With the focus on sharing best practices, NLBMDA members were asked to break into brainstorming groups following “The Dealer as the Solution: Desperately Seeking Differentiation.” Session leader Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development urged lumberyard owners to find ways to present themselves as problem solvers to their customers. Below are some of the suggestions offered by participants. The entire list can be viewed by visiting the NLBMDA’s Web site at
1. Place one of your employees into the office of your customer to coordinate the activity from your company to theirs.
2. Package trim in room-sized bundles to eliminate waste. Offer 48-hour pick-up guarantee.
3. Offer builders the opportunity to have unique, proprietary molding patterns to set themselves apart.
4. Create a large training room, with good A/V and theater seating, for employees, vendors, builders and architects to use for continuing education and product knowledge seminars.
5. Don’t hand off calls involving manufacturing.
6. Give builders access to your ordering system so they can electronically input orders for commodity items.
7. Provide a free trial on new premium products.
8. Install a drive-through with computer access to your database for printing invoices or account payments.