Beazer exec forms consulting group
Tony Callahan, the former senior VP national purchasing, planning and design for Beazer Homes, has left the Atlanta-based home-building firm to form his own consulting firm. The Callahan Consulting Group (CCG) specializes in helping building product and residential construction companies lower costs and lead times, while managing risk throughout the supply chain.
At Beazer, Callahan was also responsible for the architectural designs, CAD drawings and standardization initiative. He joined the company from home builder NVR, where he spent six years in the purchasing and materials management arena.
“I have spent a career helping organizations reduce cost, cycle time and risk,” Callahan told Home Channel News. “The fact is our economy is weak, and the home-building industry is struggling. I have always felt like I can make a difference, and I plan to do just that with this new venture. Whether the client is big or small, I want to be there to help any company within the industry gain market share, reduce costs and get through this downturn.”
In addition to supply chain efficiency, CCG also specializes in assistance with putting together an RFI, RFP or RFQ and meeting with suppliers, service providers and operations team to eliminate waste and help drive costs out of the system, Callahan said.
Analyst sees bright skies for apartment builders
Rents are rising, occupancy rates are high, and the apartment business is about to explode — all of which spells good news for the multi-family construction business, according to an analyst for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. In her Housing Dimensions blog, VP Lesley Deutch cited pent-up demand from young adults, modest job recovery and government policy as the three top factors pushing this trend.
Calculations done by John Burns, an independent housing research, advice and consulting firm, have estimated 3.4 million units of unmet household demand. “The largest segment of this demand is young adults, who have either moved back in with their parents or taken on roommates,” Deutch wrote. “We expect this demand to materialize over the next few years, with most of the demand entering the apartment market because of the inability to qualify for a home and uncertainty over their employment situation.”
The firm believes that job growth will approach 2% by 2012, not enough security for many people considering taking on a mortgage.
As for rent increases, the forecast is for an average 4.5% growth per year through 2015, based on a range of MSAs. And although development money is flowing steadily into apartment construction, renters will eventually hit a ceiling when they realize it is cheaper to own than rent, Deutch warned.
But in the short term, the most influential factor may be the backseat role of government in promoting housing in the years to come. “[We believe] 19 years of continually more aggressive government intervention toward homeownership is about to reverse itself,” Deutch wrote.
Zeeland Lumber rebrands itself
Back in 2006, Zeeland Lumber in Zeeland, Mich., was named Home Channel News Independent ProDealer of the Year. The building industry has changed dramatically since then, and Zeeland has changed with the times.
The company unveiled its new branding last month, including a new logo and a simple, two-word tagline: “Build. Trust.”
“It’s such a fitting tagline,” said Mark VandenBosch, VP sales and marketing. “Each word can stand alone, and together they represent everything we do.”
The new logo also reflects what Zeeland can do. The six-sided shape represents its diversification in six business units — lumber, holdings, concept showroom, contractor services, truss and components, and logistics and distribution.
“What we have been working on is staying relevant for our customers,” said VandenBosch.
In the company’s new brochure describing a "Brand New Zeeland Lumber," the company’s mission is spelled out as: "Building trust in our industry through knowledgeable service, innovative solutions and exceptional value."
The material describes the change in the brand’s look and focus this way: "While we remain firmly grounded in the values that founded this company, we recognize that we have grown and will continue to grow to meet the building needs of our community and the region. It is our expressed hope that the new identity captures this spirit while remaining faithful to our roots.