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Universal Forest Products unveils structure changes

Building products supplier will rebrand and realign in 2020.

BY HBSDealer Staff

As of Jan. 1, 2020, Universal Forest Products, Inc. will be rebranded as UFP Industries, Inc.

The company also plans to organize itself around the markets it serves rather than geography. According to Universal Forest Products, the changes are designed to drive sales and profits while providing employees with more opportunities.

The company will be organized so that each business segment aligns with the market it currently serves: UFP Retail, UFP Construction and UFP Industrial. These segments will each consist of multiple business units, or “profit centers,” led by entrepreneurial members of the UFP team. Each profit center will have a general manager who will continue to operate his or her facility to enhance customer service, create manufacturing and transportation synergies and improve overall profitability.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company said it plans to ratify the name change at its annual shareholder meeting on April 22 of next year. UFP Industries will continue to trade under the ticker symbol UFPI.

“We have the best team in the industry, and we want to position our people for the greatest success,” said CEO Matthew Missad. “The markets are changing quickly, and we need to not only adapt to changes, but to anticipate future changes. As the complexity in our product offering increases, our teams need to be able to focus on products and services that bring more value to our customers. The only way to lead the next era of growth is from the front.”

Missad noted that the while the name Universal Forest Products is a source of pride for employees, it no longer accurately describes what the company does. “UFP Industries, Inc. is a better fit for what we do and for our new organizational structure,” he said. “Our companies serve a diverse group of customers, and our products include many materials, not just wood.”

Under the new structure Allen Peters, will become the president and COO of UFP Retail, Patrick Benton will become president of UFP Construction, and Scott Worthington will become president of UFP Industrial.

Each of these three segments currently exceeds $1 billion in annual revenue. Each division will look to double sales and profits over the next 10 years, the company said.

Despite lower lumber prices and lower sales, UFPI saw profits rise 24% to $54.5 million for the second quarter this year.

During a transition period, Pat Webster will maintain his duties as COO of UFPI and will take on COO responsibility for UFP Construction and UFP Industrial. Jonathan Westwill become executive vice president of Factory Built Housing in the construction segment. Chad Eastin will become executive vice president of ProWood.

“Our focus is on being the expert solution providers for our customers. This new organization enables us to accomplish that much more efficiently,” Missad said.

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