Raw material costs are on the increase in the construction industry.

The construction industry may have made its recovery from the literal decimation it suffered during the recession, but builders’ merchants continue to face problems: namely rising raw material costs.

A recent study suggested that the sharp rise in demand for raw materials in the recovering industry was putting a strain on supply, leading to cost increases for key raw materials required for construction. Reports state that rising costs and skills shortages are potentially holding back the sector’s rapid growth.

What does this mean for builders’ merchants and hardware stores? First, retailers need to decide the percentage of the cost increases they’ll pass on to the customers. With price competition an important part of the industry, this is a challenge in itself. Low prices will help you to gain market share, but could threaten your short/medium term finances. Secondly, builders’ merchants need to identify new ways to attain profits. This could be through stocking alternative items, anticipating peaks in demand, or improving inventory management.

Hardware stores and builders’ merchants can update their business for the 21st century by trying out point-of-sale software. Improve your financial management by processing orders, managing stock and sending quotations through the software, rather than on paper. Identify areas of the business that are letting you down, track your costs over time and offer your clients an improved point-of-sale experience. Integrity Trader is a software solution designed for builders’ merchants and hardware stores of any size. If you run an SME and want a simple, no-frills solution that suits your needs, we can help. Contact us to arrange a demo.