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Do it Best Market Highlights: Ecommerce Growth, New Software, Rebates, Lumber Forecasts, a Merger and an Ex-President

Updated: Mar 25

Do it Best (DIB) packed a bunch of headlines--plus a presidential headliner--into its Spring Market in Houston on March 23-25. Here are highlights.

  • Launched less than a year ago, Do it Best's ecommerce platform now has 1,900 member stores, and the co-op expects to have 1,200 DIB-managed ecommerce microsites operating by July 31. Dealers that have moved to a microsite from their old, in-house ecommerce site have seen a sales lift of 40% to 60%, Nick Talarico, EVP of Sales and Marketing, told reporters. In addition, 470 members are feeding their inventory information into their DIB-managed website, thus enhancing their BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) services.

  • Expect more price increases for many building materials and lumber production that's being kept intentionally low, market experts said at DIB's luncheon for LBM dealers. Rockwool, fiberglass, and drywall all are experiencing raw material shortages, and roofing is one big storm away from spot shortages. Meanwhile, some Western species have seen a 10% "official" production cut and another 10% "unofficial" production curtailment due to items like maintenance-related closures. "Mills have kept supply in line with demand. I don't see relief on that," said Jon Timmerman, DIB's expert on OSB and plywood. "Members need to cover themselves for 60 days." On the good side, price volatility has receded, the experts said.

  • DIB unveiled Tracula, a software supplement to Epicor's Eagle software. "[Tracula] tells you what to count each week based on a data algorithm and settings that you control," said Allison Flatjord, VP of Marketing and Ecommerce. "This helps your teams know where to focus inventory management efforts, and ensures that you are counting the right products ... It's about making every count matter." Tracula was developed by Nation's Best Holdings, in which DIB is a strategic partner.

  • DIB also rolled out an Inventory Productivity Analysis tool. This product combines sales, inventory, and planogram information to create a map showing which areas of the store are seeing robust sales and which need attention. It also identifies slow-moving inventory.

  • DIB claims its 92% on-time delivery score is the best in the industry. The in-full score has rebounded from COVID-era shortages to 97%. Ongoing route optimization eliminated 1 million miles from total routes last year, saving about $3 million in delivery costs.

  • While the $3 billion in total sales through the first three quarters of DIB's fiscal year trails recent years, the co-op is aiming to deliver to members its third-biggest rebate ever. Based on the rebates given since 2017, this year's payout should be between $129 million and $152 million.

  • The merger with United Hardware will grow DIB membership by 700 locations. That's a 20% increase from the current membership of about 3,500. The merger plan--which remains subject to a vote by both co-ops, also is slated to bring a warehouse in Milbank, SD, to the DIB distribution network.

  • "I believe we're uniquely positioned to offer something of value that you can't do on your own," EVP of Operations Dent Johnson said at the Market Opener. "As a co-op, we receive data from the entire universe. ... Our own wholesaler data as well as date from our strategic vendor partners. The value comes in our ability to decipher, analyze, and turn your data into actionable plans that will improve your business."

  • After a full day of shopping, DIB members got to hear a special speaker: Former President George W. Bush. He took part in a discussion on leadership with DIB President and CEO Dan Starr.

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