Survey: Nearly half of contractors are trying new suppliers

lumber prices

Early in the coronavirus pandemic lumber and building materials suppliers weren’t sure what to expect as the building industry went into lockdown in some states, and into limited work as essential services in others. As lumberyards and wholesalers alike have discovered as the pandemic lingers on, materials are getting harder to come by, making it more difficult to meet delivery promises to builders and contractors.

Industry research firm The Farnsworth Group has surveyed contractors, revealing that 62% surveyed have tried a new brand in the past 2-3 months, and 45% have tried a new supplier. Farnsworth Group data over 30 years shows the number of contractors to have tried new suppliers is typically less than 20%. This comes as July data shows that more than 47% of contractors are expecting shrinking profit margins to come.

Contractors also revealed in the Farnsworth Group survey that the suppliers they used weren’t necessarily brand new. 60% of those surveyed said they have used some suppliers more and others less over the past two months. The most common reason for using a new suppliers is availability, and the number two reason provided was that the new supplier offered the opportunity for the contractor to place an order online.

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See the Farnsworth Group’s complete survey results here.


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