PROSALES Magazine Names US LBM Dealer of the Year

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Fast-Growing Building Material Supplier Honored for Achievements in Technology, Training

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Hanley Wood has announced that US LBM has been selected as PROSALES magazine’s Dealer of the Year for 2015. The award honors outstanding achievements in construction supply operations, management and innovations, as well as meritorious service to the dealer’s community and to the lumber and building material industry. Only one construction supply dealer is chosen per year out of roughly 7,000 nationwide. As winner, US LBM is featured in the cover story in PROSALES’ January/February issue and on its website, prosalesmagazine.com.

“In just five years since its creation, US LBM has become a national leader in technology, education, and facility design,” PROSALES editor-in-chief Craig Webb said. “That, along with a management model that fosters a loose but well-coordinated workforce, constitute the principal ingredients behind its rapid growth and notable operational successes.”

Among its award-earning accomplishments:

  •     A mobile app that enables customers to check orders on the go and get messages indicating when deliveries will arrive. With the app, customers also can view account information, access invoices, and checking billing history.
  •     US1, a training program based on the Six Sigma program to help promote a culture of lean management and continuous improvement.
  •     Incorporating software from Epicor and route planning tools from Descartes to create key performance indicators that already have led to a 30% or more improvement in turnaround times at some yards and a 10%-plus improvement in costs.
  •     A redesign of facilities according to lean management techniques that, at one yard, have reduced forklift driving distances by 30% for most loads, improved traffic flow, and cut labor distribution costs as a percentage of yard revenue by 23%.

As company CEO L.T. Gibson told his division presidents recently: "One of my main jobs is to figure out how your company will become obsolete in today's environment, because the industry is changing so fast. We may seem to bury you in resources. That's what we want to do: We want you to be the best."

Notably, US LBM has accomplished this with just 18 people on its central office staff – many of whom work remotely.

Impressive as its technology and training achievements may be, US LBM’s rapid growth and operating style also are drawing attention. When this holding company was formed in 2009, US LBM had just three operations. Now it has 18, many of which joined the family in the second half of 2013. As a result, its total sales for 2014 are estimated at $1.4 billion, vaulting it for the first time among the top 10 companies on the PROSALES 100 list of the nation’s biggest building material suppliers.

It’s a commonly held view among longtime participants in building material supply that you can’t be both big and financially successful in the business because it relies so much on local economic, geographic, and personal factors. Several of America’s biggest dealers have collectively lost billions of dollars over the past decade, with too much centralized management often being blamed for causing some of the losses. But building supply experts say they believe US LBM may have “cracked the code” by leaving almost all decision-making at the local level and focusing instead on fostering best practices.

To read the complete story, visit prosalesmagazine.com.

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood is the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Utilizing the largest editorial- and analytics-driven construction market database, the company produces powerful market data and insights; award-winning publications, newsletters and websites; marquee trade shows and executive events; and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit http://www.hanleywood.com.

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John Crosby
Hanley Wood
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