Back in 2005, we launched our Entrepreneur of the Year program. Al Bavry of Kimal Lumber in Florida was our inaugural winner, and Al let us share his story in our January, 2005 issue. Every January since then, we’ve recognized LBM dealers whose entrepreneurial spirit delivers for their employees and their customers and drives their companies forward. This past year, we learned that accounting firm Ernst & Young owns the trademark on “Entrepreneur of the Year.” That’s why we’ve updated the name of our recognition program to “LBM Journal’s Dealers of the Year.” While the name has changed, the spirit hasn’t.
Our goal is to recognize successful, innovative, entrepreneurial companies of all sizes throughout the U.S. As you’ll discover after reading their stories (beginning on page 34), this year’s winners richly deserve the recognition.
• Featured on the cover, Sunroc Building Materials (winner of the $50 million-plus category), which serves customers with building materials, including trusses and wall panels, in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada, has created a highly-effective rewards program and pricing strategy designed to serve customers of all sizes.
• Howe Lumber Company, East Brookfield, Mass., (winner of the $10-$50 million category) is harnessing innovative solutions to long-term issues. Lean initiatives are saving money by optimizing workflows, and 300 solar panels on one of its buildings generate 100% of the company’s electricity.
• From its location on Florida’s panhandle, in the only county in the state with just one stoplight, Taylor’s Do it Best Building Supply plays a critical role in its community. In fact, it even earned a visit from Governor Rick Scott for its community service after Hurricane Michael devastated the region in October 2018.
Another article that you won’t want to miss is the Real Issues. Real Answers. feature on credit card fees (page 28). As more and more customers use credit cards for purchases and to pay their balances, the 2%-3% fees charged by most credit card processors are taking an ever-larger bite out of LBM dealers’ bottom lines. This issue clearly touched a nerve, as more than 300 readers took the time to weigh in with their insights and experiences.
Rounding out this issue are rock-solid columns by Rick Davis, Bill Lee, John Wagner and Bob Heidenreich, plus a roundup of new products and services in our Product Picks pages.
Also, to answer demand from readers for more up-to-date news, our once-every-Tuesday LBM Alert recently became the LBM Journal Daily e-newsletter. If you’re not already getting it, you can subscribe for free at LBMJournal.com. We’ve got more things in the works for 2019 to help you build your sales, your business and your brand. So stay tuned….