Maryland dealers partner with BlueTarp
BlueTarp Financial announced it has entered into a new partnership with a pair of long-serving lumber companies on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Both Rock Hall Lumber Co. and Chestertown Lumber Co. are owned and operated by Ernest “Tot” Strong and his wife Millie, who have guided the companies for nearly 35 years. The companies turned to BlueTarp to manage their in-house trade credit program for their professional customers, including applications, credit extension, service and collections.
“As an independent dealer, making more money in today’s accelerating market certainly requires a watchful eye on many facets of the operation,” said Strong, in a prepared statement. “BlueTarp’s reputation and expertise in credit issues will greatly relax what has become the ‘banking’ aspect of the operation, allowing management to concentrate on selling great products with exceptional customer service. This relationship should greatly relieve credit concerns in any succession plan, which is a major factor in a successful transition.”
Rock Hall and Chestertown Lumber are expected to benefit from BlueTarp’s guaranteed cash flow by receiving funds on a pre-determined schedule that allows them to plan their investments ahead of time. “Many independent dealers turn to BlueTarp because of our steady cash flow. When we also take away the hidden risks that were there when they managed their in-house program alone and add in flexible terms for customers, it’s a win for everyone,” said Scott Simpson, CEO of BlueTarp Financial.
Can Minnesota lumberyards sustain the Pulte Homes megadevelopment?
There’s an extent to which New Brighton, Minn. represents the national homebuilding industry at large. Under the guise of a statewide housing recovery that’s lurching forward in fits and starts, the community is due for a major expansion that is likely to place demand ahead of supply. The good news, for now at least, seems to be that local lumberyards will have no problem accommodating Pulte Homes’ megasized development project, but the prospect of increased business isn’t drawing a tremendous of enthusiasm.
On June 11, Pulte Homes received approval to build 86 single-family homes and 34 townhomes within 27 acres west of Old Highway 8, the Sun Focus reports. With an average sales price of $385,000 for single-family homes and $170,000 for townhomes, the project (valued at $33.6 million) will put approximately $1.3 million into the city’s hands in exchange for the land, in addition to an annual tax revenue of $336,000.
Daniel Fesler, president of Lampert Yards, said the lumberyard would take the business but would not expect to turn a major profit.
"We don’t go after production builders in a big way – you can’t make any money on them," he said in an email interview. "They just give you volume and they over-demand. Because track builders work on high volume/low price, you can’t really benefit from their projects."
Overall, this isn’t the biggest development project in Pulte’s arsenal. According to spokeswoman Valerie Dolenga, the homebuilder’s developments range in size from 10-unit neighborhoods to 5,000-unit master-planned communities. Pulte works with both national and local trade partners.
"Quite frankly, our lumber partners can handle the increased request for lumber," said Dolenga in an email.
This runs slightly contrary to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders, which found that homebuilders and lumber dealers were experiencing significant lumber shortages that falls short of rising demand.
"While a nascent housing recovery is underway, as reflected by the modest increase in sales by dealers, it’s clear that the ongoing material shortages and price increases being reported by dealers continue to be a cause for concern as we move into the latter half of 2013," said Michael O’Brien, National Lumber and Building Materials Dealer Association president and CEO.
According to Fesler, Minnesota was the first to enter the housing downturn in 2005, but the state initiated a steady recovery last year that has been slightly hampered by bad spring weather and recent storm damage.
"The economy in Minnesota is rising; existing house prices are seeing appreciation again," he said. "Days on market for resale is shrinking; good houses are selling quickly, sometimes with multiple offers. [There are] more housing starts last year than the previous two to three years, [and] projects have increased in number and size."
At the very least, the project, which is slated to run from 2014 to 2018, will be a boon to Pulte. Yahoo! Finance reports that PulteGroup, Inc. (PHM) was upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Jul. 2 on the heels of a major share price surge.
People News: United Window & Door
Springfield, N.J.-based United Window & Door Manufacturing promoted John D’Elena to the position of VP marketing and national accounts and Gregg Proscia to the position of VP sales.
These promotions will position United for continued growth in the years ahead as part of its plan to expand markets and product offerings, the company said. United manufactures a comprehensive line of vinyl windows and doors for both new construction and the replacement market at its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Springfield, and sources all of its components from suppliers based in the United States, according to the announcement.
“United has experienced significant growth over the past few years, while the overall industry was down,” said Nick Derrico, United’s president and co-owner. “We attribute this to three key components of our business: quality products, exceptional service and, most importantly, our people,” “Both John and Gregg have a lifetime of experience in all aspects of windows and the building products industry. They will strengthen our team and help us to better serve our customers”.
D’Elena has more than 40 years of industry experience on all levels from contracting to distribution and manufacturing. Before joining United in 2008, he held senior management positions at Associated Materials/Alside as VP sales.
Gregg Proscia previously was national sales manager at United and has more than 32 years of industry background. He was senior VP sales and marketing with Silver Line for 29 years and most recently served as director of business development with Milgard/Masco.
United Window & Door is a fourth-generation manufacturer that has been in business since 1951.