Tough Call

tough call the velocity of change

Tough Call: The velocity of change

As a third-generation owner/CEO of a LBM business, you may not have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but you definitely...
Special order mistakes

Tough Call: The high cost of special order mistakes

Like LBM dealers in most U.S. markets, your company is doing well. Sales are up, margins are stable, and your team is working at...
Rep's pay rate

Tough Call: How much is too much?

New owners want to cut your top rep’s pay, which would likely send her to the competition. Like many family-owned companies, XY Lumber recently reached...
November/December Tough Call

Tough Call: The temptation of Paul

Your top sales rep has an aggressive job offer from a competitor. Do you attempt to match it and keep him on board, or...
October 2017 Tough Call

Tough Call: Broken down and wasting time

The owners at your yard are reluctant to repair and replace.Unlike many of your industry peers, you didn’t grow in the lumberyard, and initially...
Tough Call

Tough Call: Between a rock and Hal Hardplace

A top customer consistently orders far too much product, then insists on full credit when returning the excess. What would you do? When your lumberyard...
The Tough Case of Stonehead Homes

Tough Call: The Tough Case of Stonehead Homes

During the 30-plus years you’ve been operating an independent LBM business, you’ve seen a lot of changes, which has introduced a number of great...
July Tough Call

Tough Call: Bridging the Sales/Culture Gap

What to do when your relationship-based sales reps collide with price-only buyers?As the second-generation owner of a company with four full-service yards, most of...
Thrown under the bus

Tough Call: Thrown Under the Bus

A builder struggling to complete projects on time is blaming you and your team for the delays—though he knows it’s not true. What would...
May Tough Call

Tough Call: Gamblin Ramblers and You?

A builder-customer wants to partner with you on some luxury spec homes, sharing the risk and reward. What would you do? After holding your breath...

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