At BMC, it’s first and 10

Manning, left, and Alexander let the footballs and the football analogies fly.

Here’s the thumbnail sketch of football great Archie Manning’s presentation at the first-ever BMC National Sales meeting in Las Vegas last month: Competition can be fierce. Fate can be cruel. But for those who persevere, there are rewards to reap. 

Does it sound like a message for a lumberyard chain fighting through a housing downturn? “It was pitch perfect,” said BMC CEO Peter Alexander. “Plus, Archie stayed on to sign footballs for every participant.”

While Manning, the father of two current NFL quarterbacks, was a highlight of the three-day event, the real victory came from simply bringing Boise, Idaho-based BMC’s far-flung sales team under one roof, Alexander said. BMC has seen more than its fair share of plans, strategies and reorganizations in the last several years — including an emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. But one thing it had not seen was a national sales meeting.

Until last month.

“Today, we have a clearer organization led by some of the very best, most ethical business leaders in the distribution space,” Alexander said. And while the 75-unit Western pro dealer anticipates flat sales in 2011, the privately held company also expects a profit. Keeping things simple is a key to Alexander’s BMC playbook. 

“We have 350 salesman, with one brand, one IT system and one commission program,” Alexander told HCN.

Anything else?

“It’s just blocking and tackling and execution,” he said.

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