While at the Internatonal Builders' Show, IBACOS staff engaged in networking, educational sessions, and one-on-one meetings.
Following are the significant take-aways from the show.
Intent to act. For the past few years, show attendance has been increasing. However, from our perspective, there was a lot of information gathering, but some hesitation to act. Most were cautiously optimistic about the market returning, but weren’t ready to aggressively invest time and money in making changes to their product or businesses. This year, we got a sense that the plans that have been in development over the past few years are now being put into action.
Imitation vs. innovation. There weren’t a lot of cutting-edge new products at the event. However, there were a lot of suppliers introducing offerings that reflect some of the new products and systems we’ve seen over the past few years. Whether these new entrants will perform as well as or better than their predecessors remains to be seen, but it’s encouraging to see both bigger manufacturers and new companies entering the mix who obviously see opportunity for growth in housing.
Solutions vs. products. While this isn’t true across the board, we had the opportunity to talk with a number of leading suppliers who have used the last few years to build an arsenal of resources that will help builders deliver better homes more quickly and effectively. Manufacturers who don’t want their products to be seen as commodities and recognize the success of their partners will bring them greater success as well.
No surprise – labor is big. The biggest issue the industry is facing – labor shortages – was a prevailing theme this year not only throughout the education sessions, but also during conversations on the show floor. It’s clear that suppliers are putting much more thought behind how their products contribute to easing this pain.
We look forward to the year ahead of working with our clients & partners to play a role in addressing these issues and helping to move innovation in this industry forward!