Network Business Insights
Plugging Into the Power of Information
With a myriad of new ways to select and look at data, The Blue Book Network® continues to provide new insights into information that drives productivity–and profitability. Analysis of product specifications and leading brands can reveal the uncertainty of coalescing standards for developing products, or brand repositioning for new technologies applied to long-time product lines. Using the Network’s SupplyScope® and SpecScope® services, let’s take a look at some illuminating case studies.
Top Players Have a Long Reach
In bidding, as in networking, the broader a net you cast, the greater your chances of success. Companies in The Blue Book Network have long recognized the value not only of the leads and bidding opportunities, but the breadth of opportunities to expand their network of subs, suppliers, GCs and others in the construction supply chain. With new ways to research and display these connections, let’s take a look at some of the most connected players in The Blue Book Network and their local industry.
Ranked by the number of projects bidders associated themselves with in 2018, the top connected companies are shown in table #1. The project counts include Intent to Bid (ITBs)–project leads for companies bidding or reviewing projects in The Blue Book Network.
The mix of players at the top highlights the diversity of the industry. Of the more than 350,000 active Network players, the top 10 include GCs, specialty sub-trades, service providers and suppliers. These top 10 are connected to nearly 10 percent of the total projects in the Network during 2018. But the real reach of these players comes in the connection they have to others in the bidding space. Simsona Corp., a steel detailing company based in Maryland, is not just connected to 3,214 project leads, those projects have more than 19,000 bidders associated with them. Could these connections help you find your next sub-trade partner or product supplier?
Drilling into the data offers even more opportunity to find the most experienced players and potential new partners for your next project. For example, if your interest is in finding a general contractor for your next hospital or nursing home project, identifying the top players connected to those projects is a good place to start–see table #2.
Interestingly enough, the top GC for hospitals in 2018 is also the most active player overall with connections to more than 217 hospital and nursing home projects, along with more than 5,000 other types. Taking the research a step further into the company profile, knowing that nearly 60 percent of the projects connected to both Briston Construction and Anderson & Son’s are hospitals or nursing homes helps you see who focuses on these project opportunities!
The tenant Improvement (TI) and fit-up space is also an area of specialization, and finding experienced players is critical here as well. A look at the top 10 GCs connected to TI’s or fit-ups reveals a very different list than those connected to hospitals or even the list of most active players. The top GCs shown in table #3 are connected to more than 21 percent of the TI and fit-up projects in The Blue Book Network for 2018. Identifying these from the 4,700 GCs connected to those projects, or further refining the list to those that are connected to projects in the area of your next project,illustrates the power and reach possible with an analytical view of the information.
New Products Respond to Opportunity, But Will Your Brand?
Whether you offer a completely new product born from disruptive technology, or a long-established product experiencing a renaissance, pushing your brand to the top is critical. Product adoption rates, uncertainty of emerging standards, brand connection to fading product lines, and even extreme weather events can impact the direction of product and brand specifications. Knowing what’s happening for your products can make the difference in getting in front of rapidly changing trends. Electric vehicles (EVs) have become one of the most disruptive technologies and fast-moving industries. Auto manufacturers are realizing that they must shift much of their focus from fossil fuel vehicles (including hybrid styles) to all-electric models in order to survive the change in demand. With Volvo announcing it will only produce electric and hybrid vehicles starting this year, and more EV models being developed, EVs will rapidly eclipse fossil fuel models. With more energy-efficient EV models and driving ranges that rival a single tank of gasoline at more than 400 miles, EVs are pushing the demand for Level 2 and Level 3 DC fast-charging stations all over the country.
From 2014 to 2018, project specifications calling for charging stations increased 250 percent to 1,167 projects. It would seem like wonderful news if you made charging stations. But the upward trend in the product is not translating to brands. While some standards are starting to emerge, like the Level 2 SAE J1772 EV plug compatible with the Nissan LEAF®, Toyota® Prius Prime, Ford® EVs, and other popular models, it is a little reminiscent of the VHS-Betamax battle of the 1980’s. Tesla®, one of the leaders, has their own connector, which does work with the J1772, but other players’ connectors, such as the CHAdeMO and the NEMA 14-50 may not work, or may require an adapter.
With this uncertainty, and the rapid changes in battery capacity and charging requirements, it’s no surprise that more than 80 percent of the projects specifying a charging station are not calling out a brand. Even among the top manufacturers, shown in table #4, the rate of brand specification is not breaking 10 percent. This leaves the purchase decision to the GC, or more likely to the electrical subcontractor.
One of construction’s long-time industries being rocked to its core by shifting technology is lighting–table #5. Both inside and outdoor lighting products are turning to LED technology for energy savings and extended product life. Specifications for LED lighting have more than doubled in the last five years. However, unlike EV charging stations, LEDs are bringing some old names (and some new ones) along for the ride. With more than 55 percent of the LED projects calling for one or more of the 25 manufacturers searched, some familiar names top the list and continue to grow their specification rate year-over-year:
Blue Book network Analytics: the power to drive Success
It’s been said that “information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” The Blue Book Network has the intelligence, the team, and the tools to help you find the patterns in the data, and use those to reduce uncertainty and provide the edge required to power your business past the competition.
To learn how The Blue Book Network’s Intelligence & Analytics solutions can help rev up your “analytics engine,” contact Brian Tonry, VP of Analytics & Research at firstname.lastname@example.org or (609) 857-2034.