05 February 2021

Think ahead and plan for spikes in demand!

Sam
Pondered by Sam
Building Materials Trends

Trends come and go! In 2020 there were a few – who remembers when everyone was buying paint and DIY supplies and shops such as B&Q and Wickes were completely wiped out? Or when you logged online and the world and his dog were baking banana bread?

Another popular trend are home-offices. Back in March 2020, Boris Johnson announced a blanket working from home order, not ideal when the kids were being homeschooled and numerous distractions were in reach. We have all been there on an important work call when you are rudely interrupted by the delivery driver at your door, your children wanting a biscuit or in my experience a mischievous cat causing chaos in the living room.

So, how do you save your sanity, keep safe and adhere to pandemic guidelines?

Recently prefabricated, modular buildings have had a significant increase in demand, not just for use as home offices but also gyms and garden rooms. These modular buildings are manufactured and assembled in factories, then transported fully erected to the customer. Therefore, all component parts need to be stocked and ready for when the order is received and the manufacturing process to start.

How does your building materials business cope with a sudden increase in demand?

Often businesses tend to struggle through and only be responsive to problems when they occur, detrimental to customer service standards and the company’s reputation. No one can predict that a product will suddenly become ‘trendy’ but by having a system that is already setup to spot an increase in demand will help you to ultimately keep your customers happy and loyal your brand.

It can be difficult to manage stock when you are unsure what the future holds, a sudden slide in sales could keep your warehouse full to the brim of unused raw materials but a sudden spike could completely decimate the stock you do have and create a back-order list as long as your arm. No customer wants their order to be placed at the back of the queue, if they are promised their order by a certain date but you have underestimated your materials order and pushed back the delivery date you could have a seriously unhappy customer on your hands!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Customer Engagement (CRM) could be the solution to achieving and managing repeat business!

By using real-time data, you can see exactly what is in stock, order or manufacture more product to fulfil demand and keep track of all orders and backorders. Take a look at your warehouse stock numbers before you confirm a customer's order to ensure that you can fulfil what they want, when they need it.

Reporting and analysis should be second nature to your business. Not only can it report on the past but used correctly it can be used for forecasting and looking ahead to the future. Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics Customer Engagement have a standard out of the box offering general sales and accounts reports, such as sales history for accounts and sales pipelines. However, Power BI can go further and can help you to create custom visual reports to suit your requirements, boost your performance and see patterns and trends early, allowing you to gain new insights with in-depth analysis.

Next Steps

Register for our free webinar for further details on how you can help to spot patterns and be prepared for potential increases in demand.

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