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Positive revenue trends can be attributed to changes implemented recently, setting LumberTown up for an array of advantages that give it the upper hand, Pierce says. “Our newest addition is a 26,000-sq. ft. drive-thru lumberyard. This follows the complete renovation of our 16,000- sq. ft. showroom last year, which eliminated most of our hardware gondolas and added all new displays, a model house, a new kitchen department, as well as a conference and training room and a consultation room for contractors to use with their customers,” she says.

While tackling the renovation project was a change for employees and customers, vendors worked patiently with the company to make the transition as smooth as possible. “We found that most of the vendors have been impressed with the opportunity for growth, so they were very helpful during the renovation process,” Pierce adds.

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On top of adding a drive-thru lumberyard and showroom, LumberTown renovated the logistics of the company as well. A new estimating and takeoff department was created, along with a new safety program (complete with weekly sales meetings), product training and social media utilization.

On the other hand, although the modifications have generated a positive response from employees and customers, the company admits that a few challenges followed. “The biggest challenge that we’ve had to face has been our cash flow, because in order to achieve the sales growth that we’ve had, we had to completely redo our inventory and product lines to better suit the needs of the customers,” Pierce explains.

Combined with the rebounding housing market, the renovations and operational enhancements have had a compounding effect on the company’s fortunes. Pierce says that the greatest opportunity for the company has been a mixture of the recovering economy and the showroom and drive-thru, helping to better serve its customers and maintain an optimal environment for employees.

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“An additional benefit to the drivethru is it takes some of the pressure off our drivers,” she says. “They don’t have to do as many local loads; they can concentrate on loads in farther distances. It’s now easier for local customers to pick up items for themselves.”

But the most profound difference made in recent years has been creating a dedicated estimating and takeoff department, often referred to as the “War Room.” The War Room team is responsible for focusing on takeoffs on bids of all sizes—anything from decks and additions to hotels and large housing projects. This allows the sales team to hone in on working directly with customers.

And since things have begun looking up within the last few years, the railroad spur that was shutdown due to revenue loss in the past has even been resurrected. This reinforces the company’s already-large fleet of vehicles, including boom trucks, flatbed trucks, box trucks, pick-up trucks and a semi for large orders.

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LumberTown’s sister company, Preferred Building Supply, also has an interior door shop in Cleveland and a post form countertop shop in Newark, adding to the available resources within the ownership.

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