The Importance of Local Supply Chain
“I built that!” One of the phrases that I used rather often as my family car journeys took us through our home city and the local towns and villages over the years. In fact, some journeys I would take a detour to show them the buildings! Of course, it was only partly true. One of the things that made me smile the most every time I said it was that I knew the similar thing was being said in many other cars, or through bus or train windows or from a family bike ride, by all the other team members that had helped me deliver those projects. No matter where I was in my career path, from Trainee Site Manager to today as Amiri’s area director running the Bournemouth office, one of my core beliefs is that local projects are best delivered by local businesses working with a local team – and that the ability for all those involved to say “that was my project” is one of the most powerful statements that will be heard. It’s the sign of pride. It’s the sign of engagement. It’s the sign of commitment. It’s the sign that every client should be looking to hear from their projects long after they’ve finished signing the cheques.
But why does it matter? Because each project is so important to its stakeholders that it can’t be treated as any less significant by the contractor and their supply chain. This only happens when the individuals involved are engaged – whether that is because they have children that go to that school/college/university or their mates do, or their friends work in that office, or moor their boat in that marina, eat in that restaurant, borrow a book from that library or they know someone that needs the care provided by that doctor’s/hospital/respite care centre/residential care home – it engenders that pride that means that you’re happy to tell the world that you were responsible for improving the local environment.
It’s also sustainable. Local contractors using local supply chains shows real consideration for three of the founding pillars of sustainable development: environment, economy and social. Less travel impact for all concerned, the money staying in the local and the employment opportunity creating a great work/life balance are just the basics. With a local contractor and supply chain engaged the commitment to create healthier buildings for their local neighbourhood is significantly enhanced, the desire for that pride in the delivery will ensure that “I built that” will be heard for many more years.
How do I know this? Not only have I been told this many times by people who do the same as me over the many years I’ve been in this industry but my daughter, who works for another local contractor, tells my granddaughter “I built that” when they’re in the car, knowing that our two generations have worked hard to create a better environment for her future.