PROFILE: A Philosophy of Quality
Kimal Lumber creates its own opportunities.
BY: ALYSSA SAMSON
You see it all the time: A company promises top quality products and unmatched service, yet angry customers feel compelled to post negative online reviews.
Talking a good game is one thing; delivering is something else entirely. Al Bavry, CEO of Kimal Lumber, understands that reality all too well. After working for Wickes Corporation for more than 10 years, Bavry began to toss around the idea of opening up his own lumberyard with partner Kim Pavkovich after realizing that he and Wickes’ aspirational paths had begun to split.
“It came to the point where it seemed more about making numbers work,” Bavry says. “The company was becoming more out of sync with the way I felt customers and employees should be treated.”
So, in 1981, Bavry and Pavkovich put their heads together and opened the first Kimal Lumber in Nokomis, Fla. Thirty-three years later, the company also has a full-service lumberyard in Englewood, Fla., a truss plant, an event center and a window and door operation. To top it off, a pristine Sarasota drive-thru lumberyard just opened January 9 of this year, where customers can complete their orders with a side of coffee.
Just like any business, Kimal’s numbers have fluctuated throughout the years, simultaneously mirrored by a changing economy. Once focused solely on contractors, the company now has a customer base of 85% contractors and 15% retail/DIY. And after recovering from the shock of downsizing its employees during the economic slump, today Kimal employs 146 team members— including an outside salesforce.
Within the last year, revenue trends have increased 32%, and Kimal is finishing its fiscal year with annual revenues at $33 million. As for next year, Bavry is optimistic that things are heading in the right direction. “It would seem as we’re going into our next fiscal year that we’re already showing a trend upward,” he says.