Bobtrade.com is a new online building supplies marketplace, headed up by Shneor Crombie, which has been set up to connect builders and merchants to deliver “a more efficient way of buying and selling building materials”. PBM takes a look at the story behind the business.
Shneor was running his UK-based business, a code development house for start-ups and companies. “Because of my knowledge and experience in the construction industry,” Shneor comments, “companies kept coming to me with a request to develop solutions for them.”
Soon he realised the need to build a solution for the entire industry. A solution that would offer builders a product which removes all the hassle when buying supplies, making that complicated process much faster and easier.
Then, in 2015 Shneor was diagnosed with cancer. Life as he knew it was turned upside down; days in the office were swapped for days in and out of hospital preparing for major, life-saving surgery. Shneor understood that it would take a long time to recover and he’d need somewhere to work from home. He set out to build an extension for a home office, during which he faced again countless issues with late deliveries and sourcing supplies.
Shneor decided, upon his recovery, to follow through and create Bobtrade, a company that aims to heal the problems with buying building supplies.
Today, the company is 20-people strong and growing. It gives builders a powerful yet simple procurement platform, where they can order all building supplies online with one click and have it delivered to their site the next day. It also provides better control and full visibility of their projects, budget and clients.
Supporting independent businesses is a big part of what Bobtrade stands for; “By working with independent builders and merchants, we can optimise the market and give them more opportunities and more power when they buy and sell through Bobtrade.”
Shneor admits that there have been challenges, “No one thought that construction could evolve and digitise. I took it to many investors and they all said, ‘Yes, it’s a huge market and you have a very interesting idea – but the construction industry won’t change!’ But guess what? It’s changing rapidly, and I am proud that Bobtrade is leading the front of the building supplies procurements.”