The disruptions caused by digitalization in the construction supply industry and in the building materials and component trade are still manageable and the extent of the changes is not completely clear yet. But the questions are central ones: How will digitalization affect the roles distributed amongst manufacturers, stationary and online retailers, architects and planners, processors as well as investors and end users? What role will triple-tier distribution play in the future? What are the strategic implications? Will exponential organizations also turn the construction supply industry upside down? Construction suppliers must answer these questions now in order to remain competitive in the future.
BIM, Smart Home, multi-channel and e-commerce are just some of the buzzwords of the fundamental digital transformation the construction industry is witnessing. New business models are emerging, new market participants will enter the market, customer journeys and distribution channels are transforming. Change has become more layered and complex than ever before and market participants need to prepare now.
The shortage of skilled workers inhibits the implementation of planned construction projects in many areas across the building sector. In the future, manufacturers will have to offer even more productivity-boosting services and modular products in order to tap the market potential. Integrated processes ranging from the configurator to pre-assembly and construction site logistics will become significantly more important in the future.
Margin pressure remains high. Volatile raw material and logistics costs require a margin and price management that is proactive. Product and service quality alone are often no longer sufficient to differentiate from the competition and achieve a high level of customer loyalty. Concepts are needed to counter the rising competitive pressure and the increasing interchangeability of manufacturers, products and brands. The brand and differentiation via services at a high level will continue to gain in importance.
In the years of the upswing, the companies have grown and developed. In many cases, this process led to great internal complexity. Portfolios have become extensive and undifferentiated, making them difficult to manage. Processes are complex and sometimes no longer effective, and the organization is not structured in a way to fully develop its potential. Benefit orientation and simplification are key words on the way to more efficiency and effectiveness.
Despite the current good construction activity, there are barriers to growth in the domestic markets, and the shortage of skilled workers is limiting construction volumes. Global population growth and the associated demand for living space, the urbanization process that is shifting building needs to urban conurbations, and the continuing importance of climate-friendly and healthy building materials offer promising opportunities for growth for manufacturers of materials and building equipment. Anyone who wants to participate in this must consistently question their market strategies and align them to the growth opportunities of the future.