After attending the National LBM Journal 2016 strategies conference in Charlotte with Doug and Caitlin- where Caitlin and I both spoke… I’ve got a lot to share with you.  You always get a new perspective on things when you talk to other dealers and the perspectives you get traveling.


We are known nationally for what we are doing.  I had people come up to me from Florida, Iowa, California, Texas, Louisiana and more and all said basically the same thing.  We watch you guys, you are an inspiration to us, and keep doing what you are doing!

However, I also felt we are getting fat and lazy.  Things are working pretty good.  We are busy, we are making money, we laugh more than we used to.  What a dangerous position to be in.  We must continue to get 1% better.  In every way.  One thing I’ve noticed from my perspective is our standing operating procedures (as they say in the military) can be compromised quickly when we make EXCUSES  because we are busy.  One example, we have builders that one a full house delivered, the next day… that’s nuts right?  Yet, we love to make miracles happen so we allow it.  Why?  Will the builder leave if we explain we just can’t do that, that is takes up to 6 hours to pull a house start.  I don’t think so.  Or are we simply not being organized on their behalf as we promised?  Hmm… I wonder.   I do know it’s certainly not a healthy situation.  Or in one store we had 28, 28 DWI’s in one week.  What’s a DWI?  Deliver when in.  It’s lazy at worse, careless at best.  Just because an item is in doesn’t necessarily mean GET IT TO THE JOBSITE SOON AS WE CAN.  Yet, 28 is the reality.  We can certainly improve in many ways.  That’s my job to make sure we are.



Here’s a neat thing.  On the movie “Finding Nemo” there is popular scene which I quote often, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”  What does that mean?  That in the act of believing, and in the act of doing you will figure it out.  Going FORWARD is the MOST IMPORTANT thing.   The rest happens along the way.  Dory does end up finding her way.

In another scene fish stuck in an aquarium are encouraged to find a happy place.  See they are stuck and afraid and never leave the confines of the glass.  They are stuck.  So they get frightened and retreat.

Are we Dory or the star fish?

What is the best version of who you want to be?



One thing I learned at the conference…


Baby boomers buy from a person.  Or a product.

Baby boomers say I buy from Jason.  Younger folks say I buy from Drexel, they buy from a team.

How true that is… I can think of many examples of this at Drexel.

Also and to me more interesting baby boomers buy brands of products. I always buy Levis, Dodge.  I always have Miller Lite.  Younger generations buy from places and trust they have good products.

Amazon prime is a great example for me.  I buy online at Amazon prime.  If it is rated good there I trust it.  Same for zappos shoes.  I buy my shoes online, if it’s good enough for zappos, it’s good enough for me.  Costco is the same.  If it’s good enough for Costco, I’m not judging, actually I’d prefer it.  Really even the same for beers.  Younger generations go to local bars and ask what do you have on tap, what’s the local flavor around here.  They trust that restaurant not the product.

And that is HUGE for what we do at Drexel.  Less is more.  More trusted products, our builders trust our expertise to pick great products for their homes.  Not vice versa like it used to be.  Good stuff right there…

Interesting one supply company there,,, when they guaranteed a list THEY SIMPLY WILL NOT EVER, give them the list.  You want one guaranteed amount, we will meet your specs after review, but no list.  That way they can’t compare or cherry pick.  I like it.  Up to your world if that makes sense, just info here.


“Chooses to Cheat”

My favorite speaker Glen from U.S. Lumber says he challenges his people to cheat.  Time is your #1 thing in life.  So you are either cheating your family or cheating your work.  Cheat work more.  I agree.  He asks people daily, “Are you cheating enough?”   Makes sense.  We will continue to work on balance going forward here at Drexel.

Two truths about late fees:  1.  People pay them.  2.  People know about them.  Credit isn’t free and unlimited.  Be sure you take that seriously with our clients.


CLIENTS.  Never customers, let’s start calling everyone CLIENTS.

I’d rather be a client than a customer.  Little stuff like that is important!


False sense of stability in the marketplace.  Watch your slow paying customers and fire them before they take our money!


Bigger isn’t Better.  Better is Better.

That’s a well said statement.


Charlotte is a cool town.   I don’t know how to help homeless people.  Like many things in life, it’s just easier to ignore, but certainly not the right thing.  We are all very blessed.  I like where I am at.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Our mission is to be a supplier of others happiness.  I hope this little post did just that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s