to date. In addition, 60% of respondents reported that a substantial portion of their production (more than 20% of production
volume) was associated with the repair and remodeling market,
followed by single family housing construction (56%), non-residential construction (28%), and multi-family housing (18%).
Product demand & price points
Green building products are a possibility for leveraging sales
volume, although there has been a decline over the years of
respondents who see increased interest from customers. This
year was no exception, with only 24% indicating they had seen
an increase, while 58% reported they had not (18% were uncertain). This was the widest gap to date, with 2011 the last year
when “yes” responses exceeded “no” responses.
Meanwhile, demand for made-to-order (customized) production continues to be important, with 58% of respondents
indicating that a large majority (over 80%) of their overall
product mix could be classified as made-to-order. This number
represents an increase from last year (51%) and reversed a trend
of five years of decline. The highest number recorded for batch-one production was in 2010, when 70% of respondents indicated that over 80% of their product mix was made-to-order.
And while the industry continues to target higher price-points, there was an apparent decline in the 2017 and 2018
surveys. In 2018, 56% of respondents reported their firms
operated at medium-high to high price-points, which was
similar to 2017, but lower than the 63% reported in 2016.
Lastly, respondents’ production continues to be domestically focused, with 83% indicating that more than 60% of
their sales in 2018 would result from domestically produced
and/or sourced products. However, 31% also indicated that
they had increased the use of wood imports in their respective product lines over the past five years, which tied with
2017 for the largest percentage to date. Of those reporting
increased use of wood imports, 59% imported components or
lumber, 25% imported finished products, and 16% imported
both finished products and lumber or components.
Similar to past years, 45% of respondents indicated that their
firms planned to spend more in 2018 than they had in 2017,
with 31% uncertain.
When asked about their firms’ investment plans over the next
three years, 63% indicated they would spend less than $250,000,
which is lower than past study years (Figure 2). Conversely,
there was an increase in those firms reporting they would spend
between $250,000 and $1 million on investments, and also at the
high end of the scale, where the percentage of firms indicating
plans to spend more than $2.5 million rose to 8%.
Where will the improvements be made? (Figure 3) The study
Figure 1. Compared to the previous year, last year’s sales volume was...
Figure 2. Over the next three years, about how much does your company
plan to spend on investments to improve productivity or capabilities?