Drexel’s expanding culture of happiness
With a mission of simply supplying happiness — “Supply. Happiness.” is the actual slogan — Drexel Building Supply is expanding to Columbus, Wisconsin, where it will soon break ground on its seventh location.
The company plans to open the facility in the spring of 2018, supplying building materials and home design services which include lumber, trusses, cabinets, windows, doors, millwork, decking, roofing, & siding. It will serve the Greater Madison region, and operate with a 60-mile delivery radius.
Drexel was awarded the Milwaukee Journal Top Work Places Award seven years in a row 2011-17, and is known for their unique culture, and for their focus on family approach when it comes to their team.
Drexel owner Joel Fleischman states, “building a new home, or tackling a remodeling project is an important time, for some it’s a once in a lifetime investment, it’s Drexel’s mission to supply happiness throughout each project making it a unique, enjoyable, and exciting experience for our clients.”
Based in Campbellsport, Wisconsin, Drexel serves builders and remodelers, as well as homeowners and DIYers.
The Drexel team is rooted in their team culture, which revolves around their mission to supply happiness and 10 Core Values: Ethics, Respect, Balance, Winning Attitude, Communication, Development, Team Work, Change, Have Fun, and Accountability.
The Columbus location will be led by Team Leader Keith Batenhorst. “We strive to have fun every day, work very hard, and take care of our clients,” he said. “We pride ourselves on our relationships and the happiness we supply to contractors and homeowners.”
Ridgefield Supply welcomes the road show
Architect & Design professionals hammered away at Ridgefield, Connecticut-based Ridgefield Supply this week as they gathered for the Katz Roadshow. For the second year in a row, Ridgefield Supply hosted the hands-on event. This year the construction program focused on continuing education for architects with an AIA Better Building Clinic.
The program is led by Gary Katz and Mike Sloggatt, two carpentry experts, nationally recognized authors and teachers. The Katz Roadshow is a partnership of leading manufacturers and installation specialists who provide hands-on training clinics for professional and DIYers at lumberyards across America. The goal of the event is to improve the bottom line, hone skills and increase productivity.
Glen Albee, president of Ridgefield Supply, said participation at the event brok a Katz Roadshow record for most architect attendees. “Continuing education is one of the key elements in business,” he said. “Building technology and materials are ever-changing.”
This year’s clinic was developed with architects in mind and the AIA Better Building Events are clinics devoted to better building practices — from the jobsite to the architect. The day featured courses that cover traditional installation techniques and evolving construction technologies with modern materials.
A networking reception was held in Ridgefield Supply's new showroom and retail store.
Throwback Thursday: 84 Lumber’s bold plans
The Jan. 30, 1989 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, profiled 84 Lumber and founder Joe Hardy’s plan to open some 200 stores in the 1990s, and push the footprint to more than 600 stores.
The article reported: “Hardy envisioned a chain of close to 700 stores with sales of close to $3 billion by 1990." The article was accompanied by a photo of an 84 Lumber hot air balloon used to promote store openings. The balloon was expected to get a “real workout in coming years.”
In some ways, the company exceeded even its own lofty sales goal, it just took a little longer. The Pennsylvania-based pro dealer hit $1 billion in sales in 1993. It hit $2 billion in 2002, and crossed the $4 billion mark in 2005.
The 1989 article attributed the following quote to the 84 Lumber founder, who recognized training as the key to growth. “You must change to meet the customer’s changing needs, and act quickly.”
Like the rest of the lumber distribution industry, 84 Lumber retrenched heavily during the housing market downturn.
Today, 84 Lumber is back in expansion mode. The 250-plus location dealer has recently opened stores in New York, Massachusetts and Florida. And Joe Hardy’s advice to be nimble is being followed by his daughter Maggie Hardy Magerko, current president.
HBSDealer will take a detailed look at 84 Lumber in the upcoming November-December issue.
# # #
Have you seen home improvement history? Let us know at [email protected].