The following is a preview from the July 2019 issue of The Scoop, the quarterly printed magazine for Dal-Tile team members. The issue will be mailed to team members’ home addresses and posted in PDF format to myMohawk next month.
Even though the growth rate for new home construction has slowed in the last three years, Dan Butterfield and his Builder Sales and Management team have still been exceptional in securing multiyear exclusive agreements and winning new business with major homebuilders throughout the country.
As Vice President of Residential Sales, Butterfield also has oversight for our Dealer Sales, Multi-Family Sales, and Showroom organizations, which are three other crucial areas that connect us with the end-use customers for our products.
In a recent conversation, he discussed his team’s approaches to align the leading homebuilders in the country with the leader in tile.
What is it about Dal-Tile that appeals most to our new homebuilder customers?
DB: We offer builder customers our Builder Studio Program, which features award-winning product innovations and a wide array of products under a powerhouse of brands. We have unmatched domestic manufacturing that enables speed to market and the distribution to support it, including four times the local service locations of any other competitor.
Yet it’s how we take all these Dal-Tile differentiators and speak to each individual builder customer with questions to uncover their priorities, needs and concerns, in order to understand what makes certain things important to them. When we combine that with the advantages that address our customer’s needs, we become a valuable partner within their business.
What do you attribute our growth with homebuilders to?
DB: We currently serve nearly 60 percent of the top 25 homebuilders nationally. We continually drive for incremental national, regional and custom home business. But once we get the business, we’re always asking ourselves, “What are we doing to grow it even further?” We should never think that we can only earn a percentage of a customer’s business. Our team continually seeks to earn it all within each of the categories that we represent.
One of our largest-ever exclusive residential programs has been with the nation’s largest home builder, D.R. Horton. The first contract we had was great, but when we were negotiating our second exclusive contract we were being adversely affected by the introduction of luxury vinyl tile into their homes. Therefore, we negotiated a specific quantity of homes for tile to be installed, as opposed to negotiating a typical agreement based on time. Our current agreement ensures Dal-Tile will be installed in 165,000 total D.R. Horton residences.
How has homebuilding, which has historically been a locally or regionally-supported business, evolved to allow for national agreements?
DB: Builders count on a multitude of different suppliers for approximately 35 unique interior and exterior finishes that go into making homes. They want to align with companies that deliver solutions that make it easy for them get quality materials where they need to be and when they need to be on-site.
While the simplest option might appear to be to work with whoever is locally installing in the market where you’re building, that can’t easily be duplicated when such builders are striving to grow significantly across various cities or across the entire country. Our Builder Studio Program fully embraces the needs of our customers with sustainable, quality core products throughout all significant major markets across the country.
All said, the backbone of our Builder Studio Program is our people. We have the most dedicated people who truly specialize in the builder channel business. At all scopes of our customer needs — whether corporate, regional, local, design center and/or service center — everyone on our team is what makes our program the very best in the industry.
Daltile: Still the leading name in tile according to builders
It’s a trend that just keeps on continuing, year after year. Builder Magazine — the official publication of the National Association of Home Builders and housing's #1 business magazine — named the Daltile product brand number one for brand familiarity, use, brand used most, and highest rating among all ceramic tile options within its 2019 Brand Use Study.
The annual study gauges preferences of more than 1,000 U.S. builders, developers and contractors across 51 building product categories for the products they recognize, use and trust most, as well as their overall willingness to try new products.
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