Skills Refinement

Stop the leak! Preventing Inventory Losses

Consider the tremendous effort required to operate a business with the complexities of a building materials firm. At once, imagine the waste, as your hard earned profits are lost through the cracks caused both by bad habits and ineffective operational models. In this powerful one day workshop you are led through a discussion of the primary causes of product and profit losses to discover where your business may be at risk. Then you learn effective strategies for reducing or eliminating those potential losses. These simple, effective counter-measures become powerful catalysts for change that invigorate your staff, safeguard your profitability, and establish a company culture where everyone has a part in minimizing losses. Suitable for owners, operational executives and managers.

Cultivating Vendor Partnerships

We operate in a business age that requires us to shift our vendor models from traditional supplier structures to well defined partnerships. Learn how to establish the interactive relationships between manufacturers, distributors and dealers that will support and invigorate product selection, profit strategies and savvy educational and outreach initiatives. In this new paradigm, every stakeholder becomes involved in the others’ success.

This engaging and innovative class will introduce the basic principles of Vendor Partnerships, and show you how new organizational habits will yield greater effectiveness and profits from your purchasing and buying divisions. Central emphasis is placed on the use of a written vendor partnership agreement that acts as a tool for establishing clearly understood business parameters. This workshop is especially beneficial for owners, managers, and vendor representatives.

Customer Service Essentials for LBM Excellence

Selling to building materials customers calls upon the widest variety of skills of all the retail sectors. It challenges our ability to listen, and requires exceptional communication skills. It taps into an immeasurable range of product and project understanding. It demands that employees have the ability to interact effectively with people from a wide range of educational, vocational and social backgrounds, in a fast paced and often stressful environment. Our staff members are challenged to perform well with customers and fellow employees right from their first day of employment, and every day thereafter.

In this one-day class, participants evaluate their skill sets to identify their key areas of strength, and then pinpont the areas where additional coaching and resources are needed. Then, more than a dozen specific principles will be taught, spanning the range of skills a salesperson needs to begin their “Road to Excellence”. Additionally, proven relationship building techniques and practices will be presented that can be applied immediately. This workshop is suitable for salespeople with new careers, as well as for seasoned veterans.

Merchandising for Lumber and Building Materials Dealers

This engaging one day workshop is packed with proven merchandising skills and techniques. Whether the targeted customer is a consumer, professional contractor or both, participants will learn to design crisp, smart product presentations that minimize effort and maximize sales. The simple tools for action that are learned can immediately generate measurable improvements in sales, gross margin and positive customer impression of your stores. Topics presented include product adjacencies, bulk merchandising opportunities, display design, bold signage, and the components of high producing “end caps”. This essential class is suitable for LBM store managers and key staff.

Beat Last Year! – Targeted Growth Essentials

For any business striving to increase sales, there is one enduring game – to Beat Last Year!
This high-impact workshop presents an innovative sales management approach — a dynamic “game plan” where your players develop the skills to win, this year and every year. Participants will:

  • Focus on Attitudes, Skills, Strategies and then Actions
  • Review must-do operational and merchandising fundamentals
  • Learn the tried and true components of serving professional customers and consumers
  • Discover how to enlist customers as partners in your success

Your entire company can play the game. Prepare your field account managers for aggressive play with hard-hitting new management techniques. Place your executive leadership in the supportive coaching role. Determine the measurements that really matter. Establish meaningful, exciting sales analysis methods that chart your sales goals and strategies. Track results, recognize valuable plays, and reward the team’s success!
This class is guaranteed to equip your team to Beat Last Year even in the most challenging business climate. Suitable for managers and executive leaders.

Superior Supervision for New Leaders

In today’s leaner business climate, a company’s most valuable asset is its’ talented, motivated workforce. Strong, effective leadership at all levels is critical to a business’ success. Are your new leaders ready to lead? Equip them with the skills to:

  • set clear goals
  • direct and motivate their teams,
  • establish high performance standards, and coach for excellence
  • minimize unhealthy conflicts
  • handle the inevitable tough conversations
  • delegate effectively

This workshop is suitable for both the first time manager and for any leader requiring a refresher on the essentials of effective supervision.

The Special Order Opportunity – NEW CLASS !

Special orders offer bright opportunities for LBM professionals to expand sales, increase gross profit margins and demonstrate the scope of their knowledge to their customers. Yet special order opportunities are not being fully maximized by our industry. Too often, dealers sacrifice their potential profits by using inadequate measurements or improper profit calculations; omitting important aspects of cost of goods; maintaining poor special order handling standards; or a consistently undervaluing the time, energy and creative force required to procure a quality special order.

This one day workshop brings the totality of the special order opportunity into the spotlight. Participants learn:

  • to maintain a profit margin- producing mindset,
  • to use measurements and benchmarks for targeting the optimum gross margin in every special order,
  • to use detailed checklists for all costs associated with a special order
  • the materials- receiving “best practices” that eliminate mishandling losses

Particpants will leave this class with a fresh attitude and concrete skills for increasing the “special orders” confidence and performance of your team of buyers and sales staff.

The Special Order Opportunity Workshop is ideal for any dealer who recognizes that underachievement in gross profit margins is hurting their business. This class is best suited for senior management in sales, finance, or operations; and key sales staff with Pro, Consumer or mixed dealers.

Communication & Effective Delegation

Leaders in the LBM and home center industry communicate constantly. We speak to customers, vendors, colleagues and peers, superiors and subordinates in thousands of words every single day. Yet, the mastery of effective communication, especially when striving for highly effective delegation of authority to others, can be illusive to even the most seasoned LBM manager. This one day class deals head-on with the attitudes, skills and actions that will insure an immediate measurable improvement in a leader’s communication effectiveness with their staff. Simple and powerful insights with effective tools for putting those insights into play are presented including:

  • Explanation of each of the major personality types and how each gives and receives information
  • An effective model for insuring that communication of any type has been understood
  • How to establish understandable and measurable goals that lead to achievement
  • Clarity in designating appropriate levels of authority for any responsibility being delegated
  • The pitfalls of ineffective delegation and how to easily avoid them

This class is NOT the typical canned communications class. It is an informative, enjoyable and easily applicable class specifically designed for all levels of LBM leaders, and presented by a proven and dynamic LBM industry educator. Participants will see immediate improvements in their relationships at work, at home and in every aspect of their lives. This may well be the most important workshop of any leader’s career!

Fees listed are for the facilitation of the programs only. Customary travel and lodging costs are additional.