February 2009 Table of Contents

Stranded at Low Tide

A longtime associate member of the Florida Building Materials Association told president Bill Tucker that he wouldn't be able to make his dues for the year. Read more

Facing the Fire Facing the Fire

What tactics did Confederate general Robert E. Lee employ to inspire his troops to fight so successfully against a Union army that was better trained and better armed? How did coach Herb Brooks convince his team of relatively unknown college hockey players to believe they could beat the Russians in the 1980 Winter Olympics? How will you manage your sales, admin, and yard staffs to find success in the economic and housing recession? Read more

Ski Resorts

In the mare's-nest that is today's economy, no one is safe from the cold. That includes ski resort country, where pricey homes pepper an area once generally regarded as recession-proof. These days, local dealers are no different than their counterparts down in the valley, though their strategies for managing the downturn are dictated by their high-altitude circumstances. Read more

Missed Connection Missed Connection

Paying a bill online is old hat in this age of e-commerce, and it's growing rapidly elsewhere. At a time when most brick-and-mortar retailers were complaining about lagging sales, online sales Dec. 1-5 rose 9% from the year earlier to reach $3.74 billion. Read more

Yard Notables
Labor Paychecks Labor Paychecks

Dealers looking to initiate or beef up their installed sales programs always face a dilemma: What's the going rate for installers? Remodelers face the same problem, and recently Remodeling magazine, a sister publication of ProSales, reported the results of a nationwide survey on labor costs. It found pay rates rose at a median rate of 6% in 2008. Read more

Zeeland, Hamilton Farm Bureau Combine for New Company

Western Michigan-based Zeeland Lumber and Supply Co. and Hamilton Farm Bureau's lumber division have merged, adding a truss operation to Zeeland Lumber's capabilities. Zeeland will own 75% of the new operation, while Hamilton will own 25%. Read more

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