Info to Help Your 2018 Planning

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Occasionally we come across information that can assist your planning. Below is info regarding the MidAtlantic industrial market, the residential market and how to improve warehouse operations.

Industrial Planning Information
  • The Mid-Atlantic market region, which includes Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, is preparing for $49.8 billion in industrial project starts in 2018. The Power Industry, with $20.5 billion, leads in terms of the value of project starts, followed by the Industrial Manufacturing Industry with $16.7 billion in projects. (courtesy of Industrial Information Resources)
Residential Planning Information

According to Builder magazine, here are 2018 macro trends in the resi market.  The focus is on the builder market. We’ve highlighted those that could relate to the electrical industry (and did abbreviate / edit the copy in some areas that didn’t impact the electrical industry).

  1. Tech’s Pivot Point: Residential construction has reached a critical inflection point in how technology is currently transforming workflows, business models, how production occurs, and more. (while there are technological product plays, i.e. home automation and more, also consider how to integrate into their estimating systems and other electronic interactions to improve their productivity. Consider meeting with some of your key builders and “walk their estimating and ordering process with them to consider how you can help them be more efficient.)
  2. Innovation brightspots: (They are developing new models. Consider how you can bring more to the party and help them re-imagine the electrical side. This gets into product learning centers / experience centers, on-site electrical / lighting staff during open houses / Parade of Homes and more.  Not all builders are the same anymore. They are competing for dollars and are seeking to differentiate … and this can change by type of dwelling they are building! Be the product expert that delivers additional profit.)
  3. The Envelope, Please: As Title 24 in California sets a Zero Net Energy performance goal-line for all new residential construction by 2020, a benchmark code and compliance will likely follow suit in places nationwide. (It’s more “envelope” driven but will eventually integrate with home automation for controlling systems.)
  4. Waste Not, Want Not: Builders and others aim to reduce wasted resources. Productivity loss is a No. 1 pain point in residential construction projects, surfacing as skilled labor capacity shortages, variances on purchase orders, costly delays, and more. 2018 will be a turning point year at productivity gain. (As a manufacturer / distributor, how can you improve productivity? Do a better job of showcasing time saving products? Generate labor savings through products and material handling.)
  5. The Rise of the New Nuclear Household: Fewer than 1 in 5 households in America is a married-with-children nuclear family household. How does family “evolution” and housing preferences impact residential construction business models? The moving target of non-traditional households is moving ever faster.
  6. Algorithms and Insight will drive more decisions
  7. Most-Popular House Plans: More than ever before and changes by geographic area.
  8. Making a Place a Place: As infrastructure, transportation, home-life, and workplaces continue to evolve, new households are redefining the “non-negotiables” of new communities, be they urban, suburban, or rural. (Which begs the question, what will people want in their residences? Type of lighting, heated floors, home automation, home offices, etc.  Did I hear someone say “upgrades”?  Who will sell the material and through whom (electrical contractors, security, HVAC, direct, etc))
  9. A Material Difference: What conditions account for the most frequently encountered building materials failures in residential construction? Faulty installation?  Materials’ ability to adapt to dynamically changing conditions (a service play for distributors who can support their builders / contractors for more sophisticated electrical needs?)
  10. Health Vs. Safety 
  11. Home Building & Construction’s New Jobs, 2018 Vs. 2025 How does the data compare on what people say now are imeasures of their current job satisfaction, and how might that contrast with what skillsets, proficiencies, opportunities, and challenges might look like years from now? Is housing construction’s challenge a skilled labor problem or, rather, is it a human talent problem?
  12. Where’s the growth?   Check out the map on the right
  13. Strategic Scale: What’ will fuel M&A, strategic partnering, and further consolidation of new, for-sale residential construction’s decentralized nodes into fewer and fewer, larger and larger players. As technology and machine learning advance production capability and other aspects of the value-creation stream, how will the home building landscape really look in the future? Is there a sustainable profitable model in the spectrum for small-medium sized builders who offer neither bespoke homes nor high-volume efficiencies? Smart is the new good.
  14. 2018: Climate’s New Demands Future-proofing for resilience, both inside the box and for vital resources outside the confines of a home unit, is an urgent area of focus,
  15. Home Building’s Leadership: As data and technology fuel exponential change in home building business and operations models, people, processes, and product development change dramatically. Preparing a firm—large or small—to be resilient in the face of not one, but a rapid wave set of many, previously unforeseen challenges, is the new mandate of leadership. (as a distributor, how can you be an information source?)
  16. Building’s Best Learning Organizations: Adaptability is the new deep pockets.  Some companies excel at “learning how to learn,” new solutions occurring at the fringes of the, and investing in necessary discovery. Are you one of those companies? (what training can you provide to builders, their contractors and both of their customers to educate on the product opportunities that can convert a house into a home?)
Operations

Looking for insights to improve your warehouse which could impact customer service and perhaps improve profitability.  Check out this 42 page Warehouse Operations and Trends Study from Logistics Management magazine that covers:

  • Nature of distribution center’s operations
  • Size of distribution center and scope of distribution activities
  • Areas for possible expansion
  • Distribution center systems and technologies in use
  • Means for measuring productivity
  • Actions taken to manage warehouse operating costs
  • Events that cause disruptions in distribution center operations
Lighting

Thinking of IoT for Lighting Solutions.  It’s on a slow adoption path even with, it seems, every manufacturer getting into it.  According to Navigant Research report it is projected to be a $651M market in 2017 and by 2026 to only be a $4.5B market.  So it grows 7x in 10 years … worldwide. There are opportunities for distributors in this space and someone should be responsible for keeping on eye on the market, the technologies and periodically informing customers.  Positioning yourself as an information leader can help you capture business.  Look for an upcoming joint article from Channel Marketing Group and Lighting Solution Development in an upcoming Electrical Wholesaling issue on the rapidly changing IoT lighting market.

Hope the info helps and if you need more insights consider …

Or we can help research local market information, solicit input from customers, identify market size and more.

 

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Supporting manufacturers, distributors and others in the electrical channel with accelerating growth through business / channel strategy, marketing development and customer-focused market research. We generate "ideas that deliver results."