The relationship between any home building operation and the building products supply chain is critical to delivering new homes on time and on budget. So we asked home builders and general contractors nationwide to share their preferences about working with their supply chain partners, and we asked manufacturers, retailers, and others along that chain to offer their insights about builders as well.
The results show a great deal of alignment in terms of product knowledge, local availability of products and installation labor, and who’s responsible for making product specification and purchasing decisions—all good signs that the supply chain is already serving its home builder partners well.
Among the areas for improvement is a greater respect for a builder’s time; either enough to adjust to price increases and delivery schedules, or timely resolutions to product-related problems or mistakes. Builders and suppliers still tend to point fingers at each other when things go wrong, the former blaming a product’s inherent design for poor performance, the latter leaning toward installation errors.
“I think the savvy manufacturers and LBM dealers will invest more time and energy into ensuring their outside sales reps are well-trained on new products that can save their customers time and money,” says Rick Schumacher, editor and publisher of LBM Journal, which cosponsored the research. “The construction supply industry is extremely competitive, and smart dealers know they’ll succeed only to the extent they help their builder customers succeed.”
Methodology and Respondent Information: Professional Builder conducted a short online survey among our home builder and general contractor readers from May 17 to June 14, 2019, collecting 245 responses. We also issued a separate yet similar online survey, in conjunction with LBM Journal, to building products manufacturers and their supply chain members, receiving 99 responses in the same time frame. Thanks to Builder Partnerships for sharing the builder survey with its client network and to Home Innovation Research Labs for reviewing the survey questions to further improve the response rate and quality of results.
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Access a PDF of this article in Professional Builder's August 2019 digital edition