Builder's system faces test of new acquisition

20 June 2001
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21 June 2001 | Robin Parker

Housebuilder Wilson Connolly's Buildpack procurement system for building materials is facing a serious test following the acquisition of Wainhomes, another housebuilder.

Buildpack, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wilcon, was formed last year and handles around 40 per cent of the group's purchasing activities. It operates on a direct manufacturer-to-end-user basis, without using third-party building merchants.

Supplies from 30 companies are stored in a central warehouse and packaged for dispatch in combined sets for specific stages of a house-building contract.

"We've been introducing Buildpack on a gradual basis throughout the group and expect to include Wainhomes fully by mid-2002," John Weir, group design director at Wilcon, told SM. "We are trying to integrate the company in a methodical and efficient way."

John Powell, chief buyer for Wainhomes, said that his group needed time to readjust from its standard annual tender process. "Wilcon's procurement strategy is unique across the industry. If managed well, it will be successful, but there could be problems if complacency or malicious intervention sets in."


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