DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Parksite acquires Atlantic Plywood Corp.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Parksite acquired Atlantic Plywood Corp., a distributor of industrial wood products and accessories in the Northeastern United States.

The company announced the deal Friday afternoon.

“We’re combining two companies, with outstanding operations in the Northeast, who’ve operated alongside each other in adjacent product categories,” said Ron Heitzman, CEO of Parksite. “Creating one company to deliver product solutions from industrial wood products, to premium surfacing materials, to specialty building materials, throughout the entire Northeast will provide our customers an unmatched resource in the market.”

Atlantic Plywood will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Parksite, the company said.

Both Parksite and Atlantic Plywood are employee-owned (ESOP) organizations.

“Because Parksite is also an ESOP was key in our decision-making process”, said Paul Vella, president of Atlantic Plywood.  “Atlantic Plywood and Parksite are in the same industry, with adjacent categories, so combined with the tremendous culture an ESOP provides for the employee-owners of both organizations, the opportunity for industry crossover will be very intriguing in the future,” Vella commented.

Parksite’s objective is grow significantly faster than the market and acquisitions are important piece of the growth strategy, the company said.

The company, founded in 1971 by John Morrisroe and Ray Biggins, began an acquisition path in May 2000, with the purchase of Plunkett-Webster, an East Coast-based wholesale distribution company specializing in building products, followed by the 2001 acquisition of Metro Sloan Distribution, Pittsford, New York. In May 2005, Parksite acquired Eastern Distributors Inc., a Philadelphia-based building materials distributor. In 2010, it purchased the DuPont Surfaces business assets of L.E. Smith Company in Ohio. And in August 2015, it purchased Lavelle Company, a North Dakota-based building material wholesaler.

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Do it Best taps new talent for LBM team

BY HBSDealer Staff

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best Corp. added two industry pros to its lumber and building materials team. Josh Ratcliff joins Do it Best as lumber sales and operations manager. Gary Heft will take on the position of lumber/panels specialist.

Previously with Carter Lumber, Ratcliff will lead the coordination and expansion of the co-op’s reload management team, while building and growing key vendor relationships, managing member group buys. He brings nearly 20 years of industry experience to the position.

Gary Heft brings nearly 30 years of industry experience, strong relationships with primary mills and a proven track record of great service to the independent lumber dealer market, the co-op said. Most recently, he served as forest products and panels trader at LMC. Heft is tasked with building on his previous experience to grow key strategic relationships with both suppliers and members.

“It’s rare to find industry veterans with the combination of experience, expertise and enthusiasm that both Josh and Gary possess, which is why we are incredibly excited to welcome them to our LBM team,” said Gary Nackers, VP of LBM for Do it Best Corp.

Both additions reinforce the co-op’s position as the driving force in the LBM industry as it continues to increase lumber and building materials sales opportunities for existing dealers while attracting new ones.

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House-Hasson unleashes automation

BY HBSDealer Staff

Knoxville, Tenn.-based hardware distributor House-Hasson Hardware is stepping up its automation, introducing a hands-free, pick-to-voice system in its warehouse, and a time-saving order verification system at the stores.

“Our goal is the profitability of our more than 2,000 dealers,” said Don Hasson, president of House-Hasson Hardware.  “These technological advancements make our service to them faster, enables them to better serve their customers, and reduces costs throughout our system.”

Mobile computers and headsets in House-Hasson Hardware’s corporate headquarters warehouse and upgraded electronic scanners for the company’s independent hardware store and lumberyard dealers will enable 20% faster response to dealer orders and speed dealers’ ability to get items on shelves, the company said.

Inside the company’s 450,000-square-foot warehouse, the new AccuSpeechMobile, a voice-directed locator system will sends House-Hasson “pickers” throughout the facility to collect items on customers’ orders.  The hands-free system is a big improvement over the previous method, which had employees using hand-held scanners with small screens they would read as items were scanned and included on customers’ orders.

The AccuSpeechMobile system eliminates the scanner, leaves employees’ hands free, speeds their ability to move from one warehouse location to the next, and reduces the possibility of the wrong item or quantity being placed in the order. Some 50 employees are being trained on the system, which will take about a month to have fully in place. The company's second distribution center is located in Prichard, W.Va., which is not equipped with AccuSpeechMobile, but might be in the future.

At the delivery end of the business, an improved CipherLab system speeds up verification. “Until now it might take a dealer a whole day for order check-in and verification,” Hasson said. “Now, with the improved CipherLab system, it’s much faster.”

Hasson said that the previous system had boxes containing orders arriving at dealers’ stores with a list of what was in each box, an invoice, price stickers, and a chronological list of the entire order starting with box No. 1.

“Each box might have 20 to 50 items – with some dealers receiving up to 800 items per week,” Hasson said. “It required a manual check-in process by the dealer, who checked off the items in each box to confirm the correct items and quantity were received.

“With the CipherLab it doesn’t matter what box is opened first,” he added. “Dealers scan the item barcode and the CipherLab displays how many were ordered, identifies what’s received, and matches it automatically with the invoice. The CipherLab recaps the entire order and confirms for the dealer the order’s accuracy or if there is, for any reason, a discrepancy.”

He said House-Hasson’s October 2017 dealer market was the new CipherLab technology’s unveiling to owners. Cost of the improved system is $5 per month on a typical bill.

“It’s a very inexpensive way to get a great deal more efficiency,” said Steve Henry, House-Hasson executive vice president. “Then the time saved is compared to the cost, we’re confident dealers will be very pleased with this technology.”

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