Tony’s Terra Firma

By Tony Shepley,

Here is a story, that like most stories of regret, comes from someone not looking past the end of their nose, not bothering to think beyond the moment or of others instead of themselves. When all is said and done, the short cut becomes the long way..Read More

Tony’s Terra Firma: By, Tony Shepley

What do “Aging in Place”, “Workforce Housing”, and “It’s Too Expensive To Live Here” all have in common? They all have a common solution….accessory housing, the right of a property owner to have an additional legal dwelling unit on an existing property. Whether it’s..Read More

By Tony Shepley

As we near the end of the year, it’s a good time to take stock of the lessons we have learned to date. As a materials dealer, we get an insight into many of our customer’s businesses, and some of the lessons they learn, often times the..Read More

I thought that as an un-enrolled independent voter, I might be spared the onslaught of campaign phone calls telling me who or what to vote for. I was wrong. As we approach election night, the pace has really quickened. Naively, I thought that by giving up a party affiliation..Read More

By, Tony Shepley

History has an incredible way of repeating itself. As much as every generation thinks it is sailing new directions into undiscovered and uncharted waters, most everything we do has been done before, and probably more than once. Banker and Tradesman’s September 17th headline read “Builder Confidence Hits..Read More

Our Hyannis yard has a whole new look. Using a roller rack storage system, from auto-stak Systems, Inc., that we first implemented in our Wellfleet yard some years ago, we have now changed the way we store and sell trim boards, sheet goods, decking, PVC items, fir timbers, and..Read More

By Tony Shepley

Some times, after a lot of initial panic, things work out the way they’re supposed to. As the July deadline for Shepformation approached, the MA House and Senate had set a 6 person committee to look at budget differences between the House Budget that had already passed..Read More

Two legislative initiatives, in current process, that really show the power of unintended consequences are: the move in the Massachusetts State Senate to mandate sprinkler systems in all 1-2 family dwellings; and the federal FEMA re-mapping of coastal flood plane areas. In both cases, the proponents are convinced they..Read More

Do you ever feel like we may be “dumbing down”?  Common sense must work in cycles and in the cases below, it looks like we’re not at the top of the common sense curve.

Exhibit A- A tag found on a hair dryer at Sears: “Do not use..Read More

How many times do we, or our homeowner clients, look at one aspect of a situation without considering the whole picture? A perfect example is one I ran across the other day in which a builder asked me to review a disclaimer he had written. The homeowner requested that..Read More

When something goes wrong…it’s not the end, it’s actually the beginning. Hey, I fear failure just as much as the next person, maybe I’ve just had more experience! Imagine in our humble beginnings as a lumber company how we chose to present ourselves against an array of competitors who..Read More

By, Tony Shepley

In Moscow during World War 2, there lived a university statistics professor. During air raids, he was known by his friends never to bother with air raid shelters. By his calculations, the odds were minute that he would ever be killed by a German bomb. One..Read More

It’s ironic that as we super insulate houses we have created unintended moisture consequences that in many ways may cancel out any energy savings benefit we have actually gained. Over the past 20 years moisture caused issues in new construction have skyrocketed. These issues include: condensation; mildew and..Read More

I found a wonderful piece below by Seth Godin* that summarizes the elements of organizations large or small and gives us something to ponder at year end about our own organizations, whether 3 people or 300. The principles are the same regardless of size. Try this on and see..Read More

By, Tony Shepley

Let’s never forget that customers are our only reason for being able to succeed and stay in business. My dentist has a sign on his wall that says, “Ignore your teeth, they’ll go away”.  Doesn’t that work for customers too?

Our customers are always our customer, not just..Read More

By, Tony Shepley

Will Rogers, famous cowboy and humorist of the 1920’s and 30’s once said, “You can lead a man to Congress but you can’t make him think”.  On the heels of our soon to be bankrupt Social Security system; our over whelming national debt; our current tug of..Read More

The proverb “Well begun is half done” was actually referred to as a proverb by Aristotle, who died 322 B.C., so it was a well-known saying even before his time.  As we all know, the effects of an error or omission multiply through the job, so a job well..Read More

The easiest thing we do by the end of August is begin to resent some of our summer visitors. Looking at them from our native perspective, it’s clear that: they aren’t too sure where they’re going, not too urgent to get there, and may in fact be coming home..Read More

Until the middle of the 19th Century, most Americans didn’t have much use for paint. Wood was plentiful, and paint was difficult to make and not very effective as a weather coat. You couldn’t run down to the local hardware store to buy a can of paint because pre-mixed..Read More

By Tony Shepley
In our role as a supplier, we get a view into several thousand of our customer’s businesses. We have the privilege of seeing what works and the lessons of what doesn’t. Congratulations, you have made it through the worst Recession of our lifetimes. Please be careful, because..Read More

The easiest thing in the world is to settle for the easy way out, while the hardest thing is to realize that easy isn’t always easy. As a matter of fact, how often is “easy” actually the long way around? A recent conversation I had made me think about..Read More

Mike Cole 1947-2013

Even though we’re all faced with the two inescapable inevitable’s of life, death and taxes, there are certain people who leave an incredible effect behind them. On April 9th, Mike Cole of Cape Associates in Eastham, Yarmouthport and Chatham left this earth and became one of those..Read More

As a wise coach once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, if you’re not moving fast enough…you get hit from behind”. Our world has certainly sped up in our lifetimes, and the rate of change feels exponential. With change there are always consequences and part of consequences..Read More

Here’s a great parable (author unknown) that a friend shared with me.  As we journey through life, it’s important to remember that we will be thrown a curved ball or two, but it’s okay to pray for and enjoy ice cream every once in a while!

Last week, I took..Read More

Just when we finally see signs of relief after the longest and deepest recession of our careers, just when we should be breathing a little easier because of the positive indicators, what do we do? We start on a whole new worry path!

An improving market has people speculating that..Read More

We’ve outdone ourselves in 2012 conjuring up dire threats that have created a climate of fear. In some perverse way, we must enjoy this, because we continue sounding alarms with increased panic.

Fortunately, you just survived the end of the world!  The Mayan Calendar scare was supposed to happen on..Read More

What produces electrical power without making a sound, with no moving parts, and with no impact on our environment except positive benefit? Solar panels!

With all the hot air being blown around about the pros and cons of wind turbines, photo voltaic solar arrays are quietly generating power. Solar panels..Read More

November 2012 – Heroes’

1st November 2012


Boy, did I unleash a firestorm of response to the article I recently wrote about customers wanting “More, more, more”. People have gone out of their way to tell me stories of how customers have put them through the wringer to quote a job six ways to Sunday, only..Read More

When Is A Shortcut The Long Way Around?

I recently listened to a talk on diversity which offered insight on how stereotypes, pre-conceived beliefs and our impressions drive our behavior. It got me thinking about how we react to the world around us.


A lot of our behavior is likely based..Read More


I listened to someone recently complaining about his customers. He told me that everyone is hard to satisfy and that all his customers seem to constantly want more. More attention, more response, more discounts, more hand holding and more innovation.

I found this interesting. I told him I..Read More


I recently received an e-mail from a cousin of mine. He asked me to imagine what it would be like to buy lumber the way we buy airline tickets. He said the typical transaction might sound like this:

Customer: How much for a 2×10-14’ KD SPF?

Clerk:      ..Read More


If you ask a table full of businesspeople “How’s business been so far this year?” chances are 9 out of 10 will tell you that business is better this year than last.  We are emerging from the deepest recession of our lifetime, and it has..Read More

June 2012

19th September 2012


Money will never make you happy, but no money is guaranteed to make you unhappy. The quickest way to lose money in business is to leave business details open ended and not pin them down in a legal document. Spelling out expectations clearly..Read More

July 2012

19th September 2012


I’ve always tried to follow a five word business philosophy, “Use common sense, no surprises”. Sounds simple doesn’t it? You know from running your own business that things look more complicated the deeper you get. The most important thing we must all remember is that it’s up..Read More

August 2012

19th September 2012


It certainly seems like we can’t resist a diet of stress, intrigue and suspense. Much like that Bavarian Crème donut just won’t stop beckoning when the only thing you came in for was a cup of coffee; we somehow get attracted to a lot of things that really aren’t..Read More

January 2012

19th September 2012


I realized, while sitting down to write this, that at least phonetically there isn’t a lot of difference between doom, gloom and boom. I think a lot of the difference is state of mind.

We have been wringing the last drop out of terrorism,..Read More

August 2012 – Change

1st August 2012

It certainly seems like we can’t resist a diet of stress, intrigue and suspense. Much like that Bavarian Crème donut just won’t stop beckoning when the only thing you came in for was a cup of coffee; we somehow get attracted to a lot of things that really aren’t..Read More

I’ve always tried to follow a five word business philosophy, “Use common sense, no surprises”. Sounds simple doesn’t it? You know from running your own business that things look more complicated the deeper you get. The most important thing we must all remember is that it’s up to us..Read More


A builder’s job is not an easy one, with so many variables to control and decisions to be made.  Any job with this many component parts requires a good critical path plan to ensure successful results.  A..Read More


The piece below is a classic for our times. Never do we question the meaning of everything more than in times of challenge and these are certainly times that challenge everyone. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of the very basic elements that are..Read More

Central Location:
216 Thornton Drive, Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: 508-862-6200
Toll-free: 800-227-7969
Facsimile: 508-862-6012

Shepley Showcase
75 Ben Franklin Way, Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: 508-771-7227
Toll-free: 877-909-7227
Facsimile: 508-771-7044

Nantucket Office
20 Greglen Ave., Nantucket, MA 02554
Phone: 508-325-0400
Facsimile: 508-325-0359

Wellfleet Office
2238 Route 6, Wellfleet, MA 02667
Phone: 508-349-2280
Facsimile: 508-349-3078

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