Peace of Mind, Productivity, and Palettes that Punch
Spring is always an exciting time in the building materials industry! Most of the manufacturers have their national sales meetings between December and January to prep their sales force for launching new products and initiatives in the upcoming year. February and March see them rolling out their product announcements and demonstrations at national and regional trade shows, and your friendly neighborhood distributors have a line of semis rolling in every day as they load in for the new season. The days start getting warmer and longer, Daylight Savings Time begins mid-March, and then we're off to the races - with all members of the channel experiencing the uptick in business that comes when the industry awakes from its annual winter slumber.
Part of the value that your distributor provides every spring is to sift through the annual deluge of manufacturer product announcements and discern what new opportunities are worthwhile to incorporate into your offering. Here are the opportunities we see heading into 2018, ranging from differentiation to labor savings to on-trend color options...
Steep Slope Roofing: Set Yourself Apart with SBS
Some shingle manufacturers, including Atlas, CertainTeed, and GAF have recognized the opportunity to differentiate their offering with SBS modified shingles. Shingles made with SBS have rubber-like flexibility that allow them to retain granules better than their traditional counterparts. The granule retention story translates well into peace of mind for the homeowner (no more granules in the gutter - keep them on the roof where they belong - protecting your shingles!). This story could be what sets you apart from your competitors, all while increasing your profit with higher dollar sales on jobs you close. Consider including SBS shingles in your pitch book. We see it as a big opportunity, and that's why we've got SBS shingles in stock from several manufacturers.
Low Slope Roofing: Complete More TPO/PVC Jobs Faster
The labor shortage in construction presents a challenge of doing more with less. How can commercial roofing contractors eke out more productivity to enable them to sell more jobs over the course of the year? We were impressed by the capabilities of BAK's RoofOn R Edge Overlap Welder, which allows contractors to quickly and uniformly execute welding around penetrations and skylights. This robot welder allows the contractor to stand up while guiding the tool, for considerable ergonomic benefits in addition to a consistent application versus using a hand welder. Check out this video to see how it can be a huge time savings on a large project! Backed by a 3-year warranty from Hapco Inc, this tool makes all kinds of sense for the production TPO or PVC single ply roofer.
Exterior Cladding: Dark Rules the Day
Dark exteriors are in! Homeowners want dark colors, and vinyl siding manufacturers continue to add new dark colors to their offering every year. Years ago, dark colors could only be achieved in the thickest (.046) of vinyl lap profiles, which traditionally are offered by remodelers but not seen as much in new construction. As manufacturing tech has developed, manufacturers have become able to bring dark colors into their mid-level (.044, .042) offerings. This is a boon for builders, who want to use more economical panels while still providing a color palette appealing to today's tastes for bold, dark colors. We're especially intrigued by Royal Building Products' Royal Estate (.044 panel), which, unlike competing products, features dark colors that carry less than a $7/sq premium over their lighter counterparts!
Explore Something New
Looking for even more ways to get ahead this year? Stop by your local Wimsatt branch! We've remodeled all of our showrooms this winter to focus on the products that we think will be your biggest opportunities this year. You can bring your clients to our showrooms to make product selections and learn more about building products from our friendly and knowledgable sales staff. Springtime is always exciting around here and we're eager to help you succeed!
About Dave Karras
Dave Karras is the Marketing Manager at Wimsatt Building Materials.