The housing market’s recovery is steadily funneling more business into yards across the country. But dealers not willing to closely track employee productivity and hold their teams to higher-than-average benchmarks are likely to see that growth stunted.

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LBM consultant Sandy Sawyer shared a list of traps, he says, limit post-recession profitability.

• Bad Management. Leading people and managing expected results is not easy. Often, we let employees run the show. But the smaller the operation, the more hats each employee wears. Managers need to outline job requirements, evaluate the work, and hold individuals accountable.

• Faulty Systems. “It always dumbfounds me when a customer can get different pricing on the same item from various employees,” Sawyer says. Do your systems make sense? Do they eliminate duplication of effort? Does the entire company use the same system? Find out what’s causing a problem, develop procedures that are permanent solutions, and communicate them to the entire team.

• Poor Housekeeping. Is your website easy to navigate? Is your store entrance appealing? Are employees available to answer questions?—Sawyer can be reached at, or 401.295.9349.