LBM Advantage wisdom for the NextGen
Tomorrow’s LBM leaders gather for an in-depth leadership conference in Nashville, Tenn.
LBM Advantage — the national LBM buying group powerhouse — launched its NextGen Initiative last week with a conference in Nashville, Tenn.
LBM Advantage dealers from around the country met to learn about business finance, human resources, insurance, sales and marketing.
“The mission of NextGen is to provide value to the next generation owners and key leaders of our membership through education, networking and peer development opportunities,” said Paul Dean, executive VP of marketing for LBM Advantage. “The conference was a tremendous success in terms of achieving that mission.”
And the students seem to agree.
“This was an awesome, empowering event” said Rebecca Dengler of Bay City, Mich.-based Sequin Lumber Co. “I am so grateful and humbled to have shared this experience with our industry’s best and brightest.”
Conference attendees heard from key industry leaders, including John Smith, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, who led an evening session on transitional leadership.
“Leaders have to love what they do and have a passion for, or they shouldn’t do it at all,” Smith explained. “They’ve got to lead from the front, ethically, with integrity and transparency or they won’t earn the credibility that is necessary to be effective.”
Smith also affirmed commitment to national industry associations and political action committees, stating: “When you don’t have a seat at the table, you will end up on the menu.”
Other speakers included:
- LBM Advantage executive VP Tom Molloy;
- Randy Goruk, former Trus Joist executive, who conducted multiple sessions on leadership, communications and learning how to grow business from the actions of others; and
- LBM Advantage human resources manager Kellianne Lundgren, who walked students through the basics of cooperative structure and programs, as well as through an in-depth review of human resources best practices for hiring, recruiting and compliance.
Lisa Geth, credit manager at Guardian Building Products, and Brian Meisenheimer, senior VP of National Cooperative Bank, collectively focused on business finance, operating ratios, cash flow, credit and collections, and maintaining healthy banking relationships.
A dealer’s perspective was presented by Jim Davis, president and CEO of LBM Advantage member Barron’s Lumber in Gaithersburg, Md. Davis led a discussion on how to create dynamic and strategic dealer growth — a highly popular topic among the students. Davis demonstrated how a targeted sales approach with incremental margin improvement will create a sustainable growth result instead of simply reducing expenses.
“Jim’s presentation was phenomenal,” said Corey Page of Reeves Hardware in Clayton, Ga. “He’s one of us and knows what we’re going through.”
LBM Advantage created its NextGen leadership development initiative to address the business succession issue that is so prevalent in our industry.
“Our mission is to provide a competitive advantage for our members” said Jim Davis, who is also LBM Advantage’s vice chairman of its board of directors. “By developing these future business leaders, NextGen provides great value, giving dealers the ability to compete.”
NextGen will continue to deliver more curriculum in tandem with upcoming events, including LBM Advantage’s Fall Conference in October in Atlanta and during the buy group’s Annual Meeting & Trade Show in February 2018 in Orlando, Fla. Other plans include webinars and field tours hosted by industry mills and manufacturers.
LBM Advantage is a member-owned forest products and building materials cooperative composed of the industry’s premier independent LBM retailers and maintains locations in New Windsor, N.Y.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Smithfield, N.C.; and Monroe, La.
T.H. Rogers eyes expansion
The 34-unit Oklahoma-based dealer nears an acquisition deal.
Edmond, Okla.-based T.H. Rogers Lumber Co. is acquiring Gordon White Lumber, a six-unit dealer in Oklahoma. The move, set to close July 2, will expand the footprint of T.H. Rogers from 34 to 40 units.
Gordon White, a family-owned fourth-generation pro dealer, celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2017. It has six locations in Oklahoma: Davis, Sulphur, Ratliff City, Tuttle, Pauls Valley and Lindsay.
Founded in 1901, T.H. Rogers Lumber Co. is also a fourth-generation business. President Jonathan Kennedy, great grandson of T.H. Rogers himself, said the Gordon White locations will eventually change their banner to T.H. Rogers. One reason for the switch, he explained, is the culture of togetherness that the employee-owned company works hard to cultivate.
In 2016, Kennedy accepted the HBSDealer ProDealer of the Year award during the ProDealer Industry Summit, held in concert with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. The company described its business model as small-town lumberyard service combined with large regional buying power and resources. In addition to its Oklahoma roots, T.H. Rogers operates in Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri.
Gordon White is a member of the Do it Best Corp. co-op, while T.H. Rogers is a long-time distribution customer of Orgill. The future distribution arrangement of the combined company remains undecided.
RISI Crow’s Market Recap for May 18
A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for May 18, 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.
Steady demand and limited mill offerings continued to propel SPF lumber prices strongly higher throughout the week. Near-term needs outweighed any potential future downside risk. Although mills in western Canada reported moderate improvements in railcar availability, the numbers still lagged needs.
- Southern Pine buyers remained immersed in their market, still trying to cover needs. Yards reported strong sales and difficulties trying to find a variety of items to replenish, thus some holes developed. Those that managed to bolster their inventory positions often paid elevated prices.
- Demand for Coastal species remained strong. Yards reported selling solid volumes for yet another week, prompting them to replenish. Availability at mills was often tight.
- Inland lumber markets continued their very strong performance of the last few weeks, fueled by powerful demand, an active futures board and tight availability. Both Hem-Fir and Fir-Larch performed strongly.
- Stud pricing remained strong. Limited offerings kept buyers in the market looking for coverage. Wholesalers purchased strong volumes that in some cases will not be produced until the end of June. Yards often turned to wholesalers for coverage. As has been the trend, 2×4 9’ was again reported to be the strongest.
- The absence of Ponderosa Pine production has created something of a disjointed market. While the prices of neither industrial lumber nor boards have changed appreciably in many weeks, the demand for these products has been decent because of increased construction volumes. All 4/4 Selects and Commons are bound in an unchanging situation for the time being. Although demand remained decent, pine producers were bypassing boards in order to produce dimension lumber.
- Sales activity in Western Red Cedar varied little from prior weeks. Buyers often replenished at a steady pace, which was lackluster compared to other lumber markets. High prices were a concern among producers. Post and rails sold readily, with yards and home center outlets replenishing at a good rate.
OSB activity continued its momentum from last week, running on panic and driven by low inventories and transportation issues. Prices made double-digit jumps, and order files moved out.
- The Southern Pine plywood market remained on solid footing. Producers stretched order files well into next month, ranging from the weeks of June 4 to 18. With lead times extended out that far, mills raised quotes and sold at the higher levels.
- Western Fir plywood mills reported a good week of sales. As in past weeks, the market started out at a modest pace before picking up Wednesday and sustaining solid activity through Friday. Producers reported selling a healthy mix of truck and railcar volumes, which enabled them to stretch order files into the first couple of weeks of June.
- Activity picked up late week in Canadian plywood. Mills moved order files out a week, discounts dried up and prices firmed. The upcoming holiday weekend is traditionally busy for building material retailers in Canada, so sources are optimistic.
- Particleboard activity was particularly dull, as supplies remained plentiful. Producers often cited capacity levels above and beyond buyers’ needs for the lack of any upward price pressure.
- MDF sales activity was more intense than particleboard. Producers sold production more readily, generating order files extending a month and even longer.
For more on RISI, click here.