Impact of Slow Market on Building Product Suppliers Examined
With the housing market continuing its slide through 2007, home builders have undergone some dramatic changes in how they build and sell homes to remain competitive and profitable. As a result, builder expectations of suppliers and the products they sell have changed substantially.
To keep current on what builders are doing to cope in the soft market, the NAHB Research Center has updated its 2006-2007 study, “Implications of the Soft Housing Market on Suppliers of Building Products.”
In late 2006, the Research Center decided to explore in detail how builder expectations for manufacturers had changed, and how that could affect the way manufacturers do business.
Through a series of national focus groups and a subsequent national survey of builders — both production and custom — the Research Center set out to find answers to some key questions:
- How are relationships changing between builders and home buyers, suppliers and subcontractors?
- What changes have builders made in their internal operations, and how do those changes affect building product specification?
- How can manufacturers capitalize on home builders’ growing need to innovate?
- What are builders doing to draw more customers to their sales offices and increase their chances of closing the sale?
- Which sales tactics are most effective?
Answers to these and other questions have helped bring to light not only the challenges manufacturers might face given current market conditions, but also the opportunities that are available.
After publishing preliminary findings last February, the Research Center initiated a second tier of the study to capture new attitudes and opinions from builders and other emerging trends as the market slowdown continued. The final report detailing the Research Center’s findings is now available, and will be presented at the 2008 International Builders' Show at an education session, “Tips for Manufacturers & Supplier Success in a Soft Housing Market.”
For more information on this report or other ongoing market research projects, call 800- 638-8556, or visit www.nahbrc.org.