Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Makes a Good Modular Home Manufacturer

A lot of modular home builders focus on one trait from their factory: price.

Price certainly is important when you are selecting a modular manufacturer to accompany you as you grow your business. But there's more to a factory than an invoice - and more to the cost of doing business with a factory than the amount on a contract. Remember that factories are in business to make money. If you go to the mat with them on every bill, ask them to shave prices on every home they sell to you, or call them with an attitude, don't be surprised if they begin putting you on the back burner.

After price, reliability is probably the key factor to look for in a modular manufacturer. Good suppliers will ship the right number of completed modules, as promised, on time so that they arrive in good shape. Sometimes you can get the best reliability from a large factory. These factories have the resources to devote to backup systems and sources so that, if something goes wrong, they can still live up to their responsibilities to you.

However, don't neglect smaller modular factories. If you're a large builder of a small factory, you'll get more attention and possibly better service and reliability than if you are a small builder of a large factory.

Stability is another key indicator. You'll want to sign up with a modular home factory that has been in business a long time. A factory that has long-tenured senior executives is another good sign, and a solid reputation with other builders is a promising indicator that a factory is stable. When it comes to your own experience, look for telltale signs of factory trouble, such as homes that are ready to ship earlier than you requested them - this can be a sign of a factory that is short on orders and needs to accelerate cash receipts.

Don't forget location. Homes ordered from a distant factory can take a long time to get to you and generate added freight charges quickly. Also, determine factory’s freight policies before you order.

Finally, there's a grab bag of traits that could generally be termed competency. You'll want factory who can offer the latest, most advanced products and building methods. They'll need to have well-trained employees to sell and service their homes. And they should have a realistic attitude toward you, their builder, so that they're willing and eager to work with you to grow both your businesses.



Anonymous said...

Any builder focusing on PRICE is no different than the pickup truck site builder building to make a wage and little else. Unfortunately, many builders still preach the mantra that you can save 20-25% building modular using it as a sales tool instead of promoting the value received by homeowners buying modular.

Likewise factories that promote their pricing are saving $$ somewhere in the delivery chain - materials are the same price for everyone so the equalizer is labor, fixed capital costs, operating efficiency.

Anonymous said...

I WAS with a certain PA factory until I found out that one of their favorite big builders was getting a double digit discount on every house while I was getting a measly 4% and we do about the same amount of business with the factory.
If you are a builder who builds 12 or more homes a year you need to have your factory show the discounts they are giving other builders. I guarantee you willed be shocked.
They won't of course but it would be fun to see them squirm