On April 4, San Bernardino, Calif.–based Home Lumber was acquired by Raleigh, N.C.–based Stock Building Supply, becoming the sixth pro dealer since Jan. 1 to disappear via acquisition from this year's PROSALES 100, our annual ranking and survey of the nation's leading construction suppliers (see page 74). In fact, next year's PROSALES 100 promises even more drastic changes throughout the ranks as financial companies like Fidelity continue to invest in industry players like Lanoga and Strober and other national dealers try to lap each other in a sprint for key independent acquisitions.
Even 84 Lumber—historically content to run its own race and grow organically—has announced strides in new directions, pulling out of rural markets and appointing 25-year company veteran Rory Leightner to the post of executive vice president, a move that 84 president Maggie Hardy Magerko says will free COO Bill Myrick and CFO Dan Wallach to aggressively pursue acquisitions as part of planned expansions to the 84 Components division and 84's installed sales services in order to increase sales to large-scale, national production builders (see related story, page 34).
“Bill and Dan have already begun identifying potential acquisitions in the component manufacturing and installation industries, and we will move quickly to pinpoint the right companies to acquire,” Hardy Magerko said in an April 10 announcement. “These acquisitions will include component manufacturing companies, framing companies, plumbing and electrical companies, HVAC companies, and so on. Our goal is to create a total turnkey operation for large production builders wherever they are building.”
If the first quarter is any indication, 2006 is certainly shaping up as a year of frenetic change in the industry. 84 Lumber pulling out of markets and acquiring construction services firms? A Wall Street investment bank combining Lanoga and Strober to develop a national pro dealer footprint? Throw into the competitive mix the promise from Stock and other large dealers for even more independent acquisitions and The Home Depot's own developing hunger for pro dealer buyouts and it's evident that the next several years will be no time for slowing down, regardless of your size, location, or market focus.
To better gauge the opportunities and challenges facing your company and gain strategic insight into how to match up with national production builders—or how to succeed without them—I invite you to join me at the 2006 NLBMDA/ProSales Industry Summit, Oct. 26–28 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. With the theme of “Survival of the Fastest...Will Your Company Thrive?” this year's one-of-a-kind industry event, held in conjunction with NLBMDA's annual conference, will feature keynote presentations by acclaimed author and business speaker Jason Jennings and leadership expert and author Dr. Jim Harris, along with pro dealer panels that will discuss the impact of supplier and builder consolidation and confer on tactics for developing and implementing top-notch marketing programs in a rapidly evolving competitive arena.
With more than 300 executives from LBM companies expected to gather for educational seminars, panel discussions, and breakout sessions designed to give you the tools to formulate the right strategies to survive in our fast-paced, ever-changing industry, this year's Industry Summit is a must-attend event. (For registration information, see page 134.) There's no better opportunity to lace up, stretch your legs, and prepare your company to be swift and strong for the challenging race ahead.