upon this flexibility.

To find out more about the benefits of EPOS systems for building merchant suppliers, visit the Integrity Trader website.