Installed Sales Summit Strikes a Chord
First annual executive summit draws more than 60 LBM dealers interested in doing installed sales right.
By Staff Report
With roots planted by homeowner demand, and nurtured in recent years by builders who desire more than just products from their suppliers, Installed Sales continues to gain steam. Many questions remain, among dealers currently providing Installed Sales as well as those thinking of creating a program. To answer these questions, LBM Journal and Lee Resources International teamed up with LBM Solutions to launch the first annual Installed Sales Summit.
Held March 15-17 in Cincinnati, the executive-level summit marked the first time that an entire conference dealt exclusively with the subject of Installed Sales. Moderated by Mike Butts, president of LBM Solutions and one of very few recognized experts on the topic, the summit drew more than 60 lumber/ building material dealers from throughout the U.S.
During his opening presentation, "Doing Installed Sales Right,” Butts explained the forces driving the popularity of Installed Sales among builders (lack of qualified labor, high insurance costs, the desire to reduce cycle time). While virtually any product can be sold on an installed basis, Butts named the five primary product categories that builders want:
- exterior doors
- locksets and hardware.
The bottom line, according to Butts: "Builders want to work with suppliers who can help them increase production, decrease costs and reduce callbacks and service issues. In other words, they want to increase their profits. Installed Sales is a tool to help dealers do just that.”
Meeting builders’ needs is one thing: doing it profitably is a different goal altogether. That’s why the majority of the two-day summit was spent helping attendees understand the issues that determine success or failure of an Installed Sales program. Topics included:
- Critical profit variables
- Labor issues: employee vs. sub-contractor
- Accounting and job costing to accurately measure profitability
- Proper drainage and flashing to prevent mold/mildew problems
- New insurance/liability issues that can make or break a program
With the explosion in construction defect lawsuits, serious liability issues face everyone involved in residential construction. To address the widely publicized problems with mold in new construction, Susan Ratermann of the Ratermann Group presented a program on mold remediation.
As with any first-time event, success is never guaranteed. "The enthusiastic response of attendees and sponsors made clear that there is a definite need for the information presented at this conference,” states Bob Erwin, president of Lee Resources International. "The Installed Sales Summit will most certainly become an annual event—and may be expanded to meet the demand from dealers and material suppliers.”
While the dates and location have yet to be set for the next Installed Sales Summit, dealers interested in attending the event can e-mail Lynn Schwarz (LSchwarz@ LeeResources.com) for more information.
Manufacturers and other vendors interested in sponsorship opportunities are encouraged to contact Rick Schumacher (Rick@LBMJournal.com).
|Roll the dice.||9.26%|
|Test the waters.||37.04%|
|Yes, this time.||33.34%|