Critical Reasons Why Building Product Manufacturers Become Anxious
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Change is the only constant in life. Currently, we are witnessing one of the most significant changes in history. Business practices that worked 20 years ago now look antiquated and are destined to fail. Building product manufacturers can become anxious when trying to navigate the current marketplace.
Technology is jumping ahead at such a quick pace that 10 years seems like a century now in the age of the internet. Manufacturers must innovate or die. Business owners, managers, and product reps may become frustrated with the amount of changes taking place. How can manufacturers stay on top of their game in 2018?
“How can we continually adjust to changes in customer expectations in order to stay relevant to them?” asks author Jim Blasingame. He goes onto describe the current era as the Age of The Customer. The Age of the Seller is coming to a crashing end and the customer is now in control of the process, due to information.
Successful manufacturers will quickly respond to the paradigm shift taking place. Others will adapt slowly and pay a price in the marketplace. And still others will fall flat on their faces like dinosaurs and end up extinct. The rules of the game are changing and therefore causing much anxiety in the marketplace.
Over the past 20 years, the paradigm has shifted so that the customer has more information at their fingertips than ever before. Websites, online purchasing tools, and transparency have unleashed a new paradigm. In the old days, the product was controlled by the seller, the information about the product was accessed via the seller, and only the buying decision was controlled by the customer. That has now changed radically.
Customers such as contractors, architects, specifiers, and the other trades can find information about the application, availability, price, customer support, etc. about a building product by themselves. The personal computer, internet, email, instant messaging, Wi-Fi, and smartphones unleashed a wave of new ways customers can control the buying process.
Whether manufacturers like it or not, customers have turned many products into commodities. No matter what a CMU block manufacturer or paint manufacturer thinks of the differences between their products and their competitors, many design professionals have turned these products into commodities. These products can be found by multiple manufacturers at comparable prices.
The manufacturers that innovate and create new exciting products will dominate the market while the commodity brokers. User generated content on platforms, forums, and websites shapes public opinion about building products and can sink a new product launch or increase sales of an old standby product. Design professionals like to praise products they like and diss products they don’t like.
There are several critical reasons why building product manufacturers can become anxious in this new selling environment. However, there are resources available to help increase a manufacturer’s opportunities in this new selling era. Let’s review a few of them. . .
AIA Online Course
A free AIA online course offers one of the most cost-effective ways product manufacturers can affect product specifications. To get specified by architects, they must have knowledge of your brand and product’s benefits and understand how to specify your product. AIA Online courses work for your company 24/7 and are typically the only other online resource that can educate masses about your products.
Webinars are one of the most successful methods of AIA continuing education to educate architects about your building products. An AIA webinar will have 200-350 design professionals participate. Your company will receive a detailed attendance report that contains the contact information, demographics, questions, and survey results.
Overall, there are many significant and exciting changes taking place in the construction industry. Manufacturers who innovate and accept the challenge will succeed. Those who don’t adapt will fail. How does your organization handle change and prepare for the major changes in the AEC community?
For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank