The owners of Forge Lumber were on the sidelines during the height of the building boom, having sold their Cincinnati operation to Builders FirstSource in 2000. But after their non-compete agreements expired, the management group jumped back in.
And they wasted little time establishing their two-location operation—one yard on each side of the Ohio River in Kentucky and Ohio—as a force in their market.
In 2009, Forge Lumber rode market share gains to a 27% sales increase and a No. 282 ranking on the Pro Dealer Industry Scoreboard. For its success and commitment to service and growth, the company earned the 2010 Independent Pro Dealer of the Year award. That sales success, in a year when the vast majority of companies on the Scoreboard showed declines, was the result of a focus on the customer and a focus on quality.
“We want to have the most professional lumber operation in the country,” said Eric Steinman, executive VP. It’s an ambitious goal, and one that begins with putting the right people in the right positions.
“When we bought two smaller lumber organizations to form Forge Lumber, those purchases were focused on people,” he said. “Many of them we knew and respected and felt like they would help form a great team.”
Forge’s strong 2009 was aided by the withdrawal of some major players, opening the door for local knowledge to win business. One key to the team is David Luecke (pronounced “lucky”), VP sales and marketing. Luecke brings 35 years of experience in the LBM business, including a role as president and CEO of Riemeier Lumber, which was once the dominant commercial project supplier in Cincinnati.
“We have a significant edge in our markets because of who we have on our team and our depth of experience in the industry,” Luecke said.
Forge Lumber Co.
2010 Independent Pro Dealer of the YearSlogan: “We nail it. Every time.”Headquarters: CincinnatiLocations: 2HCN Pro Dealer Scoreboard Ranking: No. 2822009 sales growth: 27.8%President: John SteinmanColor commentary: “We believe our customers will be looking for us to help them more, and in many ways.”—Eric Steinman
Another key member of the management team is John Steinman IV, son of Forge Lumber president John Steinman. Steinman the y