Comeback kids and other Summit highlights

Later this month, at the ProDealer Industry Summit (Oct. 24 to 26 in Savannah, Ga.), Home Channel News will recognize BMC as the 2012 Pro Dealer of the Year. It is the story of the great comeback. 

Emerging from chapter 11 in late 2010, BMC found itself among the rubble that has been our residential housing market.  With few signs of recovery in sight, BMC set out to first rise from its own fiscal ashes, and then begin to renew its position in the LBM industry.

As Springsteen exhorted in his post-911 hymn, “My City of Ruins:” “Come on rise up, come on rise up!!”

They did, and to gain insight into how this was accomplished, stay tuned to HCN because our December issue will delve into detail (and it’s always about the details, isn’t it?) with a special report on BMC, featuring interviews with key executives and visits to several BMC facilities and even some construction sites.

But obviously they are not the only survivors — look around and you will find industry people, what most outsiders looking in would describe as the best of the best, from dealers to wholesalers and suppliers, in small, medium and large companies. 

Last month, HCN profiled Chuck Bankston of Bankston Lumber as another example of how hard work, integrity and positive thinking can make a survivor out of any company, in any market.

Compared with most in the industry, I am fresh off the turnpike (a piker), with only about 15 years working in the industry from the publishing side.  But in those years, I have observed the following:

• This industry has some of the smartest, most ethical, most hard-working and (this may be the most important) nicest professional people I have ever worked with.

• Some of the merely “successful” people in the glory days do not seem to be around anymore. Were they just “order takers” riding a white hot market?

• Innovation and perspiration will always offset stultification and exasperation.

• Hard times always makes hard workers more valuable.

Our cover story this month asks the question: “What is your business worth?” We think that hardware, home center and lumberyard businesses (the whole home channel) are going to be worth more and more each day moving forward. 

Who’s going to grow? Who’s going to innovate? Where will all the talent in the industry end up? The coming years will reveal those answers to us for sure. Every one of us has an opportunity to have an impact on our own outcomes.

So what is your company doing? How are you going to compete in this (yes, it’s OK to say it now) growing market?

Some of the best and brightest will be in Savannah this October, when Home Channel News and the NLBMDA (National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association) host the ProDealer Industry Summit.  

BMC will be there. So will many other LBM dealers, distributors, wholesalers and vendor companies in the industry. 

Will you be there representing your company? It’s a good place to start, because 2013 will surely offer opportunity for comeback kids. 

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