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NBMDA announces new officers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The North American Building Material Dealers Association (NBMDA) announced the group’s board of directors for 2014.

Donald F. Schalk of C.H. Briggs Company is the president of the organization. Other officers include President-Elect Rick Turk, of Metro Hardwoods; VP Bill Sauter, OHARCO; Treasurer Wayne Moriarty, Atlantic Plywood; and Immediate Past President Michael Darby, Capital Lumber Co.

"We are pleased to have such a strong group of industry professionals leadingthe association into 2014," said NBMDA executive VP Kevin Gammonley.

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Google gets into the home space

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The biggest name on the Web is carving out a small sliver of the home improvement space.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google agreed to pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest Labs, which makes high-end thermostats and smoke alarms.

Since its launch in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat has received strong reviews in various outlets, and so has the company’s new Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The new alarm uses a recorded human voice to indicate low battery and other signals, as opposed to annoying beeps.

According to Nest, its mission is to “reinvent unloved but important devices in the home such as thermostats and smoke alarms.”

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now — thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams.”

Nest will continue to operate under the leadership of Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity. Fadell is credited with helping Apple design both the iPod and the iPhone before founding Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nest in 2010.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the United States. It is expected to close in the next few months.

Fadell, CEO of Nest, said: “We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world."

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Panel does something about the weather

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York — You might not be able to predict the weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t anticipate weather-driven adjustments to sales predictions.

That’s one of the ideas from a panel discussion held in New York and focused on weather’s role on business and consumer behavior. The panel, hosted by weather-focused analytics firm Planalytics was called “Weatherizing your business.” 

Panelist Paul Bosher, European director of business intelligence for Coca-Cola Enterprises, pointed out that weather forecasts are not always accurate, but “that doesn’t mean you can’t forecast the impact on your business. We know the weather last year, and based on normal paterns, we can estimate the impact of the weather this year.” 

He said Coke uses a metric called “weather neutral sales” to better measure the company’s execution.

Other panelists included Brad Eckhart, VP planning and allocation for Ralph Lauren Polo outlet stores; Anthony Green, senior VP business development, Brand Networks; and James Smith, chief revenue officer, Verve Mobile. 

Executives at Planalytics pointed out that rarely do weather events such as snowfall and rain repeat in the same calendar period from one year to the next. “The ability to identify and manage weather’s impact requires more than a simple weather forecast,” the company said.

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