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Corning Building Company

A Post-Recession Market
As evident in the remodeling business coming in to CBC and dealers across the country, the economy is picking up and dealers are in a position to focus on their own needs. The refresh at CBC comes at a time when the company itself is in an upswing. Total retail sales for CBC will exceed $10 million in 2015, Smith said. The family also runs a 20,000 square-foot satellite facility in Bath, N.Y. that will contribute an additional $2.5 million in annual revenues.

Corning Building Company-4CBC also has some space on its hands. Their facility once housed a large high-end furniture store as part of its plaza location that it gave up when the economy took a downturn. “We always had high-end products, and it was the recession,” Smith said. “People weren’t spending money during that time and they sure weren’t spending it on furniture. People needed refrigerators; they didn’t need new leather recliners. It was a strategic decision to get out.”

Smith is currently looking for a business to purchase or lease the space that once housed the furniture store. “That’s the only missing piece of our business plan right now,” he said.

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One piece that’s clearly on Smith’s business plan is a focus on the future, after he and his siblings have all been in the business more than 35 years. “That was before big boxes, before the Internet,” he said. “All of those things steal market share.”

In the southern Finger Lakes area, the Smiths are also dealing with a population exodus. “People are leaving. There’s not a lot of growth opportunity there,” he said. Instead, CBC continues to focus on outside sales, calling on major commercial accounts such as local cookware manufacturer World Kitchens, as well as Dresser Rand and Corning, Inc.

Outside Sales and Design Focus
Corning-Building-Company--4Knowing that outside sales was the best opportunity to capture new business, Smith revitalized the outside sales department when he took over as president in 1998. Smith doubled his team, bought a fleet of 4×4 pickups and sent the sales staff out to wherever the contractors were. CBC now services a three-county region and focuses on complete construction projects. Close relationships with contractors have enabled CBC to keep sales volume up and expand beyond lumber and millwork to selling appliances, paint and plumbing as well.

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