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WOLF’s March KBI shows good things ahead for housing

BY HBSDealer Staff

WOLF's Key Buyer Index (KBI) for March suggests sunnier skies ahead as the industry moves ahead into the second quarter.

Last month's score of 75.63 points to improving trends in consumer confidence, housing activity and weather conditions.

Additionally, the building products KBI score of 88.89 is at its highest ever, "signaling a potential breakout season for the sector," said the company in a statement.

Regionally, the index was highest in the winterbeaten Northeast, reaching 96.67 in building products and 78.89 overall.

The Mid Atlantic region is next in line at an overall KBI of 71.43, with 95 for building products and 76.67 in kitchen products.

The Midwest and Southeastern region clocked in at 61.67 overall.

WOLF's KBI measures dealer sentiments about the near-term outlook for building materials, with a score of 50 reflecting a neutral outlook and anything above 50 signaling positive tides.

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At ECi, a new CTO

BY HBSDealer Staff

ECi Software Solutions named Grant Howe as chief technology officer.

Previously, Howe has served as a senior technology executive in the areas of research, development and engineering with companies such as Abila, Sage Group, CareFlash.com and NetIQ.

“It’s exciting to be part of the ECi team and to support the entrepreneurial spirit of independent business owners,” said Howe. “I am looking forward to offering a growing variety of products and services that help them compete effectively in today’s market. I am always intrigued and challenged by the technology development that goes on behind the scenes but, at the end of the day, it’s the customer-facing benefits of improved efficiency, growth and profitability that truly bring value.”

As CTO, Howe will be responsible for product/technology strategy and execution across the ECi family of companies. He will lead strategic initiatives addressing ECi's next generation product offerings, common technologies and platforms, and development processes and standards.

Howe brings more than 21 years of product development and management experience to ECi. During those years, the company said he built domestic and international engineering teams, drove structured and agile software development, managed product suite planning and direction, and helped define, develop and deliver mobile and cloud-based products.

“We are very excited to have Grant on the team,” said Ron Books, president and CEO of ECi. “His wealth of knowledge in research and development and his success at building winning teams will help fuel the continual development of our solutions. Grant understands that the customer comes first and this is the philosophy that drives the decisions we make at ECi every day. Our ultimate goal is to provide services and tools to our customers that result in their continued growth and profitability.”

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: LL leads the pack

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Tuesday was kind to a fair portion of HBSDealer stocks, but none so much as Lumber Liquidators (LL), which was up 3.47%.

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