Volume 38, Issue 5, May 2003

IndustryOutlook

Outdoing the Competition
Photo provided by VekaYou think you’ve got some pretty competitive prices, right? But do you really know what your competitors are charging? We do. We called shops randomly in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, La., and Nashville to get a ballpark price on a 34-by-76-inch clear, tempered, insulating patio door glass that’s 5/8-inch thick. And prices were pretty tight. In Atlanta less than $100 separated the lowest from the highest price and in Nashville it was even closer with a less-than $90 difference. In Baton Rouge the range was less than $80.

So, with such close bid prices, what’s it going to take for Baton Rouge’s Shop #3, for example, to win the job over Shop #1? It may just come down to who’s the friendliest when they answer the phone. The person who answered the phone at Shop #3 was friendly and helpful, and even double-checked his price to ensure he not only was giving himself a good price, but one for me as well. “I don’t want to misquote you and not get the job,” he said. “But at the same time I don’t want to cheat myself.” That’s fair.

ATLANTA

Shop Price
Shop #1 $200.00
Shop #2 $194.45
Shop #3 $285.50
Shop #4 $225.00
Shop #5 $235.00
Mean $227.99
Median $225.00

 

BATON ROUGE, LA

Shop Price
Shop #1 $160.00
Shop #2 $235.99
Shop #3 $200.00
Shop #4 $237.94
Shop #5 $185.00
Mean $203.77
Median $200.00

 

NASHVILLE

Shop Price
Shop #1 $275.00
Shop #2 $187.25
Shop #3 $229.00
Shop #4 $250.00
Shop #5 $240.00
Mean $236.25
Median $240.00


The mean is an intermediate figure between two extremes, and the median 
represents the middle number in a series arranged in order of size.

Residential Report Card

Privately Owned Housing Units Started
Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, Thousands of Units

MONTH '01 TOTAL '02 TOTAL '03 TOTAL
January 1,651 1,678 1,629
February 1,315 1,785 1,676
March 1,586 1,646 1,631
April 1,609 1,566 --
May 1,621 1,735 --
June 1,587 1,672 --
July 1,558 1,666 --
August 1,571 1,727 --
September 1,528 1,733 --
October 1,473 1,772 --
November 1,564 1,725 --
December 1,570 1,887 --

Construction Report Card

Monthly Construction Contract Value
Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, In Millions

  FEB '03 MAR '03 % CHANGE
Nonresidential Bldg. $142,144 $140,761 -1
Residential Bldg. $253,209 $247,485 -2
Nonbuilding Const. $84,488 $86,998 +3
TOTAL CONST. $479,841 $475,244 -1

Average relative standard error three percent • (p=preliminary)
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

YEAR-To-DATE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT VALUE
Unadjusted Totals, In Millions

  3 MOS '2 3 MOS '03 % CHANGE
Nonresidential Bldg. $36,250 $30,935 -15
Residential Bldg. $55,407 $57,790 +4
Nonbuilding Const. $26,012 $20,235 -22
TOTAL CONST. $117,669 $108,960 -7

USG

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