REAL ISSUES. REAL ANSWERS: Planning Your Company’s Future

Real Issues Real Answers Planning your companys future

Hundreds of readers weigh in on this discussion of company transitions and succession plans.


Considering how few companies survive the transition from generation to generation, a surprisingly large number of lumberyards have navigated the rocky terrain of family ownership successfully. While family ownership remains alive and well in our industry, that’s but one option as a company looks to its future. With the housing market finally returning to some semblance of normalcy, the velocity of consolidations, and merger/acquisition activity, is speeding up. For many LBM operators, a transition or succession plan is off in the future. For others, the future is now.

The Issue

This month’s question came from Loran Hall of Mathew Hall Lumber, St. Cloud, Minn., who suggested the topic of “generational transition.” We took the theme of Loran’s suggestion and ran with it, which led us to explore what companies are doing about their future…regardless of their ownership structure. Well over 200 readers replied to this month’s Real Issues survey, a clear indication that this topic resonated with our audience. Thank you for those who took time to respond, and to add your $.02 to this important conversation. If you’d like the opportunity to weigh in on our monthly surveys, just drop me a note at

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To understand the context of the answers, it was important to know the breakout of our respondents.