Q&A: Tony Zimbelman

President, Zimbelman Construction, LLC Wichita, Kansas

Q: What sets your company apart?

 A: When I wrote my business plan in 1991, I made a pledge to treat everyone involved in the construction process fairly, openly and honestly. I have been able to keep that pledge through the years. We celebrated the completion of our 500th new home this year.

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Q: Describe your current LBM supplier, and why you buy from them?

 A: I have two LBM suppliers I purchase products from: Star Lumber Company and Fisher Lumber Company. They are both very active in our local builders association, have excellent customer service and they price their materials so that we both make a profit if we run our businesses right.

Q: In order of importance, what are the top three things you look for from a supplier?

 A: I have to know the main person (CEO, president, etc.) involved in the business. Their character and judgment will tell me if they will treat my company fair. They have to have excellent field representatives to take some of the daily load off of me, and they have to have competitive pricing and decent delivery times to keep my subs happy.

Q: Describe your best vendor and why they are the best.

 A: One of my suppliers is over the top on customer service—Star Lumber. Two or three times a year they do something special for the builders who are loyal to them. I have had many, many good times with the owners, field reps, and employees of this supplier during the years I have been associated with them. I have also gotten to know, and made friendships, with many of the other builders in our area through these events.

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