By Mark Barnard
Adapt or be left behind: That’s the new motto that the LBM industry has embraced in the year since Covid first arrived. These past 12 months have seen us embrace new methods of buying, selling, delivering, and hiring, as well as working with unfamiliar technology and sales techniques.
Now what’s new is normal, so what’s next? I believe it’s continual adaptation, and from my perch I’m seeing LBM operations across the country put that belief into practice.
Many companies are actively seeking out new thought leadership to reimagine how they do business amidst all the uncertainty. The LBM industry's traditional hesitancy to change has given way to responding quickly and effectively with outside-the-box thinking. We see companies hiring former Amazon employees to gain their understanding of efficient presentation, sales, and logistics.
We also see Covid having opened up new areas of demand that went largely untapped in the past. As companies look for new thought leaders, they are looking in particular for leadership that can bring fresh ideas about entering these new markets.
Meanwhile, we’re seeing companies increasingly leveraging technology to make sales that aren’t dependent on face-to-face contact. Mark Mitchell, one of the leading sales growth consultants in the building materials industry, emphasizes the importance of virtual sales on his website. For all that we’ve accomplished this past year, I agree with Mitchell that suppliers need to improve their websites, use a wide variety of virtual sales techniques, publish videos, and open as many lines of communication as possible between them and their customers—chat boxes on websites, for instance.
That embrace of technology applies to recruiting, too. Many companies in the LBM industry are having trouble locating and hiring qualified talent to deal with the new challenges and opportunities brought on by the past year's uncertainty. Most companies are now finding that the traditional method of posting job ads is ineffective, turning instead to outside sources, such as recruiting firms, to find their next great hire.
For all the knocks we’ve taken, and for all the challenges we’re facing now with Covid, sky-high commodity prices, and nerve-wracking product shortages, I believe many companies are better prepared for the future now than they were at the same time last year. These are the makings of a great story that your company should be sharing to attract new hires.
About the author: Mark Barnard is the CEO of SnapDragon Associates, LLC the Top Results Orientated Recruiting firm in the LBM Industry. Talk to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-323-0940