If the past ten years have taught us anything, I believe it has shown us that properly investing in your inventory portfolio is growing ever more important. As outside forces in the Building Material Sector grow ever more influential on your business, you may feel yourself needing guidance- or even a trusted adviser to bounce some ideas off of. As a yard owner or purchaser, most often the buck stops here. No matter the material, proper facilitation and management of your supply chain can not only increase profits but often increase the core competitiveness of your business.
Rightfully so, many of us out there focus on what makes us great, and what services we provide that make us different from the competition. Whether it be your quality material, incredible serviceability, or your perfectly executed sales process, we all have differentiating features that make us great.
All too often, we rely on lagging indicators for our adjectives to describe our businesses. “Great Service,” “Wonderful Follow Up” as examples… These are obviously important to any business relationship, but we as people also tend to gloss over the leading indicators that often make the difference in us ever getting the chance to experience those same common attributes. Let’s discuss Honesty, Transparency, and Dependability. More than just being ingrained in our 65 year old corporate culture, our customers have been able to depend on Sherwood Lumber to come through for them, so they can come through for their customers. No matter the news, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, we deliver on our promises… We’ll Be There!
Commodity lumber and panels are essentially the same as your retirement portfolio. Balancing the capital you have now, with what you will need in the future. With decades of experience, our brokers offer the same security and dependability as a financial planner. Helping you invest today as a source of income tomorrow.
What happens when your Ace salesman wins the big multifamily job? Do you always have the cash flow in order to float a job that is going to take multiple truck loads of material over the next eighteen months? What if you win it today, at thinner than normal margin, and the market shifts a couple of points? Look into programs that Sherwood offers like Guaranteed Forward Pricing. From Framing Lumber, Panels, Siding, PVC Trim, and Decking… We’ll be there! By assessing our inventory, along with risk factors like market fluctuation, market conditions, and then marrying them with our proprietary data. We will formulate a strategy that works for you and develop an execution plan to amaze your most difficult of customers!
When it comes to specialties, we often fall into the trap of assimilating them into the commodity market. Wanting to win and keeping that customer sticky is a constant balancing act. The thought is often that the lowest prices always win, but that business model has been proven false time and time again. Think of the largest brands in the world. Who can you name? Are they always the lowest price? The answer is honestly rarely; and most often those margins that they demand are what allows them to grow, develop new ideas, and continuously dominate within their respective market.
So why is this any different for you? Yes, everyone will always need to buy smart, and volume-based discounts will always be available, but the true costs of operating a good specialty business do not come on the bottom line of the material invoice. It’s in training your staff to then educate customers and being early to the party. Sherwood Lumber goes into unique market positions for you to break the conventional mold, offering a distinctive product mix that customers have been longing for, and work to promote their partners. Offering the same assurances we add to the day to day business, but also adding more and unique revenue streams.
Interview your supply partner as you would a new employee because as you develop this new market purchasing strategy, your Distribution Partner will develop into a vital member of your business. So choose one who shares a similar sense of urgency, someone who understands your sales and production models, and someone who will attune to your needs as a buying customer.
Questions to consider while choosing a supplier should be about inventory, product selection, and the ability for differentiation within your market. Surround yourself with quality partners that are intelligent and share a similar vision. As this partner will be your lifeblood in presenting new innovative technologies for you to bring to market, and work with your sales staff to ensure their understanding to be able to pitch new and higher margin items.
Hopefully you have found this article helpful and if nothing else, thought provoking.