The ability to step back and look at the big picture is a luxury, particularly for anybody running his or her own company.
2006 Best In Class Survey
The 2006 Best in Class survey asked readers how they rate manufacturers of products they use. For the manufacturer, going the extra mile for customers inspires repeat business.
What keeps a builder coming back isn't necessarily the bottom line price or a well-known name. The 2006 Best in Class survey conducted by the staff of Custom Builder asked readers how they rate manufacturers of products they use.
For the manufacturer, going the extra mile for customers inspires repeat business. Though many manufacturers were named as winners in Best in Class, a few stood out. The best overall manufacturers from the survey are Andersen for exteriors, Moen for interiors and Owens Corning for behind-the-wall products.
According to reader responses (see table on page 53), 43.1 percent of builders ranked the product's quality highest in terms of importance.
"It's a close one-two-three when it comes to service. It's like a trinity. The price may be good, but if the service and [quality] are lousy, forget it," says Tom Schiffleger, president of Schiffleger Construction in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The biggest problem he's had, he says, arises when manufacturers and suppliers don't deliver what they promise.
"I would have to say meeting their commitment is the biggest problem, be it the level of quality or the price they can deliver. Salesmen are what they are," Schiffleger says. Results show technical support such as supplying manuals, training and consultation are just as important to builders.
Excellent warranties rank a close third. Other elements such as product selections, name recognition and delivery times rounded out the bottom end of the responses.
Like the surveys conducted by our sister publications Professional Builder and Professional Remodeler, our staff began this survey several months ago. Those surveyed ran the gamut of company sizes, revenues and specialties. Based on the responses, we compiled a list of the manufacturers and products most often mentioned; those led us to the winners of the 2006 Best in Class survey.
Moen -- Best Overall Interior Products
Andersen -- Best Overall Exterior Products
Owens Corning -- Best Overall Behind the Walls Products