Make or buy prefab solutions?

Rotterdam, March 14, 2019 – With a growing market for prefab solutions, even though the market is still in its earliest stages, the question whether contractors will make or buy prefab solutions becomes more valid. The majority of the contractors in Europe will buy these prefab solutions from manufacturers, although a fair share is also thinking of finding local partner(ship)s. This is one of the results of the European Contractor Monitor 2018 of USP Marketing Consultancy. In this research, 1,000 contractors with at least 5 employees were asked about their attitude towards and usage of prefab in eight countries.

Contractors prefer to buy prefab solutions from the industry
The European Contractor Monitor already showed that most contractors expect an increase in the usage of prefab solutions. This is not an exponential growth, but a steady growth. Many countries are still in an early stage of the prefab evolution, either in the actual use of prefab solutions or in the type of prefab solutions that are being used. Traditionally, contractors would buy their building materials from manufacturers. Does this also apply for prefab elements? The answer is yes for the majority of the contractors, but some would also consider partnerships or even self-production. Almost half of the European contractors would buy prefab solutions from the industry, especially in Spain. There is also a considerable amount, almost a third, of European contractors thinking of finding local partnerships / alliances with local producers. Germany and the United Kingdom are slightly more inclined to find local partnerships / alliances with local producers compared to other countries.

Own workshop leads to self-production
Finally, the remaining group of contractors are considering producing the prefab solutions themselves. On average, this is considered by 1 out of every 6 contractors. Dutch and Italian contractors consider this option the most. Although the explanation for Italy is not so clear, the one for the Netherlands is quite obvious. Almost two thirds of the Dutch contractors have their own workshop or have an affiliate company in their proximity who can produce building elements. As shown in the results of the European Contractor Monitor, European contractors with their own workshop which produces building elements (25% of all contractors) are more likely to produce prefab solutions themselves compared to those contractors that do not have this possibility (73% of the contractors). In the first group 30% states that they will produce themselves, whereas it is only 12% in the second group. The second group prefers to buy from the industry (51% vs. 33%).

Expectations towards industry
Since the majority expects to buy prefab solutions from the industry, it is important to know what contractors expect from these ‘prefab manufacturers’. The most important aspect is fast delivery, mentioned by 37%. Next to that, the contractors also expect technical information / assistance (17%) and long term warranties (12%).

About USP Marketing Consultancy
USP Marketing Consultancy is a leading international market research agency that has specialized in the construction, installation and DIY sector for over 25 years. USP Marketing Consultancy works for internationally renowned companies, such as Saint Gobain, Knauf Insulation, AkzoNobel, VELUX, Philips, Grohe, Forbo, etc. Our clients often have pan-European questions about their brand awareness, customer journeys, market opportunities, e-commerce trends and other research needs. USP Marketing Consultancy delivers the insights to make decisions and acts as a marketing advisor for its clients.

For more information, please contact the project manager of this research
USP Marketing Consultancy, Business Unit Construction
Henri Busker,
Consultant Construction
Telephone: +31 (0)10-2066913
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