Modular Trends - 2008
2007 was a year of fantastic growth for the modular construction industry. Non-traditional construction gained footholds across America as franchise and fast-food restaurants realized the efficiency of modular construction, and internationally recognized corporations continued to use modularly constructed buildings globally. However, it is may be easy to forget all of that success amid the talk of a recession for 2008.
To get the straight scoop on the effect our economy has on the modular building industry, I sat down with Tom Hardiman, the Executive Director of the Modular Building Institute, the only international non-profit trade association dedicated to the modular construction industry, and Jim McKinley, the Principal of 360MobileOffice.com, a leading online customer referral service specializing in the mobile office and modular building industries. Together they paint a promising picture for the modular construction industry in 2008.
The one thing that seems to be certain, even now, is that the modular building market seems stable overall. While some geographic areas appear to be doing better than others for temporary applications, there seems to be a trend for steady, if not rapid, growth in place. McKinley confirms this, saying that “we can always count on a satisfactory base level of modular building requests, year-round, to come through our website.” And, that is good news indeed.
However, that is not to say that there aren’t a few gentle peaks and valleys in the realm of modular construction. Much like stick built construction, the winter months tend to be slower for the industry. However, due to the fact that, unlike traditional projects, modular construction projects can continue despite inclement weather, modular construction is fast becoming the go-to for educational organizations and industries that want quick, quality results. “We see a significant amount of modular building requests coming in from the educational sector, regardless of the time of year” mentions McKinley.
There are a couple of ways to ease through the winter slow time without putting the pinch on your company, though. Hardiman suggests that respite may be found in the scheduling: “manufacturers could offer incentives or discounts for projects completed during winter months to help reduce the peaks and valleys.” While, McKinley adds that “a good source of new projects never hurts, either. If you can find a source of customer referrals, whether it is by word of mouth or a customer referral service, it can really help the slow times.”
Then, the talk turned to 2008, the year at hand. What does the market hold for manufacturers? As far as anyone can tell, trends to look for include a growing k-12 population, an increase in overall commercial construction activity, and an increased awareness of the advantages of modular construction. Not to mention the growing trend for retail, hospitality, and restaurants—particularly franchise and quick service restaurants. Ecologically conscious businesses should be discovering the green aspects of modular construction as well.
McKinley noted that the “government requests have been picking up steadily, and, of course, we see a lot of educational building requests coming in.” These promising trends indicate that, as time passes, more and more people are becoming aware of the incredible value the “rapid ‘time to completion’” modular construction offers the customer.
But, as happens with any market gaining popularity, a few businesses are quick to sacrifice quality for profit. There is a continual problem with those “companies engaged in the industry that will continue to try to make a quick buck with little or no concern or vision about the industry's future and potential,” laments Hardiman. “I have seen a similarly frustrating lack of vision in some players in the customer referral industry as well. A commitment to integrity and quality are must-haves for our business, and any businesses we deal with.” McKinley agrees.
Thankfully, institutions like the MBI are paving the way for other quality businesses with the implementation of standards via the Code of Business Ethics and Conduct. Businesses that working with, and that are members of, the MBI know that they are getting service that lives up to this creed, and they have seals available to prove it.
And, what better way to start the New Year than a shared commitment to “integrity and professionalism across the board”? Join the MBI and 360MobileOffice, a proud member of the MBI, and commit to a year of quality and integrity for 2008!
360MobileOffice.com delivers qualified sales leads to modular building and mobile office manufacturers and distributors interested in growing their business. The company supplies over 2,000 qualified leads per month to a variety of sellers, matching them based on their specific product and geography profile.
Visit our website at http://www.360MobileOffice.com, or contact Michael Covey at 877-550-5317to sign up for our qualified mobile office and modular building leads service.
To find out more about the MBI, please visit their website at http://www.modular.org/.