DISTRIBUTORS/CO-OPS

Do it Best names director of LBM operations

Mike Ter Molen brings LBM and IT experience to new role.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Do it Best named veteran team member Mike Ter Molen as their new Director of LBM Operations.

Ter Molen has more than 17 years of lumber and building materials experience at Do it Best, with leadership roles in commodities, building materials, millwork, home décor, and developing distribution partners. Two years ago, he stepped out of LBM to serve in the Information Technology division as the Tech Engagement Divisional Manager. There he demonstrated his effectiveness in leading collaboration across the company to accomplish major initiatives like the Market Savings Builder, an online market planning and ordering tool, and the redesign of the company’s Order Management System, a core operating system.

In this new role, Ter Molen returns to LBM to lead all operational aspects of the LBM division, including growing strategic member relationships and vendor partnerships, profitably growing the reload business, leveraging data for better decision making, enhancing the co-op’s sales and service model, streamlining processes and procedures within the division and providing professional development for the LBM team.

“We have driven tremendous growth in LBM over the last few years and look for that growth to continue,” said Vice President of LBM Gary Nackers. “This has led to an increase in operational demands as we effectively manage this growth so it continues to deliver profitability to Do it Best and our member-owners. We are very fortunate to have someone of Mike’s caliber and background ready to lead our LBM teams and further strengthen our commitment to serving our members.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with our very talented divisional managers and experienced sales teams in LBM,” said Ter Molen. “With our members-first mentality and a drive for continuous improvement, we look forward to continuing to deliver outstanding results for our members all across the country.”

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Carter Lumber teams with True Value

The Ohio-based pro dealer and the newly structured distributor announce a partnership.

BY HBSDealer Staff

True Value Company added 146-unit Carter Lumber to its list of customers. The two companies announced a partnership agreement early Monday morning.

Based in Kent, Ohio, and with locations in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast, Carter Lumber had sales of $1.365 billion in 2017, according to the latest HBSDealer Top 300 report.

“We were delighted to welcome Carter Lumber to our recent Fall Reunion in Denver, to share what we’re all about—our energy, our innovation and our vision for the future,” said John Hartmann, president and CEO of Chicago-based True Value Company. “This proved to be the catalyst to welcome their business into our family. I look forward to our collaboration enhancing both companies and continuing to transform the industry.”

Following ACON Investment’s acquisition of True Value in April 2018, and the subsequent change in the former co-op’s business structure, Carter Lumber expressed interest in doing business with the new company, according to the announcement.

“Though the former co-op model wasn’t relevant to us, True Value’s new business model intrigued us to explore their offering,” said Adam Lombard, VP of product management, Carter Lumber. “We found that True Value offered a different focus on growth, dedicated to our needs and goals. Above all, the team took the time to understand what matters to us and put a great deal of thoughtfulness into our business plan.”

True Value’s commitment to retailers’ growth – from single stores to multi-store chains – along with its flexibility and focus on independence, resonated with Carter Lumber’s leadership by offering superior support, access to new and customized categories, and innovative resources.

“True Value is bringing an impressive service and value-added program to the table,” added Justin Drerup, Director of Hardlines, Carter Lumber. “Their people are engaged and display a genuine excitement in Carter Lumber. We’re anticipating the True Value partnership to be impactful as we continue to grow.”

The privately held, family-owned Carter Lumber was founded in 1932. In 2007, the company received the HBSDealer ProDealer of the Year award.

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House-Hasson tackles tariffs

International trade was among the topics at the distributor’s recent market.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Higher tariffs were on the mind of House-Hasson Hardware executives, and their customers, during the latest dealer market.

“Maintaining dealer profitability in the face of the potential tariff increases was a factor in our October dealer market buying programs,” said Don Hasson, House-Hasson Hardware president.  “Dealers took advantage of the market to buy items at lower cost that they can sell at competitive prices even if the tariffs go into effect.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based hardware distributor’s Fall Dealer Market took place in Sevierville, Tenn.

“If the tariff increase doesn’t occur, or if the tariffs overall are reduced or eliminated, our dealers will be in an even better profitability position because of the savings they achieved at the market. Either way, it puts a premium on thoughtful and information-driven decision making,” Hasson added.

On Jan. 1, 2019, tariffs will increase to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods imported into the U.S.

“We’re advising and consulting individually with dealers both at our markets and in our regular contacts with them to help them prepare,” said Pat McCutcheon, House-Hasson’s vice president of sales.

“At the same time, the economy is remaining strong, which is a positive. The better the deals give dealers, the better they can serve their customers,” he said.

Hasson said that compared to 2017, October market vendor participation was up 10%, with sales up 14%. The company says it sells to 2,500 dealers in 21 states.

“In January dealers want to start showcasing their spring goods, and what makes our markets so attractive is that dealers can buy for the future at lower costs through our bonus buys, drop-ship specials, pallet buys, and other programs.” McCutcheon added. “In our planning for the Jan. 2019 market in Nashville, Tenn., we can see that dealers are thinking ahead about the tariffs.”

McCutcheon said that industry analysts have differing views on the tariffs’ effects, which means the combination of dealer and House-Hasson local market knowledge is the primary factor in planning for the future.

“Industry trends overall may impact everyone, but in other areas what affects a dealer in Pennsylvania and the Caribbean Basin may be very different from a dealer in Arkansas or Georgia,” McCutcheon said. “That’s why the planning with our dealers individually is vital to ensuring everyone’s success.”

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