BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 10

FEATURE

|

BY MARK MITCHELL, WHIZARD STRATEGY

This article is reprinted from
www.seethewhizard.com with permission.

THE PACE OF CHANGE IN THE
BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRY

T

he building materials
industry has always been
slow to change. The way
products are specified and
sold and the way buildings
are designed and built is
very inefficient, but it works.
Because it works, no one has
been in a hurry to update the
way things were done.

Companies that break out of this
mold will be the most successful ones.
Wayne Gretzky was great at what he
did because he focused on where the
puck was going, not where it was. But
most building materials companies
are still focused on the way their
products have been sold instead of
the way their products will be sold in
the very near future.
That's been changing, even before
COVID-19. Today's customer is
vastly different than they were even
five years ago and some companies
are responding by finding new ways
to sell to them.

FOUR DRIVERS OF CHANGE
1.	 Customers Moving Online
Customers are relying less on
relationships and face-to-face
interactions. Instead, they go online

10

NEWS MAGAZINE | BSIA NEWS | WINTER 2020

and do their own research and decide
which products to use.
2.	 Changes in Communication
Younger customers prefer newer
methods of communication that
don't always make sense to older,
experienced salespeople.
We still have customers who use
fax machines, while texting and social
media are preferred by many younger
customers.
3.	 Lean Construction
There's been a growing focus on
reducing waste and inefficiency in
construction. Smart builders, owners
and developers are thinking more
about the costs associated with
every extra day it takes to complete a
project more than worrying about the
cost of your product.
4.	 Changing Priorities Confuses
Customers
Customers used to be more loyal
when they felt they could count on
building materials companies. However,
many companies change their priorities
based on the whim of a new leader who
wants a quick win regardless of what
the customers expect.
Loyalty is built from consistency.
Look at Apple. They are notorious for
their frustrating customer service. Yet,
the customer adapts to it. You would

think the customers would get fed up
and buy from a different company but
they don't because Apple is consistent.
Even Apple could lose their
customer loyalty, though. All it would
take is a new CEO stepping in and
finding the different ways they are
leaving money on the table. If that
CEO shakes things up and makes
Apple feel less familiar, it could cost
them customers.
Fortunately, the board and major
investors realize what a mistake that
would be. Most building materials
companies aren't so lucky. They
are focused on the short term and
make decisions that confuse their
customers and make them less loyal.

THE PACE OF CHANGE IS
ACCELERATING
We are coming out of social
distancing and quarantine, but
customers won't be going back to
the way things were. They are going
to adapt quickly to the new realities
of construction. They are going to
rethink things like the role of their
offices and how to better serve the
needs of their customers.
They are looking for the kind of
guidance they simply won't find from
the building materials companies that

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BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020

CHAIR’S MESSAGE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BSIA NEWS AND EVENTS
MEMBER NEWS
IN MEMORIAM
BSIA 2021 WAVE OF THE FUTURE
COVID-19 ACCELERATES THE PACE OF CHANGE IN THE BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRY
THE BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRY IS GOING GREEN
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: LAST WORD
MARKETPLACE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - Intro
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - bellyband1
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - bellyband2
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - cover1
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - cover2
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 3
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - CHAIR’S MESSAGE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - BSIA NEWS AND EVENTS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - MEMBER NEWS
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 8
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - BSIA 2021 WAVE OF THE FUTURE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - COVID-19 ACCELERATES THE PACE OF CHANGE IN THE BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRY
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 11
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 12
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - THE BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRY IS GOING GREEN
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 14
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 15
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: LAST WORD
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - MARKETPLACE
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - 18
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - cover3
BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Winter 2020 - cover4
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