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Materials procurement club launches for SME house builders

A new procurement group will help regional contractors and construction firms save money across their materials spend with national merchants.
Neil Butters, head of procurement, Inprova Group

Inprova Commercial Procurement (ICP) has been set up by procurement services provider, Inprova Group which buys £0.4bn worth of products every year for over 1,100 organisations, with a particular focus on building materials for the housing industry.

ICP will leverage its existing relationships with manufacturers and merchants so SME contractors and builders can access a wide selection of items at consistently competitive prices.

The procurement group was established in response to feedback from regional contractors and builders who said they find the process of purchasing materials to be highly unpredictable.

Prices, which can vary from week to week, are often based on nothing more than historic relationships with past and present merchant employees, rather than a pre-determined, structured system. This variability means that far too often, SME contractors have to spend valuable time negotiating rates.

ICP will streamline the procurement process for contractors and house builders, providing pre-negotiated prices for a broad range of products via a dedicated portal.

Once they are an ICP member, contractors order directly from merchants, accessing their ICP negotiated prices using their normal terms, such as cash at point of sale or credit account.

Neil Butters, head of procurement at Inprova Group said: “With the current system, no-one has clarity or certainty about the prices paid for building materials. We want to simplify the process for contractors and house builders, so they can reduce their project costs and have confidence when estimating jobs. We’re also making things easier for manufacturers and merchants, so they don’t have to spend precious time on pricing.”

Lisa Lynch, chief operating officer of Inprova Group said: “Inprova has 25 years’ experience of procuring building materials. We buy around 310 million products a year – so we have strong links all the way through the supply chain, from manufacturers to supplier networks and contractors themselves. We’re harnessing these links to generate value for money for builders, contractors, manufacturers and merchants.”

Atul Dattani, director of social housing and merchant relationships at CEF said: “We’re really excited to be a supplier partner on the ICP framework. CEF is focused on helping local contractors and SME builders to procure the products they need, at the right price, so they can do their work effectively and cost-efficiently. Through ICP we’ll build strong relationships with an even wider range of customers.”


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