His official portrait might put him in pinstripes, but when Peter Alexander talks he'll describe stocking a wide variety of products as "loading both saddlebags" and will note he enjoys wearing his cowboy boots when visiting lumberyards. Now Alexander leads one of the West's biggest operations, BMC Select. And when he goes out on the range, he says he'll focus on quality.

"To us, it's not important to be the lead dog in revenue," Alexander says. "For us, it's important to be ... best in customer service and reputation and financial strength."

Alexander, who at one time was chief executive officer of ORCO Construction and more recently sat on BMC Select's board, took office Aug. 1. Paul Street, the previous CEO, became chief administrative officer, and former Inter-Mountain Region General Manager Michael Badgely was named vice president of company-wide operations. Daniel McQuarry stayed on as chief financial officer. Current president and chief operating officer Stan Wilson will retire at the end of this year.

Alexander said he plans to focus on such metrics as fulfillment rates, on-time delivery percentages, and inventory turns. The creation of best practices councils inside the company should produce benefits starting later this year, he says.

Peter Alexander
Peter Alexander

"Until the banking industry starts lending with more normalcy, I believe this is going to be a tough business," he says. But that doesn't mean he'll be waiting for the weather to change. "We are making investments," he says. "They are targeted, bullet-focused [measures] that make a difference with the customer and make us more lean and mean with customer service. We're not going to wait for the market to come back to make the right investments."

Privately held BMC Select has roughly 3,700 workers in 11 states and 16 markets throughout the West. According to the latest ProSales 100, it reported revenues of $700 million last year, 95% of it to pros. It was created Jan. 1 after its predecessor, Building Materials Holding Corp., spent half of 2009 reorganizing while protected from creditors under Chapter 11.