We are the UK’s largest independent supplier of instant buildings and have designed and installed all kinds of instant warehouses, canopies and loading bays. We are something of an authority on instant buildings, having been in the sector for over thirty years.
Anything required ‘instantly’ is usually the result of unexpected or quickly changing circumstances and nothing could be closer to this truth than the impact of the pandemic and Brexit – both of which continue to impact UK businesses. Unscheduled deliveries, unknown quantities and the general unsettled nature of the logistics sector has created a need for fluid storage space.
As well as fulfilling changing business needs, instant buildings sometimes just make better financial sense, especially when you anticipate the need well in advance but are less sure of how long you’ll need the solution for.
With these factors in mind, what do you need to know before taking the next steps in considering an instant building?
1 RESPONSE TIMES:
If you are in a hurry to meet a specific business need, ask your proposed supplier how long it will take to be ready to use – from order to handing over the key, it should only be a few short weeks.
Ask about planning requirements – these are dependent on several different criteria and, contrary to popular belief, it’s hardly ever a ‘one solution fits all’ answer. At Smart-Space we have our own planning department who can advise on exactly what is likely to be acceptable for successful planning approval.
3 FIT FOR PURPOSE:
Understand all the uses for your building. Will people need to work inside for extended periods of time? Will any stored product require consistent temperatures? The different uses for a building determine the type of building you need and you should be offered the right solution for your needs, not just the one the supplier happens to stock. You might like to also check if your building can be relocated, extended or reduced in size – allowing you to make further decisions during your hire term.
We require 7-days’ notice to off-hire at any point during the contract believing that there is no point holding a customer to an agreement that no longer suits them. Make sure you are able to build in some flexibility within your terms so you can adapt if your business needs change.
5 HIRE OR BUY:
If you are hiring and this becomes a longer term prospect, make sure you can switch to purchase when you need to. It is much more cost-effective to buy your instant building if you are planning on keeping it over the long term. The Smart-Space advisers will provide the cost comparisons so you are able to predict the point at which you might want to change your terms.
6 SUPPLY CHAIN:
Where will your instant building come from? If it’s from overseas you may have to wait for supplies to become available – and also any maintenance might not be on request. It’s one of the reasons we support buying British as relationships are easier to build and maintain and they can source stock and support customers on demand.
7 SITE SURVEYS:
Don’t accept a project proposal unless you’ve had someone from the supplier visit you to assess the site, make suggestions and check your utilities and groundworks. This is where unexpected costs can creep in and delays can also result if there are unforeseen problems. There is no substitution for a site visit and project that is well planned.
8 PREVIOUS WORK:
Ask to see case studies on completed projects and find out what kind of expertise your supplier has in your sector. It’s vital to understand the needs of your own site within the context of your sector. Our teams have worked in schools, nuclear power plants, airside at airports and in any number of emergency and sensitive situations. It’s important that you feel confident in your supplier’s health and safety protocols and consideration of your own work practices before allowing them on-site.
Following on from point 8, ask if the installation team is directly employed by your proposed supplier. This is key as all directly employed teams carry responsibility for any risk whilst on your premises. If they are sub-contracted the customer has to shoulder complete liability.
10 GOOD TO DO BUSINESS WITH:
And finally, are your instant building suppliers good to work with? Do they answer your calls and emails promptly? Are they pro-active, ask questions, visit site and communicate every stage of the process with you? If the business relationship feels right, it probably is.
We always put the customer first and find that this culture leads to repeat business and loyal customers. We are, as MD Anthony Hunt always maintains, the ‘friendliest people in space’.
Talk to me, Jason Lynock, for some more information on how we work.