While the annual FDMC Pricing Survey is always fascinating and informative, it is far from a scientific study, so it’s a bit of a stretch to hang a trend on it. Still, there was an
interesting change in the results this year that might suggest a
transformation in pricing dynamics.
For years, the variance between high and low pricing in the
survey has ranged wildly, sometimes with high prices being as
much as 12 times the low price for the same project and rarely
lower than a variance factor of five for any project. But this
year, with the exception of one
very complex project, the pricing
is much closer. High numbers are
only double or 2. 5 times the low
bids. Yes, that’s still a wide range,
but it is an interesting sea change.
What does it mean?
Perhaps it is an aberration.
After all, this is a relative small
sample. But if it does signify some
larger trend, that is especially
interesting. Does it mean that shops
are getting smarter in their pricing
and making fewer estimating errors? Does it mean that market
disparities between higher-end markets and mid-range markets
in the custom cabinet field are coming together?
Has the growth in the audience for things like HGTV,
Pinterest and the like flattened the market somewhat by sharing
more widely information about what is possible and what it
might cost? I can’t say I have answers to all these questions. But it
is a fascinating turn of events to see the pricing tighten up a bit
after so many years of it being all over the map. ✚
by William Sampson
Is more competitive pricing a trend?
Closer numbers in the annual FDMC Pricing Survey hint at a tightening
of the custom cabinet market.
Opportunities to connect
If you’re not plugged in, how are you going
to connect? We frequently write about the
advantages of attending trade shows and
other live events such as the just-completed
IWF. There are plenty of opportunities going
on year-round. Just this month there are a
number of live events. Many companies
have planned a Manufacturing Day event
for Oct. 5. It’s an annual event if you
missed this year. WCMA is planning its
annual plant tour event October 8-10 in
Wisconsin. The CMA is planning regular
regional events for shop members. Several
major equipment manufacturers are planning
open houses and educational events.
And Wood Pro Expo is Oct. 18-19 in
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. You can
find information on all of these events at
by Karl D. Forth
✚ Follow Will
Karl online at
Correction: The very distinctive cover photograph we
used on August FDMC should have
been credited to Alfatherm S.p.A. The
picture featured the Alfatherm Serica
product, a new matte surface finish
featuring anti-scratch and anti-fingerprint
technology, which was a finalist for a
Challenger Award at IWF 2018.