Few dealers do so much so well as Franklin Building Supply, the 2016 ProSales Dealer of the Year. Here's a look at what makes it special.
Rick Lierz's father wasn't eager to see him join the business, so Rick worked several years as an attorney before he was allowed to join Franklin. Now he's CEO and president.
Boise, Idaho, has grown enormously since Franklin Building Supply was created 40 years ago, but the Franklin Road that gives FBS its name still is rural enough that horses graze across the street from Franklin's flagship store.
Rhonda Millick was a controller at a hospital in 1991 when her father, Dick Lierz, asked her to join him and Rhonda’s brother Rick at Franklin Building Supply. She became CFO five years later. Rick is CEO.
Franklin Building Supply has embraced such simple efficiency techniques as kanban cards—plasticized cards slipped low down into pallets of materials. When enough materials are taken off the pallet, the card is exposed and gets taken to the office. Then it becomes a physical reminder that it’s time to restock or reorder as well as a rough indicator of where inventory stands.
Franklin Building Supply’s executive team consists of, from left: Bryce Luker, regional manager; Mike Hyer, owner and senior vice president; Rick Lierz, owner and CEO/president; James Dowen, vice president of purchasing; Rhonda Millick, owner and chief financial officer; and Ken Leavitt, regional manager. Not shown: Glen Parnell, VP and regional manager.
Franklin Building Supply has become such a believer in lean operations that it has an officer who does nothing but find ways to make the company run more efficiently. Franklin also isn't shy about promoting the concept to staffers.
Franklin has won national awards for its TV ads, and its marketing creativity extends to its trucks, too.
To help spot potential problems, Franklin Building Supply urges its employees to report near misses and suggest ways to improve safety. The operation with the best idea gets to throw a pie in CEO Rick Lierz's face.
A wall promoting safety in one of Franklin Building Supply's component manufacturing operations.