One of the biggest changes in building materials distribution in recent years is the rapidly dropping lead times customers are given before starting a project. Plummeting ETAs on multiple jobs means that distributors may be required to supply a wide range of products with little or no notice.
The last several years of economic recovery have been hard on many building material suppliers. Some companies have coped by turning inward, focusing primarily on improving business practices and catching up on necessary technology investments.
John Ramsey, the Chairman of Diamond Hill Plywood, believes the building materials distribution industry will be challenged in 2014 by inventory shortages. “There are going to be some inventory shortages, here and there, for brief periods of time,” he said.
According to John Anderson, Vice President of Building Plastics, Inc., (BPI) while it is difficult to serve both flooring and countertop markets, BPI handles the problem by separating the workload into separate divisions.
Steve Dominick is the President of Central Wholesale Supply Company, a family-owned distributor based in Norfolk, VA. Central has been a member of the NBMDA for 30 years. According to Dominick, the greatest challenge facing the building material distribution industry in 2014 is the economy.