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How Building Relationships is the Key To Making Our Procurement Information Market-Leading

by Peter Chesters

We want to give you a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes at Barbour ABI, as well as connecting with major figures within the industry to learn what makes them thrive. This month we are speaking to Dan Veste, a Senior Researcher in the Tender Team at Barbour ABI. Dan explains here how his team are responsible for building the relationships with contractors across construction that makes our data the most reliable the business.

Hi Dan, what is the role of yourself and the Tender Team at Barbour ABI?

Our role primarily is to speak to contractors to share information with one another. This can cover everything from the works included on a scheme, design teams that are working on a project, when a tender return date is, what materials are to be used on a project, and much more. We pick up on as many details as possible to satisfy all the gaps that may need filling on a project.

Not only do we find micro-level project information, we also examine the macro-level health of the industry. We speak to everybody from the biggest names in construction, to those who work solely on small refurbishment jobs, to get the broadest sense of how the industry is performing. We are specifically trained to ask the questions that will deliver the best information for all of our customers.

We speak to in excess of 800 companies per week between the team. On top of this, we currently peak at adding over 100 bidders to projects daily. It’s because of our industry relationships that we are able to achieve these figures.

Can you explain why the relationships that you build with figures across construction are so vital for the information that you get for customers?

We build real, long-term relationships with companies of all sizes and gain genuine trust from them, which makes us unique within this industry. This mutual trust allows our contacts to provide us with additional information that we wouldn’t have picked up through the planning source, therefore benefitting our customers with greater insight and more projects to target.

The benefits work both ways. We share information that we know will be beneficial to the contractor that we are speaking to. For instance, we find out who their competitors may be, or whether there are other design teams bidding on a project that they might not have been aware of. We can let them know about relevant projects for them at an earlier stage than they would have otherwise found out.

Companies want to have their name on our projects to boost their profile, and we want more names and details on our projects to make them as deeply filled and accurate as possible; so everybody wins.

You also respond to customer queries on projects Can you run me through how you respond to a customer enquiry on a project?

A customer can make a request for more information on any project and we will do our best to discover this information for them. Their request can be as specific or as general as they want it to be. We will call contractors, clients, architects or whoever the request concerns to try and help our client the most that we can.

If a manufacturer wants to know whether their product will be required on a project then they can ask us and we will do our utmost to find out the answer. No matter the material, category or design, we will always ask the question for them. It also doesn’t matter whether the project is at detail planning stage, or if there’s a contractor on site, you can ask a question at any stage in a project and we will endeavour to source that information for you.

We tailor our approach to the specific queries that come in. No two queries will ever be the same, due to how different companies speak to us or the type of project that they want to find information on. It’s our wealth of experience that allows us to know how we need to shift our approach when finding out different information.

Companies can know that when they put in a query with us, it’s going to be dealt with by a specialist team who know exactly who to target to answer their question.

Has the new Barbour ABI platform made it easier for the Tender Team to help get customers the information they need?

Yes, it’s much simpler to search for projects and see who to target on projects. If I’m on a call to an estimator and he mentions a job then I can check far more quickly to see if we have it on our system. If we don’t then we can quickly investigate that and add it to our system.

In the same scenario, if we do have a project on the system with multiple bidders, then I can give the estimator a live update of who their competitors are, rather than them having to wait to find that out. The data is a lot easier for both ourselves and the client to view and analyse quickly.

About the author

Picture of Peter Chesters

Peter Chesters

Head of Demand Generation at Barbour ABI

Peter has worked for Barbour ABI since March 2019. Beginning in the Barbour Product Search editorial team, he then moved into the Barbour ABI Marketing team in late 2019, mainly focusing on writing and content creation. In 2021 Peter began to head up the Barbour Product Search editorial team.

As Head of Demand Generation, Peter now works across Barbour ABI, Barbour Product Search and AMA Research, focusing on new business marketing strategy and content creation across the Barbour ABI Group.

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