Dailey: We do anticipate significant further consolidation.
Seo: We agree that the consolidation trend will continue in the future.
Weddington: I believe we will continue to see consolidation and alliances being formed within the fabrication network. This is a natural evolution that allows fabricators to better service an ever-changing customer base. The national home centers, retail chains, the fast food industry, an ever increasing number of large commercial applications and the national builders are demanding service on a broader scale. This demand for increased capacity combined with new regulations being enacted in certain industries is making it increasingly difficult for some fabricators to stay independent. I believe consolidation will continue as a trend in order to meet the need of an extremely dynamic and fluid customer base. However, there will always be a place for smaller shops that focus on custom and design oriented applications.
Park: Most likely.
9. Do you see significant changes occurring within the distribution network in coming years?
Olson: DuPont has built a strong network of distributors and fabricators that have worked collaboratively for more than 30 years to establish a significant and robust market for solid surfaces. Over that time, the roles of distributors and fabricators have evolved based upon market needs and dynamics. The expectation is that the market will certainly continue to evolve, and DuPont Surfaces and our network of distributors and fabricators, will respond in a way that strengthens our leading product and services offering.
Clement: No, but distributors will continue to feel pressure to offer value added services to the market place
Dailey: Aggressive, full service distribution will remain a key element for the growth of solid surface products. Eventually the manufacturers will adopt a business model that assures consistent, exclusive and specialized marketing focus on their offering by the Distribution network.
Seo: Samsung Staron continues to evaluate and make improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of our distribution network. Staron is available worldwide with our distributor base growing each year. In North America, fabricators can locate a distributor in their area by visiting the Staron Web site: www.staron.com and clicking on "Contact Us."
Weddington: Yes. We've raised the bar for Wilsonart company owned distribution and our independent distribution network, and we believe our distribution network is a healthy mix of both. The channel is becoming more consolidated and distribution is becoming more aggressive and efficient. You will see stronger, more focused distributors emerge and dominate markets with a smaller and more focused group of fabricators. This will allow Wilsonart to provide the best quality distribution and service for all of our customers.
Park: We feel they will move towards larger fabrication shops, fewer distributors, and fabricators will, in some cases, do their own distribution.