In this article we will be profiling 3 construction supply brands. We’ll explore how they’ve shaped the industry, what they make or sell and who their current competitors are.
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What Makes a Construction Supply Influential?
In order to identify the most influential construction supply brands, we need to define what makes such a brand “influential”, according to our own criteria. We’ve tried to keep things objective, using quantitative data as much as possible. We’ll try and discover which companies are the biggest (by revenue and market capitalization), which are the leaders of their categories and which are considered “global players”.
We’ve also tried to apply more qualitative research methods, exploring how people feel about certain brands and how well they fit into our mental model of a construction supply company. This will hopefully give us an insight into how we perceive these companies, what they mean to us, and generally help us understand ourselves better.
3 Influential Construction Supply Brands
Here ‘s our complete list of the 3 most influential construction supply brands. The rankings are based on our research, and are in no particular order:
Hardies is one of the most well-known brands in the building materials industry. It’s been around for more than a century and generates about $1.6 billion in sales annually. The company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and has a wide range of products that can be used on every construction site. Hardie uses a number of different subsidiaries to supply its customers: for instance, it owns and operates its own Australian production facility (see below), but also licenses its brand to others. This has allowed Hardie to build a niche market mainly in Australia where it enjoys strong brand recognition and high profit margins: the average price per unit sold is 49% higher than it is for other companies on the market. The company has a 4 star rating (out of 5) for its corporate governance and a 5 star rating for its social performance.
Hardie produces a wide range of products, selling them to both professional contractors and DIYers. Its products fall into four product groups:
– Windows and Doors
– Building Products for the External Envelope, such as Roofing, Cladding and Facades.
– Wall Systems and Insulation products
– Interior Products such as Timber Floors, Trim Materials and Doors.
Hardie has become very specialized in the building materials sector, but it is unable to capitalize fully on this specialization since it’s represented by only one line in the S&P/ASX50. This has been a limiting factor on its growth. For instance, Hardie’s sales per square foot are significantly higher than those of other construction supply companies (more than twice as much), but this is still below industry averages. On the positive side, Hardie has been able to grow earnings per share (EPS) from between -3% and 25% over the past 5 years.
Armstrong is often referred to as the world’s biggest flooring manufacturer. The company has been around for more than a century, and its products are sold in more than 30 countries. Armstrong produces about $3.7 billion of sales annually, and it has become a market leader purely through organic growth, since it is known for being almost completely vertically integrated. Every single part of the production process takes place within Armstrong’s own facilities or those of its subsidiaries: this means that all raw materials are purchased from producers that Armstrong owns (or it licenses) directly, while the final sale to the end customer occurs through Armstrong’s network of retailers and distributors. Armstrong’s reputation is strong enough that many producers are willing to license its brand.
Armstrong produces a wide range of products, selling them to both professional contractors and DIYers. Its products fall into four product groups:
– Flooring (including premade laminate, hardwood and engineered flooring).
– decking, railing and stairs (decking only).
– wall systems (excluding construction facades).
– carpet tiles.
3. Owens Corning
Owens Corning is the largest producer of fiberglass insulation in the world. It’s been around for more than a century, and it has more than 40,000 employees in 26 countries. OCL is a very powerful brand with a long history that presents itself as an environmentally responsible company. The company has been expanding its business segment by acquiring competitors: for instance, it bought the insulation division of BP in 2009 and became one of the major players on this market. OCL’s subsidiaries also operate in a wide range of other product categories. Owens Corning is one of the most innovative companies on its market, as it is constantly innovating to create easier and more eco-friendly products: it uses recycled materials to make its fiberglass insulation and is actively promoting green building techniques such as using recycled water for irrigation. The company’s reputation is strong enough that some producers have decided to branch out from just selling fiberglass insulation and exclusively use Owens Corning products for their projects.