LMC gets down to business

CEO Paul Ryan provides an update on LMC’s success in the past year and what lies ahead.
LMC Annual 2023 CEO Paul Ryan
LMC CEO Paul Ryan discusses some of the buying group's recent accomplishments during a breakfast keynote presentation at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C - On day two of the 2023 LMC Annual, held here at the Charlotte Convention Center, CEO Paul Ryan delivered a message to member dealers that detailed the success the lumber and forest product buying group realized in 2022.

Speaking at a packed ballroom at the Westin Hotel, across the street from the center, Ryan delivered remarks about LMC’s recent accomplishments along with goals for 2023 and beyond.

Ryan compared the brass tacks of LMC’s business platform to a three-legged stool made by dealers, suppliers, and the cooperative’s staff.

“It doesn’t work without everyone working together,” he said.

That includes about 410 of the top lumber and building material dealers in the nation and the Bahamas, about 1,000 suppliers, and an LMC staff of about 180 associates.

“The supplier partners that we have here this week in Charlotte probably represent 90% of our purchases,” Ryan noted. “Their commitment is incredibly important.”

The CEO added that the Wayne, Pa.-based buying group’s business strategy is held together and facilitated by company employees. “These are people who are really dedicated to helping dealers and suppliers grow their businesses.”

Despite some headwinds faced by dealers in 2022, including a slowdown in residential construction and supply chain issues, LMC’s membership hit $28 billion in sales collectively. 

More than half of product purchases were made through LMC, according to Ryan. The result was total member dealer purchases of more than $7.8 billion rising 7% above the previous year, regardless of a declining housing market. “Our dealers keep on growing.”

LMC also grew its share of the dealer market. Last year it added 25 new dealer members bringing in $600 million in combined sales. The company's current membership includes more than 1,400 dealer locations in the United States and the Bahamas.

“It’s important that we find the other market leaders to join us,” Ryan said.

Representation from about 60% of LMC's dealer membership were in attendance at this event, running March 8 through March 10.

LMC 2023 Annual theme
"Start Your Engines" is the theme of the 2023 LMC Annual and a nod to NASCAR's presence in Charlotte.

Reflecting on 2022, Ryan said strong supplier relationships allowed LMC to get needed products to its dealer network.

Additionally, last year marked an opportunity for LMC’s leadership to hit the road again while having face-to-face meetings with dealers in a post-pandemic world.

Looking ahead, LMC plans to assist dealers with both manufacturing and technology. Ryan pointed out that some LMC dealers do not have the ability to maintain manufacturing operations such as truss production and door shops. The cooperative wants to find solutions to those issues, which will allow dealers to grow their businesses even more.

Technology assistance and upgrades at the right price is also at the forefront of LMC’s future plans. 

“Dealers are looking for ways for more help in how they can use technology in their business,” Ryan said. “We are looking for ways in which we can help them adopt new technology at a much lower cost so it's much more affordable.”

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