LP and Cedar Creek make a deal
LP Building Products and Cedar Creek announce the distribution of LP SolidStart and LP SmartSide Trim & Siding to the distributor’s location in Lakeland, Florida. The increased distribution of LP’s innovative products brings in-demand building products to the Southeast. The Lakeland location is currently in the process of adding all LP products to its inventory. This marks the 29th of 31 Cedar Creek locations to carry LP products.
“At Cedar Creek we are committed to taking care of our customers’ needs by offering the highest quality products available,” said Mike Wilson, Vice President of Sales for Cedar Creek. “We saw an increased customer demand for both of these LP product lines and are excited to be adding them to our Florida location.”
“Cedar Creek has been a great customer and distributor of LP Building Products for many years,” said Jim Abbott, Director of Sales and Marketing for LP. “Cedar Creek’s extensive relationships combined with our innovative products, solutions and sales support to the professional lumber dealer align well to meet future demand within the Southeast market.”
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House-Hasson announces market improvements
House-Hasson dealer markets will see a handful of improvements, thanks to input from the Tennessee-based distributor’s advisory committee, the company announced.
The distributor says it will institute the following:
• A user forum through which House-Hasson dealers can contact each other, engage over the internet into dealer-to-dealer discussions; and share ideas;
• A request to e-mail to dealers the information contained in the House-Hasson blog because if dealers don’t see the blog they miss the information;
• An updated dealer market report with specials being offered by vendors; access by individual dealers for particular groups of items they’ve purchased in the past; more in-depth feedback on sales; improved catalog descriptions; and other items; and
• Better display at markets of pallet merchandise.
“The advisory group, along with continuous dealer communication through our sales staff and direct contact with dealers, enables us to make decisions based on feedback on what dealers want rather than us just telling them what we’re going to do,” said Pat McCutcheon, House-Hasson VP of sales. “The advisory group is a great asset that adds to the way we listen all the time,” he added.
An example, McCutcheon said, was an earlier decision to add a second Bonus Buy day to the October 2016 fall dealer market in Sevierville, Tenn.
“Previously it was a one-day event on Friday,” he said. “But more vendors wanted to participate, so we added the extra day.” Some 500 vendors in total attended the market, and 80 participated in the added Bonus Buy.
President Don Hasson said that these dealer features combined with general buying advantages are what attract more than 2,000 attendees to House-Hasson markets.
“It gives dealers three times a year to buy merchandise at an average 10 percent discount with 90 days to pay for it; most will probably sell many or all of those items before they even have to pay for them,” he said. “If you buy goods at a 10 percent discount it’s going to add a lot of money to your bottom line.”
The markets are margin-building sales events that are improved by the recommendations from the House-Hasson dealer advisory group and the other dealers with whom the company works, he said.
“We learn more by listening than by talking,” Hasson said. “It’s a main reason we’ve been in business for 110 years.”
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Ace doubles down on savings
Ace Hardware has results to report for its SAVINGSource initiative, which was launched in early 2015 to leverage its combined purchasing power to cut costs for its members.
In addition to reduced operational costs (an estimated $120 million, according to Ace), members are also enjoying improved contract terms with vendors.
Through SAVINGSource, Ace stores have access to pre-negotiated pricing for products and services within 40 operational categories across five functional areas, including: technology and communication; supplies and replenishment; professional services; facilities services; and, capital projects and construction. Specific examples include insurance, 401(k) administration, computer hardware and software, phones, office products, waste and recycling and HVAC.
“In today’s ever-changing retail environment, Ace’s small business owners face an incredible amount of challenges, including fierce competition and more complexities than ever before,” said Fadi S. Abu Manneh, senior manager of retail procurement. “We are proud that SAVINGSource saves store owners time and money on these fundamental areas of their business so that they can focus their energy and investments on driving their businesses and communities forward.”
Cost-saving opportunities are identified by members of Ace’s corporate Retail Indirect Procurement department, who use data to figure out which Ace stores collectively use the same service or provider. That puts Ace in a better position to negotiate improved rates and service terms.
Purchasing power is then negotiated in a number of ways: via existing corporate spend, via a sourcing event (where Ace works with a Retailer Input Team to contract with providers directly), or via group purchasing organizations (GPOs), who combine the spending power of their multi-billion dollar members. One such example is Ace’s relationship with Corporate United, the nation’s largest GPO. Corporate United has chosen to work exclusively with Ace Hardware in the convenience hardware channel.
“I am extremely impressed with the amazing work Ace has done to identify opportunities across the organization to further take advantage of our co-op’s scale, strength and reputation,” said Kirby Kuklenski, owner of five Ace Hardware stores throughout Denver and Colorado Springs. “Aligning with SAVINGSource has saved us a meaningful amount of money in a short period of time. The savings potential here truly is exponential and speaks to the power and strength of the Ace Hardware cooperative.”
“As a store owner, I wear many hats, sometimes too many. It’s extremely reassuring that my co-op has a dedicated team of corporate professionals reviewing contract terms and negotiating on my behalf. I sleep a little easier knowing our hard-earned profits aren’t being spent on unnecessary expenses,” added Kuklenski.