Low Innovation among Building Material Suppliers: The Natural Level of the Trade

Jan Sundquist



Many studies concerning innovation have been carried out on building contractors, but very few have studied innovation among the suppliers of building materials. In Sweden the cost of building materials is approximately 40% of the total building costs. Some products also need more handeling than others, therefore not only cost but also productivity is affectedby the suppliers of building materials. This article focuses on innovation among building material suppliers which is found to be low. The suppliers are compared to other lines of business to show the level of their innovation processes. The article is based upon slightly over 800 companies of various sizes. Important findings are:A smaller proportion of the Building Material suppliers than of the Other Manufacturers offer new products, invest in R&D, machinery and marketing the introduction of products.The Building Material Suppliers have a greater proportion of their sales from older products and have older equipment than Other Manufacturers.The Building Material Suppliers have poorer production processes and they are not as good at finding new ides as the Other ManufacturersThe study reveals barriers within the trade, where motivation seems to be of great importance.


innovation, processes, building material suppliers, new prodicts, development

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/AJCEB.v4i1.2952