Pulte Homes launched 2004 with a bang, nailing a strategic partnership deal with Pratte Development Co., one of the nation's largest wood framing and concrete foundation companies. The 50/50 joint venture, to be called Pratte Building Systems, will provide material and labor for concrete foundations, concrete flatwork, framing, and trim for all Pulte houses in Arizona and Nevada, where Pratte has extensive operations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pulte CEO Richard Dugas said he expects the venture to "enable Pulte to further reduce its cycle times, while lowering costs through enhanced value engineering, manufacturer direct purchasing, and greater regional operating leverage."

Ronald Pratte, CEO of Pratte Development Co., will head the new company. "This new operation will allow us to more fully integrate our systems and share best practices, enabling us to gain even greater efficiencies and further cost savings," he said. Pulte has chosen Alan Laing, formerly vice president of customer satisfaction and construction support, to lead the companies' integration and optimization activities.

Initially, the joint venture will focus on delivering material and labor to complete concrete foundations and associated flatwork, framing, exterior sheathing, roof trusses, exterior and interior doors, and trim packages for Pulte's Arizona and Nevada operations. In Phoenix, the venture also will provide material and installation services for underground plumbing. Pulte expects to deliver between 8,000 and 9,000 homes under its Pulte Homes and Del Webb brands in 2004 across its Phoenix, Tucson, and Las Vegas operations.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ.