We’re going to start this in reverse, conclusion first. Value engineering hurts the dealer, the builder, the manufacturer and the industry. A little dramatic? I hope you’ll excuse me. After all, it’s Monday morning, and we have customers queued up asking how we can cut the price of their project. So we give them coffee, try to calm them down and explain that we won’t let them cut anything, for their sake, and really they should be adding.
Throughout the downturn of the last four years or so we have seen the lumber and building materials industry shrink dramatically. Some estimates of sales shrinkage at the dealer level put it beyond 50%. In some markets, that estimate is absurdly low. There is no denying that everyone in all segments and steps in the chain is battered. Unfortunately, even the homeowner/consumer is somewhat damaged as well.