Challenging Lumber Dealers Business Models

Below is an excerpt from my article in the Lumber Co-operator September/October Issue.

On June 11th Umair Haque posted on his blog: How to Challenge Your Industry Dogma. I looked at his challenge and said to myself: Who will be the next Apple in the building supply industry?

Haque said: “What does it mean to be a revolutionary? To challenge an existing dogma, instead of complying with it: to reject its tenets, highlight its flaws and improve each of its shortcomings.

What makes Apple so revolutionary? Why is it able to disrupt industry after industry, and topple the mightiest of incumbents? Steve Jobs is, from an organizational perspective, more Che Guevara than Jack Welch: he’s always challenging dogma, instead of complying with it. Apple’s rivals, like most companies, do exactly the opposite: “this is how things are done,” they think — and then try to do it harder.”

Challenge business models. Haque said: “Apple’s replicated iTunes‘ success with the App Store, of course. The App Store challenges business model dogma by turning media from product to service, letting new profit possibilities open up. Publishers can earn revenues from app sales — and perhaps further revenues from in-app sales. Apple is spearheading its own mobile ad service, shifting into a new industry, offering new products to a new market — ads that let publishers get more creative bang for the buck, and alter their business model dogma that digital ads are low-value commodities. TIME asking five bucks an issue isn’t what I mean by challenging business model dogma — two kids at Stanford topping the charts with an awesome newsreader, one that people actually pay for, is.”

Who will challenge the business model? Where are you on this curve?

Where are we on this Curve?

Is the building supply industry in the maturation section of this curve? Do we need new growth? Will growth be in these service areas: Installed sales, in-house service of products, bookkeeping, financing, iphone application or others.

Perhaps the new business model will be a new store concept. Can the building supply industry have an Apple type of store? A young customer walked into our store the other day, he reminisced about how his dad used to bring him to the lumberyard when he was a kid. Is your store atmosphere as comfortable as a Starbucks or Apple Store? Could you have an area where you serve coffee and cold drinks? Make this area comfortable for socializing. Or have a business center for your customers so they could work away from home.


2 thoughts on “Challenging Lumber Dealers Business Models

  1. There is no question the ‘ OLD ‘ business model needs to be transformed. And transformed again.

    Meaning things , development , change happens so quick that the business model needs to be chameleon like!!!

    Especially in the northeast . we all need to spring in the fountain of youth and not be stuck with same strategies and thinking that use to work in this business environment but no longer does.

    Quality , service, courteous employees will keep you in the game ! absolutely especially in your market but can you rely on just cash and carry or commercial or residential ….. no can you compete with lowes and home depot ……. Yes you can there is nolonger anyone in those stores that will help you anymore / and when they do they are usually wrong. Which cost the homeowner more on the long run . lets do it right the first time.

    If I was in retail I would go after that consumer right now in this businees environment and give them same deal 30 60 90 days to pay @ no interest . !!!

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