Houston, Texas Oct 17, 2022 (Issuewire.com) - Commercial and multifamily starts are up as much as 70% in many parts of the country. However, with budgets tightening and the supply chain still rebounding will the project be halted yet once again? Chris August with MSI Surfaces recently said, "So many of the construction delays and material price increases from the global supply chain nightmare we have all lived through in recent years could have been avoided."
MSI Surfaces has been a leading distributor of flooring, countertops, wall tile, and hardscaping products for 47 years. Chris goes in-depth to explain how MSI grew exponentially throughout the pandemic while many in this space are still struggling to catch up. Supply chain and freight cost increases affected us the same just as it did others in the flooring industry. However, our business model is structured to withstand such disruptions. For decades we have built strong partnerships with our suppliers in over 35 countries. We have always diversified the manufacturing of our product lines. This gives us the ability to minimize manufacturing delays and it stabilizes production costs should a certain region be compromised.
I like to refer to our product lines at MSI as a "Whole System Solution" rather than simply flooring and countertop surfaces. Many of our multifamily flooring options are available in multiple formats. This was a game changer during the previous two years. After flooring and construction materials are specified for a project, contractors shouldn't have to scramble to find an alternative or suffer the consequences of a 20 to 40% price increase for the material. Let's take LVT for example. I have the ability to offer the same plank, style, and color in multiple wear layers, commercial warranties, and sizes in both glue-down as well as floating click floors.
I have met with architects, GCs, and countless flooring contractors that were delayed on large multifamily projects using other very well-known and reputable brands. It is not uncommon for a project to require a 20mil wide format click plank in a lobby and then transition to a 12mil in the halls and then a 6mil glue-down in the rooms. MSI can help contractors and trade professionals achieve this all in the same style and desired look. Having this versatility keeps a project going and prevents any delays arising from material shortages. When you can reselect from the specified manufacturer with the same series just in a different wear layer, the problem is solved. I have walked many projects that were at a standstill because the specified manufacturer did not have inventory and/or an equivalent product with the same look and style.
We continue to import over 85,000 containers annually. Our ability to cross over not only our products but others as well has strengthened our partnerships with architects and industry professionals tremendously. The key has been to provide the same look without delay. Unfortunately, many suppliers are not as product diversified enough to do so. Multifamily and commercial starts were up nationally by 24% in the first half of 2022. Austin and Dallas, Texas are perfect examples. These two markets are experiencing a 70% increase in commercial and multifamily starts thus far in 2022. Houston and other metropolitan cities throughout the country are on target to break records as well. This growth does not even take into consideration single-family home construction.
I believe now more than ever that architects, general contractors, and all construction trades should ask themselves three crucial questions.
- Were my suppliers' product portfolios diverse enough throughout recent supply chain issues to keep
Is my project going without delays?
- If I'm currently specifying a particular product, how did that manufacturer/supplier weather the recent storm in regard to inventory availability and price volatility? Remember, history repeats itself.
- Going into my next project, do I have a backup plan in place to avoid unforeseen delays?
Construction costs went up 17.5% in 2021. Yes, we are seeing a supply chain correction in the second half of this year. However, rising interest rates and fuel costs along with labor shortages are still affecting the overall budget. Contractors are being pinched to find ways to reduce project costs. Architects and specifiers are exploring every possible option to bring value to a project without jeopardizing quality. The drop in home sales and the rising cost of living are fueling the jump in multifamily starts. So here we are.... The perfect storm. This is why now more than ever; it is crucial to partner with suppliers and manufacturers that proved themselves as leaders throughout the past three years.
I find the flooring industry very interesting. The market dictates the demand for current trends and styles. The manufacturers supply the market with those desired looks. Architects and other trades specify products to the market. But when it comes time to vet a supplier, very little is done. The reality is that there are many great manufacturers and suppliers in the flooring and surface space. However, they are not all equal. There is a reason MSI grew during the pandemic and continues to do so.
I welcome architects, multifamily contractors, and all involved in the construction trade to visit one of our 40+ showrooms or take a virtual tour of MSI Surfaces today. I wish all of you great success on your next project.
14777 Chrisman Road, Houston, TX 77039
Source :MSI International, Multifamily Floor Tile, Countertops, Hardscaping & more.
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