14, 2010 — Remodelers and builders are increasingly using single
sources of supplies for most of their building products, according to a survey
by the Indianapolis-based Farnsworth Group. The survey finds a paring down of
suppliers, optimism for growth in the construction industry, and a growing
preference for digital communications.
Both builders and remodelers
reported lumber and building material dealers as their primary source for
purchasing materials; these top suppliers get about 70 percent of their
business. Of interest, warehouse home centers account serve as the primary
source for nearly one-third of remodelers but just 12 percent of builders.
Builders and remodelers cited
somewhat different priorities for selecting suppliers, though for both, product
availability reigned as the number one factor. Price was nearly as important as
availabilities for builders, who are significantly more price sensitive at this
time. For remodelers, availability was followed by quality products, customer
service and price, which were all rated similarly. The importance of
availability as the top factor in the decision making process illustrates that
in some cases, remodelers are willing to pay a little more for the sake of
having the product in stock and ready to install.
The study indicated a similar
pattern in the way builders and remodelers receive information from
manufacturers and suppliers. In this order (most-to-least), builders and
remodelers state that they prefer to be contacted via e-mail, magazine
advertising, Internet, websites and newsletters.