LUMBERYARDS

Central Valley builds on merchandise, and culture

BY HBSDealer Staff

Central Valley Builders Supply, a San Francisco Bay Area-based building supply company, is taking an aggressive approach to inventory and innovation through a partnership with Simpson Strong-Tie.

The agreement between Central Valley and Simpson vastly expands the pro dealer’s offering of Simpson products.

“More isn’t always better, but when you can carry only the products that customers want, and have the most comprehensive offering at the same time; that’s a successful strategy for a Pro shop,” said Steve Patterson, CEO of Central Valley. “Central Valley’s product strategy aims at meaningful differentiation.”

Central Valley sees the market for construction-related materials growing 8.8% in 2017, with construction faring better than the general economy. With such growth, builders are looking to increase their installation speed and decrease their costs. “Building safer and stronger homes and buildings means staying compliant with code changes,” Patterson said. “Having the right products helps builders do just that.”

According to Jeremiah Coil, Simpson’s territory sales manager, Central Valley has the the largest selection of Simpson fasteners in the Napa Valley, a mix that includes the Timber-Hex HDG Class C hot dipped galvanized screws and Simpson’s new structural screw for framing as well.

Founded in 1955, Central Valley currently has sales of over $100 million, operates six full-service locations throughout Northern California, fully stocked for the professional. With over 38 acres of inventory and 55 delivery vehicles, the company also offers lumber, hardware and custom milling.

Other keys to the company’s success, as cited by Patterson, are the company’s customer centricity and its multi-cultural and multi-lingual service.

“Shifting Central Valley culturally has been a key ingredient in the company’s strategy execution,” Patterson said. “That has meant aligning company leaders and front line employees around a culture based on empathy, not only for customers, but employees, suppliers, and community alike.”

As customers have more power through choice, enhancing the customer’s choice and experience creates differentiation, according to Patterson.

“Both product and service offerings are being developed with the customer in mind,” Patterson said. “That in combination with a lean operating model, allows Central Valley to break with conventional retail wisdom, make bold moves, and provide builders with leading-edge construction materials that are designed to improve the way structures are built.”

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NLBMDA News: The perils of the Persuader Rule

BY Frank Moore

A federal district court in Texas has issued a permanent injunction blocking the Obama administration's pro-union "persuader rule."

The rule required law firms to publicly disclose work they do for employers surrounding union organization efforts. This permanent injunction followed a temporary injunction issued by the same court in June 27 where the court agreed that the Obama administration's Labor Department exceeded its authority by eliminating the statutory exemption for legal advice placed in the underlying law by Congress. The Obama administration had appealed the temporary injunction, but the court concluded that the rule was unlawful and should be set aside. The challenge, brought by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and supported by many other groups, argued that the rule violated the duty to protect client confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege.

The Labor Dept. "persuader rule" was one of a number of new rules and regulations favorable to labor unions, making it easier and faster to conduct union elections and eroding the line between employers and contractors, both of which NLBDMA has opposed.

NLBMDA President & CEO, Jonathan Paine welcomed the permanent injunction and said, "We are hopeful that with this injunction a new Department of Labor may reevaluate the rule given the clear concerns of the court and also the many businesses that initially expressed concern with the rule at the time of its proposal."

NLBMDA through its membership with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace has been working with Congress throughout this year to block implementation of the rule. The court effectively agreed with comments filed by NLBMDA that employers need to be able to engage legal expertise that far exceeds the basic "persuader" function that the rule claimed to be addressing.

Employment law is very complicated and businesses with the best intentions of responding to union organizing efforts what to avoid violating the law while at the same time engaging their workforce in a thoughtful dialogue. Paine echoed what many have noted, "The employer will rightly vet anything said to employees in the context of a union election with lawyers to avoid violating labor law or surrendering important rights that the law intends for the employer to retain."

Frank Moore is regulatory counsel for the NLBMDA.

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84 Lumber intends to celebrate at 60

BY HBSDealer Staff

84 Lumber says it is capping a milestone year that saw the company achieve its best first quarter in more than a decade. All the more reason to celebrate its 60th anniversary, which it intends to do across its 250-plus stores.

“For 60 years, we’ve been fiercely independent. That’s given us the ability to adapt – to the market, to our customers and to our communities,” said Maggie Hardy Magerko, president and owner of 84 Lumber. “We’re much more than a lumber company, and we’re thrilled to see what we can do over the next 60 years.”

Eight years after staring down bankruptcy during the housing market crash, 84 Lumber says it is leaner, more flexible and more diversified than ever before This year, the company announced plans to open dozens of new stores, including an expansion into the western United States. They also closed on a new $350 million Senior Secured Term Loan B that is being used to enhance future product and service capabilities.

This comes on the heels of brand new initiatives like Tiny Living by 84 Lumber, a new line of portable tiny homes that has garnered international recognition for the company.

Founded in 1956, 84 Lumber operates more than 250 stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops, custom millwork shops, and engineered wood product centers in 30 states.

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