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84 Lumber grows in Long Island

BY HBSDealer Staff

In 2016, 84 Lumber experienced growth in excess of 20%, with revenue topping $2.86 billion and the opening of several new stores.

Maintaining that momentum in 2017, 84 Lumber will continue to open new stores – across the county – with a grand opening in Riverhead, New York, first on the list.

The 36,000 square foot facility will serve both residential and commercial customers in need of building materials. It will offer a variety of specialty departments including a 6,500 square foot showroom featuring an 84 Lumber Kitchen & Bath Design Studio with an Andersen window display, a custom millwork shop, and a reclaimed-wood display that will act as inspiration for customers looking to bring their ideas to life.

“We’re glad to be back in the Riverhead community once again,” said Frank Cicero, 84 Lumber’s chief operating officer. “As we identified new opportunities for the company this year, we felt returning to Riverhead to help service the East End with our capabilities and high-end showroom, was an easy business decision.”

84 Lumber will hold a grand opening celebration for its Riverhead store, located at 1751 West Main Street, beginning Thursday, April 6.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday with the Kitchen Cousins in attendance. Festivities will continue through Saturday, April 8 and the store will be offering custom promotions available at this location only.

This new store is just part of the company’s aggressive expansion strategy for 2017. Upcoming grand openings include Holbrook (South Boston); San Antonio; Tampa South; and Durham, N.C., among others.

With more than 250 stores in the United States, 84 Lumber operates 24 locations in New York.

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Next Big Thing: Efficiency hacks

BY HBSDealer Staff

Having the right technological infrastructure is paramount in 2017 — particularly if it addresses real operational pain points.

That's why Cincinnati-based McCabe Lumber recently implemented MiTek's Sapphire Supply solution, which aims to cut time required to generate estimates and take-offs by 50%, ultimately freeing up sales staff to perform other tasks.

“With Sapphire Supply, our material counts and delivery stages are so accurate, we see a clear path to reducing the error and waste rate from as much as 8% down to 2%, which is near-perfect accuracy,” said Dave Renchen, McCabe Lumber’s estimating manager.

McCabe has been a long-time user of MiTek's Sapphire Structure for designing and manufacturing prefabricated components.

Sapphire Supply is the newest offering from Sapphire, providing the ability to create an especially accurate 3-D BIM structural frame for roofs, floors, and wall applications, including proprietary EWP products, dimensional lumber, and MiTek’s USP Structural Connectors’ metal connectors. 

The solution can also estimate non-structural materials such as drywall, roofing, and housewrap.

“Sapphire Supply uses a single shared structural model, and that offers McCabe a unified solution for efficient, consistent and accurate modeling, estimating, on order fulfillment across their organization,” said MiTek’s Brian McCormick.  “Sapphire Supply eliminates the classic problem of inconsistent sales estimating, because it delivers accurate modeling and estimating on every structure.”

“Now our sales team is not spending hours on estimates; instead, they are selling more jobs and expanding relationship, often by using Sapphire Viewer, a free download for reviewing Sapphire models,” added McCabe Lumber’s Dave Renchen.

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Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., and Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.
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Lobbying in a ‘new’ Washington, D.C.

BY Ken Clark

Washington, D.C. — There's hope for regulatory relief, but the national health care system is in shambles.

That's one general, and arguably oversimplified, takeaway from a policy-rich, reform-focused morning of presentations here during the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association's Legislative Conference.

The annual conference, held jointly with the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, took place for the first time under a Trump Administration, and came just days after an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, died in Congress.

Legislation affecting health care and regulations affecting business emerged as go-to talking points.

"Health care is a mess, and we've got to come back to it because Obamacare is in a free fall collapse," said Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., a Tuesday morning breakfast speaker.

Griffith, who represents the Virginia district of NLBMDA chairman George Lester, equated the current health care system to a poorly built house that's cheaper to rebuild than repair. And there are political and moral reasons to make things better. "We can't have people who don't know the details say, 'Republicans are in charge, and things are getting worse,'" he said. "We've got to try to fix it."

The NLBMDA's Ben Gann and the NRLA's Jeff Keller spelled out other priorities — and insights on how to present them to lawmakers. Topping their lists were regulatory reform, the repeal of the estate tax, preservation of the mortgage interest deduction and renewal of the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreement.

The presenters shared key talking points on all these priorities. For instance:

  • MID: It's not a break for the rich. According to the NAHB, more than half of the deductions are claimed by those earning less than $100,000;
  • U.S.-Canada softwood agreement: As prices are increasing, reaching a new SLA is needed to help meet domestic demand;
  • Regulatory reform: The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that federal regulations cost small companies some $12,000 per employee each year; and
  • Estate Tax Repeal: The Tax Foundation estimates that elimination of the tax would lead to 139,000 new jobs.

There was optimism for reform of burdensome regulations. Under President Trump, two executive orders are already in the books. One requires agencies to establish task forces to seek out excessive regulations. Another requires agencies to repeal two regulations before proposing a new one.

Additionally, Griffith celebrated the House passage of the REINS Act, which limits executive orders, and shifts "power back to Congress," he said. "We've got to continue to move forward."

The Virginia lawmaker pointed out that regulators are separated from the lawmakers and the regulating agencies, a separation that leads to unpredictable interpretation and enforcement of a rule's original intent.

Griffith also weighed in on the Border Adjustment Tax proposal: "Retailers are against it, but long term you have more people working, buying houses, building decks and doing all kinds of good things for the economy.”

Also participating in the morning session was Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., who echoed Griffith's comments about the need to revisit health care legislation.

Budd also advised against "socially motivated underwriting," preferring natural growth to federal stimulants. "We can drive the economy, but we can drive it right over the cliff, too," he said.

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