In the fourth annual study of 550 U.S. residential and commercial contractors, L.E.K. Consulting found that optimism has returned to the building-products industry and is approaching pre-2008 levels. This buoyancy is changing contractors’ behavior in several ways:

  • Contractors are becoming more aggressive during pricing negotiations and are walking away from jobs that don’t provide attractive margins
  • Contractor purchasing from big-box retailers is showing signs of plateauing and contractors are favoring one-stepper and broad-line specialty channels
  • Contractors are integrating mobile devices and tablets into their work and anticipate accelerating their use of mobile software and apps in the future

This Executive Insights examines the results of the survey and their implications for building-products manufacturers. L.E.K. Consulting’s Thilo Henkes, Robert Rourke and Maria Gacek indicate how product manufacturers can use the industry’s renewed momentum to turn a healthy profit and grow market share.

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