July 2016 – Lumber Update

By Paul Rogers,

Sales in June failed to set any records, although business was strong enough to keep pricing firm. With the pace of recent business, mills overestimated demand and so were suffering a little with swollen inventories. Traders worked double-time on their behalf, as mills freely offered tallies with discounted pricing in an attempt to get ahead of any further declines and to better equalize the market. Citing the bottoming of the market was at hand and that impending summer shut-downs would tighten supply and raise prices, buyers were advised to take advantage of these deals, and many did. However, sales expectations generally fell short for dealers as well, so offers were frequently declined as dealers chose to work their inventory down and bank on what they had due in. Pricing responded in a push and pull manner, in that there wasn’t a concerted rise or decline across the board but, rather, fluctuations across specific dimensions. By the end of the month, pricing had come off a little but settled once again. With impending mill shut downs and a general opinion that dealers may still be under bought (based on the premise that construction is delayed due to labor shortages), pricing is expected to be firm and/or climb slightly for the month of July as replenishing at the retail level is expected to occur.

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations.”

–Charles Kettering

You will often hear in the world of sales (particularly, by the agents who are interested in delivering exceptional service), of the desire to “exceed customers’ expectations”. It’s a very admirable goal, and one that not only requires a 100% commitment to providing exceptional service at every level, but also a perfect understanding of what those expectations are. After all, how can you exceed them if you don’t know exactly what they are? It starts by asking, although even sometimes that is not enough: clearly understanding what your expectations are involves so much more than just general product and account knowledge; it requires the understanding of what your needs and desires are of the entire sales experience and, oftentimes, that will be unknown until after the process is completed. We know the complexity and pace of this business doesn’t usually afford us the time to have a dialogue to fully discuss each sales process and how it went. However, in the spirit of our desire to be the best building material supplier on Cape Cod (by earning it through providing exceptional service and products), we encourage your feedback, no matter how trivial it may seem. We promise that we will listen and we will react to all that you have to say; exceeding your expectations is symbiotic: you get a better result and we become a better company!

Now that we are half way through 2016, we can reflect and be grateful that we’ve had a good year so far, thanks to you and the business opportunities that you have provided to us. If there is anything that comes to mind that we may be able to do to improve our performance and exceed your expectations (from quote or special order correspondence, load building, product packaging or enhancements, etc), please share them with your sales team as we’ll be happy to do what we can to satisfy you. Thank you for your business!


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