Posts Tagged ‘study


know who you are

There are really two sides to Wilson Lumber.  There’s the side that most people know, that is, that we sell building materials to pro’s who are building and remodeling homes (although as frustrating as it is, most people don’t know that we sell a whole lot more than just lumber).

But then there’s the significant side of our business where we sell to homeowners.  Now most of our interactions with homeowners (at least in dollar volume) is with what you might call larger ticket items.  Replacement doors, decks, cabinets, etc.  Hence, our tag line “way more than lumber”.

Trex_transcend-decking-tiki-torch-lava-rock-circular-outdoor-furniture-black   McClel After   newhomeoffice1

Anyway, recently we have discontinued all electrical, plumbing and paint products (well, almost all).  It’s not that we didn’t enjoy selling this stuff, or even that we didn’t make money at it.  The problem was that we were not excellent at it.  And we believe that if you cant be excellent at something, you just shouldn’t do it.  Also, we realized that people don’t need us for that kind of stuff.  And we are perfectly OK with that.  It gives us more resources, energy and space for the stuff we are excellent at.

As if that is not enough, I attended a conference recently where I saw this particular study by the Farnsworth Group that I’ve previously written about.

Major Categories

Basically, professionals depend on us for Lumber, Millwork and Building Materials.  (I must admit, I thought lumber and millwork were building materials.  I guess they meant stuff like siding, brick, gypsum, etc.)  So, as we are excellent at those things, that is where we focus our resources.

You might notice on the study that only 3% of pro’s made their last paint purchase at a place like Wilson’s.  And only 15% for electrical and 4% for paint.  I guess I’m now wondering why we kept that stuff around as long as we did.  O well, hindsight is 20/20.

If you need any lumber, millwork or building materials, give us a call (256-852-7411) or visit our website.  And if you need electrical, plumbing or paint, we can refer you to someone excellent:)


Why Builders Buy Where Builders Buy

Last week I posted some of the results of a study about why remodeling contractors buy where they do.  Now, here are a couple of slides from The Farnsworth Group from the same study done on new home builders.  What are the most important factors to a new home builder when choosing a supplier?

builders selection

Looks like availability wins again.  This one is a little more interesting than last weeks.  In 2005, availability was tied at 3rd with customer service, behind quality products and price.  Now you can see that it has worked its way to the top, with price being in 2nd, customer service 3rd and quality in 4th.

Why?  I can tell you that availability isn’t really a problem right now so its not due to supply.  Is it because suppliers are getting worse at delivery?  Well, not this supplier anyway.  Is it because builders are so busy they just want the stuff regardless of quality?  I do know that a few are super busy but I don’t know of any builders who wouldn’t take more business.  Do builders simply care less about quality and service than they used to?  Maybe but I hope not.

Draw your own conclusions here, all I have is theories and I don’t particularly like any of them.

Now, where do new home builders choose to get their products?

builders where

Well, one thing is clear on this one.  What hasn’t changed is the need for “Lumber/Building Materials Dealers”.  I know this because I are one:)  The amount of purchases from Specialty Wholesalers has dropped a bit.  That’s guys that specialize in one area, like vinyl siding, sheetrock or the like.  I don’t know why.

I do know this.  While its comforting to know that the need for people like Wilson Lumber is constant, we dare not let ourselves get complacent.  Two reasons: One, there are plenty of other guys like us that want what we have.  And two, although the building process generally hasn’t changed in decades, there may be a better mousetrap around the corner.

And when it comes, Wilson Lumber will be on the forefront, as always.  If you need anything, give us a call (256-852-7411) or visit us on the web at


Availability more important than quality???

So I was at yet another conference last week.  I’m done with those for a while, there’s only so much ‘conferencing’ one can do in a year.  Anyway, Jim Robisch from The Farnsworth Group presented on a study they did.


What this says is that the most important thing to a remodeling contractor when selecting a supplier is availability.  This makes sense to me.  When remodeling, one thing is constant, you just never know what you’re going to get in to.  For example, when you open up a wall and find termites/rot/mold/whatever, you need the right products to fix it and you need them right now.

The interesting thing about this study is how quality products were the number one driver in 2005 but have dropped way behind availability now (still tied for 2nd place).  I should be quick to say that of all the remodeling contractors that come in the store here, I don’t know of any that would say quality is less important now than it used to be, but I suspect they might still agree with the study.

The study also included new home builders, perhaps I’ll share from that next week.  Until then, if you need anything from us (because we have great product availability) give us a call at 256-852-7411 or see us on the web.

%d bloggers like this: