The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association recently completed a landmark research report that defines the building supply industry.

The "Scope of the LBM Industry Report" explains why building material dealers operate the way they do and how they have evolved in response to the marketplace. The report contains benchmarking data for all members of the building industry that's especially valuable in today's tumultuous economy.

Fundamental Dealer Issues The report features important qualitative data that focuses on fundamental practices, such as: How dealers structure their businesses How dealers go to market What kinds of customers dealers serve What products and services dealers offer Purchasing practices and inventory management How dealers use technology.

Benchmarking Data The report also details important quantitative data on the state of the industry, including: Size of the industry Number of companies Geographical concentration Number of employees Payroll expenditures Taxes paid Sales by customer type Dealer/retailer sales by product category End use by end-user category Employee productivity Product line market share by dealer type Inventory productivity Manufacturing capabilities.

Industry Trends It is important for leading building supply dealers to stay up to date with industry trends in order to remain innovative and competitive. The "Scope of the LBM Industry" report covers trends within the building material channel in the context of a dealer's customer base. It discusses several trends, including residential new construction, remodeling, consumer home improvement, and how the dealer channel is adapting to meet customers' needs.

Dealer Contributions to the Economy Few outside observers recognize the degree of entrepreneurship, the unique work environment, and the breadth of career opportunities in the building supply dealer industry. It's a tremendously challenging industry that combines elements of manufacturing, logistics, retailing, and construction. Although it can be hard to attract people to this business, many very successful people are part of it. This report effectively describes the industry and is expected to help attract more qualified candidates.

NLBMDA encourages everyone in the building material industry to obtain a copy of this report. For details on purchasing a copy, visit