Rick Schumacher

Real Issues. Real Answers. Advertising: what works best?

October 16, 2018

Some things never change. Like the need to attract customers, grow our sales and build our brands. That straight-forward business challenge has grown much more complex in a world marked … Read More

Editor’s Note: Hearing voices

October 10, 2018

Just back in the office after the LBM Strategies Conference 2018, there is so much that I want to share—but I’ve managed to pare it down to just two thoughts … Read More

Editor’s Note: Never stop learning

September 7, 2018

A lot has changed since I joined this industry back in 1990. Back then, it was estimated that there were more than 6,000 separate LBM companies, many of which had … Read More

Real Issues. Real Answers. Fair profit vs. price gouging

September 5, 2018

As in any business that sells a product or service at a profit, even one known for delivering razor-thin margins, the question of what constitutes a fair price is always … Read More

Editor’s Note: Fresh perspectives and hat tricks

August 10, 2018

A few weeks ago, my son’s first season of traveling soccer was nearing its end, and he had yet to score a goal. That’s okay unless, like my son, you’re … Read More

Real Issues. Real Answers. Lumber Quality

August 8, 2018

Many readers cite quality products as a defining difference that separates their company from the competition. So what to do when the lumber you’re purchasing doesn’t stack up to the … Read More

Editor’s Note: Leadership

July 9, 2018

By virtually any metric, it’s a very good time to be in the LBM industry. Builder confidence hit a very strong 70 in May (any number over 50 is positive), … Read More

Real Issues. Real Answers. Rising lumber prices and the credit crunch

June 29, 2018

The housing market is strong, which is great. And lumber prices are rising sharply, which is good for the bottom line, because 10% markup on $1,000 is better than 10% … Read More

Editor’s Note: To our stakeholders—Thank you

June 8, 2018

The first issue of LBM Journal was published in July 2003. So this issue marks the final issue of our 15th complete year. As an independently-owned company, with no shareholders … Read More

Real Issues. Real Answers. Training Programs

June 7, 2018

Conversations about employee training raise all kinds of questions: “What if we train them and they leave?” “What if we don’t and they stay?” Richard Branson had the ultimate answer … Read More