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PROFILE: A Change In The Wind

Rolling with the Punches

Throughout the economic slump, Short and Paulk Supply came to one conclusion: either adapt and survive or resist change and die. But it wasn’t just an improved business model that kept the business buoyant; it was embracing innovation and technology.

Since contractors in Georgia are required to obtain Continuing Education Credits to keep their contractor’s license, Short and Paulk Supply created its “Contractor College”—giving contractors eight to 10 educational events throughout the year to earn C/E credits. In fact, the latest event in July was an AIA Certified course conducted by Huber Engineered Woods and was extremely successful, the company says.

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Short and Paulk has worked with its local television stations to promote its “Live Smart” segment about how homeowners can live green without breaking the bank. The company also has a useful monthly blog and e-newsletter, along with a blog on a popular homebuilding site. Helpful homebuilding tips are often displayed throughout its online presence with the business’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.

According to Short, community outreach has been a major part of the company’s identity as well. Throughout the years, Short and Paulk has hosted customer appreciation days and frequently donates to the community.

“Not only do we invest our people’s time and energy in participating in industry events where we can network and learn from other people, but we also invest in our own community,” Short says. As a third-generation owner, Short has worked hard to uphold what his family has built over the past seven decades, but he acknowledges that the time calls for change.

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“We’re still here because we’ve been able to adapt and change—we’re not through with that,” he says. “I think the Short and Paulk you see today is very different from what it was in 2008, and things are going to be different two years from now. Business is a moving target, and as the market changes we have to find ways adapt when there are new products or services that can make us more efficient.”

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