LUMBERYARDS

American Builders Supply opens Tampa facility

BY Andy Carlo

Tampa, Fla. – American Builders Supply, the Florida division of Kodiak Building Partners, celebrated the grand opening of its Tampa door and window facility in Riverview, Florida.

Serving the greater Tampa market and roughly a 100-mile radius, the facility is focused on delivering turn-key — product plus installation — products and services including doors, trim, and windows to the single-family production builder and multi-family builder.

Operations here had previously been run out of a neighboring 57,000 square-foot facility. But in the past year, sales have increased 70%, prompting the need for the move to a larger, 116,000- square-foot facility.

After a four-month transition and construction period, American Builders Supply’s Tampa team began operating out of the new location in March. From this location, American Builders Supply is serving builders with a turnkey process that is a growing need for the builders in the region, says John Watts, general manager of the Tampa facility.

A labor shortage is also impacting the market, challenging builders to keep up with the demand for single-family homes.

“During the downturn 10 years ago, labor became readily available,” Kodiak Chairman Paul Hylbert told HBSDealer. “But labor is in a shortage again, and it’s a problem for the builder.”

John Watts cuts the ribbon in Tampa, Fla.

The American Builders Supply business model provides some breathing room in a market where “business is selling faster than builders can build the houses,” according to Mark Garboski, president of American Builders Supply.

Garboski notes that the Tampa market had about 16,000 single-family starts in 2017 and, aside from custom homes, the market provides a market share potential of about 13,000 single-family production homes.

In addition to turnkey window and door product lines, American Builders Supply also provides trusses and lumber.  In all, American Builders Supply operates 10 locations throughout the Florida market.

American Builders Supply was acquired by Kodiak Building Partners in a deal that was finalized last December.

Employees of the Tampa facility celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony with company executives Wednesday morning. “You have sacrificed nights and weekends to make this happen,” Watts told employees.

“What you’ve accomplished is unbelievable. You have an amazing team here,” said Steve Swinney, CEO of Kodiak Building Partners.

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G.Fillmer says:
Apr-26-2018 01:43 pm

very proud to see a company do well, i have been working out of this branch since they opened the doors. every quarter i see growth, i might become an employee one day i like the leadership ...

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Gordon Lumber looks back at 150 years

BY HBSDealer Staff

Fremont, Ohio-based Gordon Lumber celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. And as it has grown over the century and a half to a seven-location home center and lumberyard company, it has maintained some of the values impressed upon the company in its early days by founder Washington Gordon.

Recently, on the occasion of the company’s milestone achievement, the great-great-granddaughters of the founder shared their thoughts on the company’s past, and its future:


Pamela Goetsch, chairman of the board and descendant of the founder

“Back when my dad was president of the company in the 1970’s I unofficially advised and supported him. I remember family members always talking about the business philosophy: focus on the community, customer service, fairness, integrity and excellence. These were all values that were embraced as much in the decades past as they are today.

“Innovation was important to our success. Back in 1868 my great-great-grandfather started this company with a sawmill located in the Village of Oak Harbor. A basket-making company was added to the business in 1907, and then was spun off from the business nine years later.

“After that Gordon Lumber acquired and sold lumberyards, established a concrete division (which was also later sold), operated a design showroom, entered into the components business and most recently added installed sales to its product offerings. Those types of innovations and changes allowed us to grow and evolve into the business we are today.

“I’ve worked through the purchasing and closing of yards, moving the components facility and assisting to turn around the business. I’m proud to have worked with my fellow directors and management team members to affect a generational shift in the business.

“We’ve quite literally rebuilt the business into a modern and lean corporate enterprise. Foremost on my mind has always been a strong sense of stewardship and responsibility to keep Gordon afloat so it could continue supporting our employees and the communities in which we do business.”

 

Pam Goetsch and Jennie Gwilym visit the company’s operations in Genoa, Ohio.

Jennie Gwilym, board member and descendant of the founder

“It’s no small feat to stay in business for 150 years. This company has made a large and lasting mark on people in Ohio and Michigan.

“As we look to the future, I see us leveraging our expertise by acquiring additional lumberyards in small communities throughout Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. I can also see us needing more component facilities since that business continues to explode.”

“It would be exciting to create a supply chain in the future that is so efficient that lumber and building materials move from our vendors directly to the construction site in less than 30 days. We could create a lumberyard with virtually no inventory on the books.

“I believe the founders of the company would like that progressive idea. If they were here today I think they would advise us to continue to grow and adapt to the ever-changing building industry while keeping our focus on our customers and their needs.”


Betsy Snow, shareholder and descendant of the founder

“Pamela and Jennie keep me updated on key issues,” says Snow. “While growing up, I remember my father and grandfather telling stories of the company and about their roles on the Board of Directors. I believe these men would be surprised by how the company has grown and matured. If they were here today, they would tell us to continue to provide excellent customer service at a fair price.”

“This company will survive if it maintains close ties to the communities it serves,” says Snow. “Builders and remodelers return again and again to Gordon Lumber because of the customer service and a sense of community. If we stay focused on those values our company will continue to grow.”

Moving into the future, Goetsch has advice for future generations – advice that seems applicable for most companies in the building supply industry. “I would advise those who come after us to embrace change, both the uncertainties and possibilities it offers,” said Goetsch. “You have to remain resilient and meet challenges head on. This advice mirrors that which I have received over the years and I believe is timeless.”

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Market Recap — April 20, 2018
LUMBERYARDS

RISI Crow’s Market Recap for April 20

BY HBSDealer Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for April 20, 2018.

Western: regional species perimeter foundation
Southern: regional species slab construction

Crow’s Market Recap: A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.


Lumber

To the astonishment of many, SPF lumber prices continued to climb. Producers reported strong sales and particularly fervent demand for 2×4. In the West, producers carried lead times extending into the middle of May. Futures continued to gain, trying to keep pace with cash. A strong US housing construction report further buoyed confidence in the market.

  • Momentum built in Southern Pine, propelling many prices higher and firming others. Nice weather throughout the Southeast prompted stronger sales out of yards. As inventories eroded, buyers discovered tighter availability at mills and stronger order files.
  • Prices were mixed in Coastal species, generally split between green Doug Fir and dry prices. Mills reported a moderate improvement in green Doug Fir demand at midweek, but prices remained spongy. Dry prices continued to carry light to moderate strength.
  • While most of the Inland office staffs were on their way to Phoenix, the market was reported to be active and trying to recover some of the prices that had slipped away. But it was not a strongly convincing argument. Sufficient bad weather still hung over enough of the nation to keep deliveries hung up.
  • Stud activity, perceptions and prices were mixed across species. Much of the strength was centered around 2×4, while some 2×6 prices dipped. Light availability sometimes outweighed limited demand, buoying prices.
  • Ponderosa Pine industrials in general were as good as any segment of the pine markets, but nothing showed much power. Both 5/4 and 6/4 Mldg&Btr remained stable in price. The Ponderosa Pine Selects and Commons markets went quiet. Selective discounting took place, depending on how much a supplier needed to move a given volume, but no general or strong discounting.
  • Buyers and sellers of Western Red Cedar reported little change in the overall marketplace. Supplies of some items, such as timbers and rough dimension, remained tight while products such as decking and other tight knot items were more readily available.


Panels

No general consensus existed concerning OSB; some said the market was hanging flat, while others mentioned “some sloppy numbers.” What everyone agreed on was the sure effect of the sunshine.

  • After a modest beginning to the week, demand for Southern Pine rated sheathing increased markedly. After running inventories low and seeing some firming take place the week prior, buyers stepped in to replenish after running inventories low. Mills extended order files out into the weeks of May 7 and 14.
  • Western Fir plywood mills reported steady to better sales activity. After a slow start, mills noted a pickup in activity. While the added interest from customers was encouraging for producers and firmed some quotes, mills still sold some CDX at price levels a few dollars below those established the week prior.
  • Cases could be made for a number of scenarios regarding Canadian plywood. A number of industry participants are adequately served simply to let prices remain unchanged. At least two key producers, however, have tacked on 2 additional points and run their order files out at least another week.
  • Particleboard remains overproduced for the amount of consumption in the marketplace. This was again demonstrated by soft pricing and discounting.
  • MDF producers reported steady sales, keeping order files booked into mid-May.

For more on RISI, click here.

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