Purchasing power and economic forces were among the topics tackled by the LBM Advantage buying group at its Forest Products Conference in Baltimore. The event marked the group’s first conference since the acquisition of IBSA of Smithfield, N.C.
IBSA brings 225 Southeastern locations to LBM Advantage – for a total of 1,100 retail locations -- and the increased footprint was celebrated at the event. “We carry a lot of clout with the manufacturers these days” notes Duncan Facey, VP of forest products. “The addition of the IBSA membership creates more geography and even bigger numbers that the mills are eager to compete for.”
Additionally, Mark Porter, president of Seattle-based Hampton Lumber Company, a longtime supplier and featured guest speaker at the event, addressed the crowd on topics of national fiber demand, environmental issues, and the high market prices that were the top story of 2017. “These prices just might be the new normal” continued Porter, citing export demand in an economy that has not yet realized the anticipated 1.4 million or more housing starts.
LBM Advantage will continue its dealer education series at their upcoming Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 19-21. That event will officially celebrate and welcome the IBSA members, the co-op said.