A significant investment in delivery capabilities has ensured that R.P. Lumber remains a leader in its markets when customers ask for purchases to be ready when they need them. Delivery services are a top priority for the company. Equally important to the investment in vehicles is the investment in team members who operate the trucks and know how to safely and efficiently deliver materials.
Additional investments in e-commerce have kept the company at the forefront of online activity in the industry. R.P. Lumber’s website has been revamped within the past six months and the company recently partnered with an e-commerce company to offer thousands of products for sale and reinforce its online presence.
However, the secret to R.P. Lumber’s success goes beyond innovation, said Plummer. Maintaining its place in the community has also helped the company steadily grow.
“We’ve evolved when we need to evolve, but we also know what our role is in our customers’ lives,” Plummer said. “We stick to our knitting and try not to tackle things that aren’t where we need to be. At the end of the day, we’re here to provide building materials, hardware and related products to the communities we serve.”
For a company that continued to grow, even through the recession of the late 2000s, R.P. Lumber certainly sees no end to strategic expansion now that the economy has improved. The company already has plans to open four stores in 2017, including two in Illinois and two in Missouri. While they get calls from dealers looking to sell, R.P. Lumber doesn’t tie growth to acquisition alone.
“We’ve acquired stores and we like that, but we’ll also go build a store in a market that fits our business model,” he said. But growing smart is more important than growth alone, he added. “We’re conservative people who know markets we want to be in and need to be in,” Plummer said. “Most importantly, we’re constantly investing in our existing facilities.”
R.P. Lumber added more than a quarter million square feet of new buildings at existing locations alone in 2016 in order to house more inventory under roof in a safe, clean manner. The company will continue to add new buildings and remodel older buildings to be as attractive to customers as possible, he said.
“We’re big believers in America,” Plummer said. “As long as career politicians in Springfield and Washington, D.C. don’t over tax and over regulate them, the American people will have the desire and resources to do great things. If we’re honest, work hard, stay humble and remember where we came from, and provide the best service and the best value, things should be OK. When things are good then there are jobs and all the good things that come with them. Contractors build homes and commercial buildings, farmers put up pole barns, people remodel houses, and we want those sales. Our biggest opportunity is participating in the upside of this great country.”