Monday, November 8, 2010

Balancing Price and Quality in Siding

In the delicate balance between high quality products and low priced
suppliers, the first often gets in the way of the second.
Thus, whether they like it or not, companies are sometimes
characterized by their priority, either price or quality. Most
siding suppliers aim for the middle road and try to optimize
both: a line of quality product that satisfies customer expectations
at prices they can afford. After all, not everyone needs
a Cadillac, yet we demand reliable transportation even in
economy automobiles.
At CertainTeed, quality is never sacrificed. While we do produce
some economically priced products, our quality is the best in
the industry. We ensure this quality with every order because we
inspect every panel before it is packaged to verify that it meets
our high quality standard.
Warranty and customer service indicate the price versus quality
priority of a competitor. Suppliers who respond promptly to
customer service questions and special requests are more likely
to be quality conscious. Likewise, because the warranty’s “fine
print” is a better indicator than its stated duration of the
company’s willingness to back up its product, you—and your
customers—should examine product warranties carefully.
Reasonable claims about the company and its product that are
supported by a long history of customer service are preferable
to broad promises that can be voided at a manufacturer’s whim.
Commitment to Continual Improvement
No company can rest on its past successes. Products and
processes must be continually refined, improved, and even
reinvented. For that reason, CertainTeed maintains a dedicated
Research and Development Center separate from our
manufacturing facilities. The Research and Development Center
is constantly testing new materials, processes and tooling that
will produce even higher quality, more innovative products.
CertainTeed is one of the few manufacturers to support a
dedicated Research and Development facility.
Distribution Policy
High-quality products are most often produced for and
distributed mainly to the professional trade suppliers.
This market demands consistent quality and predictable
performance because professionals know that low cost raw
materials do not necessarily translate into cost effective
performance. When forced to choose, professional installers
generally prefer quality over price. So do we. CertainTeed siding
and accessories are manufactured for professional installers and
sold through independent building materials distributors that
cater to professionals.
Product Diversity
As you’ll see in Chapter 15 of this manual and in our product
literature, CertainTeed vinyl siding is produced in a wide array
of profiles, categories, and colors. This broad product line is
the basis for the CertainTeed Siding Collection.™ The Siding
Collection is a total package approach to exteriors. It begins
with an unsurpassed selection of siding profiles, each designed
for architectural accuracy and superior performance. Then we
add expansive trim options, decorative details, and color
choices, all of which work together to give each home a unique
look. This system benefits professionals like you, who want to
offer customers a choice of products. This wide product line
demands specialized manufacturing and marketing efforts, but
each innovation also offers saleable benefits. These benefits are
significant, and more often than not demand a premium price.

Sales Support
Selling tools cost money. Manuals like this, samples, literature,
and adequate technical support require financial resources
and personnel. The narrow profit margins of the lowest-cost
products do not generate the money for ongoing, high quality
customer education and support. CertainTeed has developed
an extensive line of the industry’s best marketing and
merchandising materials to aid you in selling more
siding profitably.

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