Want to attract and retain top people—especially high-performing young pros—while contributing to your community and positioning your company for a strong future? Learn from an LBM leader who’s doing just that. Mike Dykstra will kick off LBM Strategies 2019 by sharing Zeeland Lumber’s purpose and values—the company’s foundational principles—that have helped guide his leadership team through the challenges of growth and change, and surviving and thriving after a natural disaster, all while striving to make a positive difference in society. Learn how Zeeland Lumber benefits from hiring “returning citizens,” building young teams of top-performing talent, leveraging the latest technology tools, and more. You’ll leave armed with fresh insights and strategies for building your business into a positive, productive place where high-potential pros want to build a career.
What would you do if you learned that employees were less than enthusiastic about working for your company? When this happened to Jon Vaughan after an employee engagement survey, he and his team took the results to heart. Learn how they approached the problem, and the actionable tactics the company took to improve morale. You’ll learn what worked and what didn’t on the path to Brand-Vaughan Lumber’s re-energized workforce voting the company a “Best Place to Work.” You’ll leave this session with a clear understanding of employee engagement (and why it matters), with proven strategies and tips on cranking up the engagement level at your company.
Determined to do something about the labor shortage in his market, Ty Shanks brought together local building pros and the local high school shop class to build a house from the ground up, offer it for sale, then repeat the process. This ground-breaking program has captured the imagination of students (who can earn apprenticeship certificates and full-time employment) and the local home builders association (which can tap an active pipeline of enthusiastic young workers). Hear first-hand how an individual dealer decided to tackle one of the biggest problems facing our industry, then rolled up his sleeves and made it happen. Ty will share how the program got started, how the finances work to keep it sustainable, and tips on doing it in your market.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” You’ve heard that hundreds of times, but do you know what to measure…and how to leverage the results? In this thought-provoking presentation, renowned sales trainer and consultant Rick Davis will share the difference between leading and lagging indicators, with evidence that proves correlations between the two. You’ll leave this powerful session with a fresh understanding and appreciation for performance metrics for salespeople, along with practical tips for using both Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Key Results Indicators (KRIs) as generate positive, lasting change in your company.
Research shows that companies with both men and women have higher sales and profits compared to male-dominated teams, and having more women in the workplace actually makes it a better place to work. Hear from a panel of top performing LBM pros—who happen to be women—about what attracted them to our industry, their experiences as a female LBM pro, and insights on what it’ll take to attract more like them. You’ll leave this session with the business case for women in your workforce (the “why”), a nuanced understanding of sexism in our industry (the “what”), plus some practical tactics you can put to work immediately in your company to attract and retain more women (the “how”).
Learn how an independent lumberyard in a rural Iowa town is leveraging the lessons of Apple Stores, Starbucks and other destination retailers to draw customers—and drive sales—from well beyond its market area. Grant will share Marcus Lumber’s innovative, cost-effective takes on these next-generation business strategies that attract homeowners and builders alike. Plus, learn the practical tactics that this entrepreneurial LBM pro is using to build a healthy company culture and attract new people to join his team. You’ll leave this session with fresh insights for leveraging social media, recognizing/appreciating your current staff, and more.
Are you leaving margin on the table? Most dealers are, and many are shocked at what a difference two more points of gross margin can mean to their company’s financial health. Bill Lee, author of Gross Margin: 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line, has lived and breathed gross margin for most of his adult life. In this can’t-miss discussion, Bill will moderate a hand-picked panel of owners who have proven that a high gross margin business can successfully compete for volume while earning an enviable bottom line. Learn real-world tactics and strategies that these owners are using in their businesses—and that you can take home and put to work in your business immediately.
The LBM industry is facing a pair of interrelated generational challenges. First, the Boomer Brain Drain negatively impacts us all when we fail to capture the vast wisdom from the talented Baby Boomers who retire every month. Second, the newest generation to enter our industry, often described as the YouTube Generation, expects that learning content should be available on-demand and easy to find, allowing them to learn when and where they please. Bradley Hartmann will introduce practical and tactical tips that dealers across the country are employing to bridge this generational gap. As William Gibson famously said: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”
One of the most important responsibilities of a leader today is to plan and implement the development of our industry’s next generation of leaders. Russ Kathrein will address some of the important challenges of identifying and coaching next-gen leaders for your organization, with insights on preparing them for success as a leader in the ever-changing LBM industry. How have things changed since we came up through the ranks? What areas should we consider evolving in our organizations in order to appeal to more young employee candidates? What kind of training and developmental process do we need in the beginning and later in their career? For the second half of the session, he’ll welcome three young LBM pros to the stage for an open discussion on attracting and motivating others like them, and coaching them on their path as tomorrow’s leaders.
If your salespeople view your credit department as the enemy, then your company is missing out on a golden opportunity to grow your sales, your margins, and your business. Credit guru and LBM Journal columnist Thea Dudley will share business insights and lessons-learned in a career spanning three decades, including executive positions with Guardian Building Products and SRS Distribution. You’ll leave this session armed with a fresh appreciation of the practical power of your credit department, plus tactics and strategies you can begin to put in place immediately to help you build your sales and strengthen your bottom line.
Top housing economists predict an economic slowdown within the next few years, and this session will review how that might impact company valuations in today’s red-hot consolidation market. Often, a “fine line” separates a successful deal from one that falls flat, or a skyhigh valuation that thrills sellers vs. a price that’s totally unacceptable. So, learn from the experts how to navigate the top deal-makers…and deal-breakers, all backed up with real-world examples. You’ll take away strategies for achieving top values from acquirers, and learn how to prepare now for optimizing financial performance for whenever you plan to sell.
* Subject to change