January 2009 Table of Contents


Scherer Brothers Lumber in Minnesota could be the poster child for pro dealers that find themselves in extreme survival mode. Housing starts in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metroplex have plummeted more than 80% from only a few years ago. That falloff necessitated a "disaster recovery plan," as COO Mark Scherer calls it, that included Scherer Brothers letting go of half of its staff and mothballing its yard in Albertville, Minn. Read more

Erie Materials: 2008 ProSales Dealer of the Year 2009 Dealer of the Year Erie Materials: 2008 ProSales Dealer of the Year

Erie Materials of Syracuse, N.Y., is ProSales' Dealer of the Year. ProSales picked Erie because of its record of solid growth, continual expansion, and giving back to both its employees and the community. As senior editor Andy Carlo writes: "From its founding 35 years ago in what essentially was a garage, Erie has grown into a 10-unit dealer on track to generate sales of $175 million in 2008. In an era in which the vast majority of construction supply dealers have seen sales drop--and often plummet--Erie continues to grow." Read more

Crisis Management

Crisis management has long been a back-burner business tactic, a reactive strategy that every company knows it needs but hopes it never has to implement ... and is usually ill-equipped to execute when that time comes. Read more

Yard Notables
Branch Closure Pace Quickens; Some Get Out of Business

The end of 2008 was not kind to a number of dealers that decided to exit the business during these tumultuous economic times. Read more

Earnings News: Beacon Sales Up, Stock Posts Operating Loss

Beacon Roofing Supply, a Peabody, Mass.-based roofing materials distributor, reported sales in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 14.9% to $597.2 million from $493.8 million in the year-earlier period, in good part because of "an unusually large rise in prices" for roofing products in late summer. Read more

ProSales Online, All the Time

Starting this month, ProSales will offer digital editions of the print magazine. It will have the same content as the print edition, plus many interactive features. It will be delivered to ProSales Business Update e-newsletter subscribers and posted on prosalesonline.com. Don't get the e-newsletter? Now is a great time to sign up. Read more

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