L&W Supply, USG's distribution arm, wants to be more than just a drywall company, president and CEO Brendan Deely says. In an interview with ProSales, Deely says the Chicago-based company is doing a number of things to help customers as well as boost its own position within the LBM industry.
L&W, which ranks No. 6 on this year's ProSales 100, is working to create a marketing organization to help discover market opportunities, distinguish its business, and develop and create interest in new products. The marketing group would help contractors with promotions and with targeting any particular demographic group they want.
Deely says the company also is working on creating a nationwide job leads database, will help builders meet certain certifications, and will help them find opportunities for business growth. "Our contractors run their offices very lean," he says. "If we can help promote their business or target business opportunities or segments that would be more profitable for them, then that helps. We don't want to do their jobs; we want to help them by providing tools."
Without providing specifics, Deely says the company is exploring how to use its information technology platform to help customers. "We have room to evolve on that; we think there's opportunity," he says.
Meanwhile, L&W Supply is working on creating a unified brand identity and marketing approach. The company currently operates with multiple brand names, preferring to regard as an asset the names of the companies it has bought.
"Instead of operating as 157 independent branches, [the change is about] operating more as a corporation and using a marketing capability to spread consistent go-to-market capabilities more effectively than we have," Deely says.
Deely made his comments a few weeks after USG revealed in an SEC filing that L&W would close eight locations by Sept. 30. The company also planned to open two facilities in that same period. L&W reported sales of $1.05 billion in 2010, with 163 facilities as of Jan. 1.