The No. 1 quality that building material dealers and distributors consider when deciding whether to stock a brand is how well the company stands behind that brand and the warranty that goes with it, a new ProSales survey finds. The product's overall performance ranks second on dealers' lists, while whether the product is a name brand rate at the bottom.

"Company stands behind product/warranty," averaged 9.113 points when respondents were asked to rate the quality on a scale of one to 10. The other qualities and their scores:

  • Overall performance -- 8.878
  • Product availability -- 8.842
  • Valued by the customer -- 8.658
  • Highest quality -- 8.513
  • Demanded by the customer -- 8.382
  • Service provided by brand -- 8.229
  • Product features -- 8.171
  • Provides differentiation from competitors -- 7.988
  • Recognized by the customer -- 7.830
  • Best price/value tradeoff -- 7.740
  • Name brand -- 7.185

A total of 924 people started the survey and 682 completed the poll, which ProSales conducted in late November and early December. The question on attributes for choosing products

was answered by 672 people. SpecPan, the Denver-based company that managed the survey for ProSales, said the results are nationally accurate within 5 percentage points on a 99% confidence scale.

The survey also included a series of questions in which dealers were asked whether they stocked, or intended to stock, various product groups. ProSales will release those results in the future.