Cover of ProSales' January/February 2017 issue

Hancock Lumber, based in Casco-Maine, has been selected as ProSales' Dealer of the Year for 2017, ProSales announced today.

The award honors outstanding achievements in construction supply operations, management and innovations, as well as meritorious service to the dealer’s community and to the lumber and building material industry. ProSales selects only one construction supply dealer per year from more than 7,500 firms nationwide. (See past winners.) This is the 25th anniversary of the first Dealer of the Year prize.

“Rarely have I seen a dealer excel in as many ways as Hancock,” ProSales editor-in-chief Craig Webb wrote in an editorial for the Dealer of the Year edition. “This 14-location, 475-employee, $155 million company is built on foundation stones of core values, individual initiative, and data-driven insight to not just make it a success now, but likely remain a success for years to come.”

Kevin Hancock, president of Hancock Lumber. Behind him is his company’s sawmill in Casco, Maine, and company land with stands of Eastern White Pines.
Brian Fitzgerald Kevin Hancock, president of Hancock Lumber. Behind him is his company’s sawmill in Casco, Maine, and company land with stands of Eastern White Pines.

As with most previous ProSales Dealers of the Year, Hancock Lumber is a family-owned business; current president Kevin Hancock is the sixth generation to run the company. The firm dates back to 1848 and, unusual among lumberyards today, also owns timberland and runs its own mills.

Hancock Lumber is a huge believer in team-oriented, bottoms-up problem solving. It’s a trend that was propelled in part when Kevin Hancock developed a medical condition spasmodic dysphonia, in which involuntary spasms in the larynx caused Kevin’s voice to break up and made it painful to speak for any length of time. Kevin began to speak less, and in doing so he discovered that people not only would talk more but also suggest ways to solve problems rather than rely on him to give directions.

Hancock also is fanatical about measuring its own performance so that it can find ways to improve customer service. Consultants say it ranks among the nation’s best in On Time In Full, a metric that measures the share of all deliveries by the time promised with everything requested on board. The higher the number, the more likely a customer will be happy with Hancock’s service.

Hancock thinks differently in part because of Kevin’s experiences this decade making regular visits to a Lakota Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. The visits helped him see his own life in a new light, and led him to write a lengthy memoir entitled Not for Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse.

ProSales will present its Dealer of the Year trophy to Hancock at a company event later this year, and will recognize Hancock as well again during the ProSales 100 Conference in San Antonio on March 1-3.