The building façade industry has seen a continuous increase in the use of Metal Composite Materials (MCM). This light weight and rigid material provides and attractive appearance and is well suited to many building styles.
Like any product growing in demand, more and more brands start hitting the market, and finally some companies, struggling for market share, begin to drop prices and engage in the losing battle of a Price War.
Low Cost Providers:
When it comes to MCM (also known as Aluminum Composite Material, or ACM) many low-cost providers are trying to push their way into the market. This began with some low cost imported products suited to the signage industry being used for building facades, because it looked about the same. Following this, some domestic MCM manufacturers begin competing in this price-driven boxing ring and as a result must sacrifice quality to maintain their slim margins.
As with all products in any industry, a drastic price difference either means there are product variables being exploited, or margins are being cut leaving the vendor no room for servicing the client. Either way, the validity of any warranties is called into question. Will they use a loophole in their warranty to get out of product failure? Will they be in business for long, if they are selling at little to no margins?
Warranty is one of the most important aspects in choosing your MCM product. If a company has great confidence in their product they will offer you a great warranty. If they don’t, you might want to ask some more questions.
Cost and price are two different things. Price is what you see up front. Cost is how your purchase affected your bottom line profits. Risk is a major factor in a purchasing decision. If a MCM product manufacturer can reduce your risk by offering better warranties, and better service, and goes the extra mile to help see your project through to success, you can be sure that they will stand behind you when you need them. Their price might look higher, but the cost of doing business with them might be much less than the headache of dealing with a “low-cost provider”.
An example of how price driven manufacturers might try to cut costs is to increase the production speed of the ACM manufacturing line to get more output, with effects which may not appear until years later. Or they might use lower grade raw materials, or cut their customer service.
Quality is sustainable and with that creates a long lasting look on your building that you worked hard to create. You deserve to have the best products representing that building and your vision. And you don’t deserve to be replacing the “cheap” product when it fails, which is much costlier than the small percentage saved at the initial product selection!