YardLink 2024 predictions: Financial pressure & digitisation

Neeral Shah, founder and CEO of YardLink, predicts ecosystem disruption in 2024 catalysing further digitisation and developments in the construction sector

As 2023 draws to a close, all eyes turn to the coming year — and what it holds for the construction industry. 

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that whilst construction output has now recovered to pre-covid levels, the sector was the biggest contributor among UK businesses to the number of insolvencies. 

“Insolvencies have unfortunately characterised the past year in construction. The cheap-money era - with high levels of credit and confidence - is over and contractors are feeling the crunch of lower financing levels. When contractors are under financial pressure, it penetrates every part of the supply chain,” says Neeral Shah, founder and CEO of YardLink.

What will 2024 hold for the construction industry?

“2024 will see large suppliers desperately trying to retain large contractors, but inevitably being forced to increase prices and jeopardise relationships,” Shah continues.

“This will disrupt the entire ecosystem. Large suppliers will start targeting small- and mid-tier contractors, which have long been overlooked, and large contractors will look out for the best deals regardless of a supplier’s size or historic relationships. In turn, this will increase the need for greater visibility and assurances - word of mouth won’t suffice. 

“Enter technology. While progress towards digital transformation has traditionally lagged - 2024 will see the acceleration towards an industry wide embrace of technological tools, helping increase transparency and trust.”

Digitising construction supply chain

Launched in 2018 in London, YardLink is a London-based B2B marketplace digitising the US$1Ttn construction supply chain. The company launched in 2018 has been ranked by Deloitte as one of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the UK. 

Yardlink serves over 3,000 construction SMEs and facilitate deliveries of equipment, materials, fuel and waste management services to over 10,000 projects across the country, with its platform that connects customers customers with over 700 highly vetted suppliers, enabling contractors to source and manage equipment, materials and services within seconds.

95% of products are delivered within 15 miles of each project - ultimately unlocking localised supply chains across the UK, and boosting sustainability within construction.

“We’ve reimagined construction procurement and we’ve streamlined the process for both sites and suppliers,” Shah says. 

“With an extensive supplier network across the UK, we’re able to deliver goods in a third of the distance of incumbent players, reducing carbon output, and cutting costs. We plan to be the only place customers can access the entire construction supply chain, helping to cut overheads, speed up supply and reduce costly delays. Simplified, sustainable, seamless.”

Before founding YardLink in 2017, Shah held management positions at companies including MedicAnimal, Datum Limited and JPMorgan Chase. He holds a BSc in Finance and Marketing from NYU Stern School of Bussiness.

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