Last night I sat down with my two boys and watched a hunting show on youtube.  Nothing too groundbreaking there, we have done that before.  This time I cued up my friend and co-worker Trey Arentz.   Trey started here in operations and has transitioned into an inside specialist at Kiel.   He’s an authentic guy and lives with passion, I knew that the second I met him.  Trey casually mentioned this video to me, and I thought I should watch it.

Trey loves hunting and the outdoors; it truly is magical to see him talking about the outdoors.  When you watch the video you will see that.  It’s one of the reasons God made Trey.

Trey had been working 45-48 hours a week until the new start of our 40 hour work weeks.

That is between 250 and 400 hours a year difference.

Potentially 4000 hours in the next decade. I am guessing for Trey a lot of that will be outdoors.

That is why we are doing this, so Trey can do that more!

It’s not about making more money (or less which is a possibility but I don’t believe it), it’s about the Trey’s of the world. It’s about you.  Thank you Trey.

Thank you for being one of the amazing 550 people that work here!

Here is his short film.  Probably consumed best not at work.  (Obviously.)  I highly recommend it for anyone that loves life, family, or the outdoors in general.




How do we get there?  DISCIPLINE = FREEDOM.  The more disciplined in our tasks and our jobs at work, THE MORE EFFECTIVE, the quicker WE will get there.  It’s why Justin Spuda, our player personnel director, loves Jokko Willink, who wrote a whole book about it.   Project G, forces us to be disciplined but will create FREEDOM!   And on, and on.

Do not use “I can’t get anything done because we are forced to work 40.”

It’s a bullshit excuse and I personally won’t tolerate such nonsense. 

That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges, but there were plenty of challenges working 60 hours a week too…

For systems, this is a work in progress at Little Chute and of course all new to Amherst.  We will get there as we “level the load.”  In manufacturing a bit of overtime every once in a while may be needed to put 5lbs of stuff in a 1lb container, but we will work on it!


For me?

I’m not sure there is anyone at Drexel that enjoys working more than myself.   It’s all I have ever done.  And truth be told, it’s darn near the only thing I am particularly good at.   I have never broken 45 in golf.    I have never shot a trophy buck, never caught my limit of fish, my garden is a work in progress, I am not a craftsman, like many of you.  I only like vehicles because it takes me from a to z.  I could go on.  I guess we all have our weaknesses and strengths.  Mine just happens to be work.  It brings me great joy to see an idea come to life and employ people and ultimately beat the competition as it generates income too.  It’s fantastic helping a customer uniquely and know that my touch, even in a small way, made that project or their building business better because we were a part of it.  So working less for me is almost ironic, the thing I do the most I am trying to do less.  BUT I WILL TRY TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

This does not mean there won’t be long days, and work to do.  Last week I worked back to back 14 hour days if you count drive time.  I loved it.  But at one point later in the week, I took an extended lunch to drop off some stuff to the restore shop to put some items to good use that were in my garage.  BABY STEPS!




Random Thoughts #15


Win Today!  Don’t worry about what is out of your control, the future.  JUST WIN TODAY!


“Impact Winning”  is perhaps the greatest skill we can have!  How can you impact winning today?


A long and sometimes complicated article I hope you take time to read.  We at Drexel want a GROWTH CULTURE versus a  HIGH-PERFORMANCE Culture.  This explains in great detail what that means.



Why YOU should do our book club (E-mail Jenna.Lee@drexelteam.com for more details.):

It improves you and inspires others!  Here is a well written and inspiring review on one of the ten Books: RAVING FAN.  Clint Patton is one of Drexel’s most effective quarterbacks.

He Impacts WINNING as much as anyone on the team!  By the numbers year to date, he is Number 2 overall quarterback for NET PROFIT.  And he’s improving himself too. 

Here’s his report.

Below is my review of “Raving Fans”  by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

Generally speaking, this book is about an Area Manager that meets his Fairy Godmother “Charlie”….  Through a series of events, Charlie teaches the Area Manager the importance of creating Raving Fans using his 3 step sales process.  During each step of the process, Charlie takes the Area Manager to a different business that illustrates the point he is trying to make.  At the end of the book Charlie explains how each step ties together to create Raving Fans.  As we dig deeper into Charlie’s sales process, you will begin to see how it fits with what we do at Drexel.

Step 1 Decide What You Want… Charlie explained this in the book as, creating the perfect vision of your business or sales process centered around the customer experience. This vision will become the foundation of your business and help define the parameters for which you will operate. It also allows you to determine which customers fit your criteria.

Step 2 – Decide What the Customer Wants…  What is the customer’s vision of, “the perfect experience”?  If you don’t know what the customer wants, you will never know if you can align their vision with yours.  How do we figure out what the customer wants?  We ask questions, dig deeper, and LISTEN…, to find out what is important to them.  Keep in mind that the customer is not always going to be completely transparent, we must learn what the key indicators/responses are and what they mean.  Interestingly enough, not all businesses and customers’ visions are compatible… which is OK.  If their vision is drastically different from ours, we will never be able to consistently deliver on their expectations.

Step 3 – Deliver Plus One… This is the process of setting expectations and being consistent.  DON’T over-promise!!!  You have to meet the customer’s expectations before you can exceed them.  Once you have determined that your vision and the customer’s vision align, DELIVER on your promises consistently and get 1% better every day.

For us at Drexel, this process is at work every day and constantly evolving.  Our perfect vision changes just a little bit with every step forward and so do the customers.  It is our job to stay ahead of an ever-changing industry/society and deliver what we promise. We must never stop improving!… Understanding that and embracing it is the key!!

My Top 4 Quotes From the Book!!

“Success comes to those, and only those, who are obsessed with looking after customers.”

“Goods aren’t sold, product and services are bought.”

“If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself.”

“Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain.  Eagles soar above the crowd.”


Clint Patton

Drexel Building Supply|Berlin






You want videos or podcasts?

My two favorites this week:

This one has vulgar language, it’s a podcast (you listen to this):


This one is God-driven:




Blenker Merge.  All things are going well, with great communication, energy, and synergy.

It’s a controlled circus of everything.

Culture mixing.

Team decisions.

Future plans.

Inventory merge.

Financial planning.

Customer relations.

Team members joining the supply team in Berlin.

Vendor relations.

Fleet management.

And of course the team.  The team!

It’s awesome.  I just love their world and am happy to be a part of it.

Here’s me in my first “L10” meeting.  I listened and learned.  L10 stands for level 10.   We reviewed metrics.  They picked a superhero from their team.  I thought that was cool.

It’s gone to be a great ride.


In the picture, you can see Rich and Ross.  Yep, this System team is coming together!  For all those at systems, this is gonna be awesome as we use our knowledge for the good of the team.  You will all be impacted in a good way.  FEAR NOT FAITH.  Fear and Faith are both emotions alluding to the future.   It’s up to you which one we choose each day!  I choose FAITH.


“A person’s character is measured in how one handles one’s failures, not successes.”  – Bill Courtney, Against the Grain


“How did you act when all was not good?  Did you rise up to the challenge?  Did you display grit, resilience, and integrity in your response?

Character isn’t about being perfect or always doing the right thing.  Character is how you respond to your failures.  It’s when you screw up and life


that you have AN OPPORTUNITY

to reveal your inner strength.”– Bill Courtney, Against the Grain


FOUR BEHAVIORS that help leaders move forward during a crisis, according to 21,000 leadership assessments*:

(and how it relates to Drexel)

  1.  Make decisions with speed over precision.  If you read the blog from last week, you will see we have many fast approaching initiatives.  We will keep pushing harder to GO FASTER.  Some of these are “stuck in the mud.”  We will pull, prod, push with love to drive that out.
  2.  Adapt BOLDLY to get ahead of changing circumstances.  While the initiatives we are doing are just that, bold, we must have all 550 of you on board with that.  Many of you I sense are still doing the same thing in a different world.  That must change.  To be who we want to be coming out of that each of us must get better.  That’s on you and your team to educate you why the change is for the best and how to implement it in your life.
  3. Reliably Deliver.  To you and to your customers.  We must get these changes to the finish line.  That’s this week’s goal finding traction and moving to implementation.  Drexel2Go is a good example of that.  It is close, signs going up this week, but now it must DELIVER what it promises.  Becoming part of our company’s best practices.
  4. Take Care of Your Team.  Safety.  Health.  Speed.  Stress.  32 hours a week sucked bad.  Taking away a benefit like the 1% incentive stung even worse.  We are working on new pay plans coming out of this for those that have lived in an overtime 45 world.  I do NEED YOUR HELP.  You CAN NOT just do things the way you are doing.  Too many still are.  Are you work sharing, leveling the work load?  Are you connected and communicating?  Are you effective?  Or are you frustrated and busy?  Are you finding better ways to do things.  When will the new pay plans come out?  As soon as we get back to a normal world, AND, when WE all work together on leveling work loads and thinking, how could we do this in a 40 hour work week, without adding people?  You see if we just go to 40 hours and then add 20% more people… we are going to go BACKWARDS NOT FORWARD.  All while keeping in mind, a better experience for our contractors and clients, and better connection and teamwork.   This week I need your help.  Get your ideas to Captains.  Captains be open minded and work with me on coaching on them.  And then let’s BOLDLY DELIVER THOSE IDEAS WITH SPEED.

* Harvard Business Review


















35 years ago on April 1, 1985, my father and mother started Campbellsport Building Supply Center Inc.

I remember my dad including us kids in the conversation when he was working on the original logo.

Happy Anniversary Drexel.

I’ve made a lot of memories at work.  A lot of good ones.

You know the problems we had at work, kept us up many nights.   Oh, and we had problems.

My mom and dad, too I am sure.  35 years later, those problems sure seem minor.   The good memories are much stronger.

This too shall pass.  No worries.





The changing of our world.  And our work world too.


This is the time to get better.  We are not alone in these thoughts.

From a Bloomberg.com article Friday:

“And just as in the aftermath of the last crash, the seeds of that next boom may already be being planted. Zoom Video Communications Inc., the video conferencing service, revealed this week that it had gone from 10 million daily active users to 200 million thanks to the crisis. Grocery delivery has become an essential service. Amazon.com Inc. is facing plenty of criticism for its treatment of workers, but the company is the backbone of the American way of life.”

And a tweet from Mark Cuban owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and the guy on SharkTank that he posted on Twitter Friday:

If you want to dive further into the rabbit hole:  Here is the best article I’ve read on the subject: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2020/03/31/the-impact-of-the-coronavirus-on-hr-and-the-new-normal-of-work/#fffe0f92b602


WHAT HAVE YOU, WE, DREXEL, DONE ALREADY OR IS WORKING ON (And maybe you didn’t even notice).

  1. You are no longer requiring signatures at job sites.  This is a piece of great news for us and our contractors.  The time saved to track someone down for no reason is a boost to our efficiencies!  We take pictures that are stored and easy to view to verify.
  2. You have started DREXEL2GO.  (Call in loads.)   WE WILL TAKE THIS FURTHER (still being developed).  1. Call or text in your order, within a 2-hour window, and we will stage and load.  2. We will stage the load outside the gate, marked with signage, and you can pick up at your convenience, even on weekends or after work hours (it will be monitored by a security camera.  3. We will bill your credit card or charge to your account.
  3. You are doing virtual tours, virtual selections, pre-selections.  We are using video technology combined with design software to accomplish this.  This saves our selection of clients up to half a day in travel time and the selections.  Each team member is going thru that clunky start.  But this is the future.   Nothing will 100% replace face to face, but we can minimize that time by at least 50%.
  4. You are working remotely (or many of your team members.)  You are finding better flow (and allowing others as well.)  Working more effectively.   Driving less (substantially.)  Up to 50% more effective.  WE WILL TAKE THIS FURTHER.   With video conference rooms and better remote working environments (or you will).
  5. You are working 40 hour work weeks.  And this one is confusing for those with less MONEY for many accustomed to 5-10 overtime hours weekly.  For those working 40 or less, not any change.  For those confused, why this is a GOOD THING here’s the news: We are ACTIVELY putting those pay plans together to offset your losses.  It is a huge amount of data, scenarios & equations. Each person is being analyzed.  We are making sure it is right for them and their department!  I personally promise you, we will get there with new pay plans if you were hired to work overtime as your “standard pay.”  Your voice is heard among all of us.  When we climb out of this, we will launch.  We have very few salary people and over 95% receive a monthly commission.  As our sales go down due to the gap created with the COVID there pay will naturally be contracted.    Good news:  You will have a balance in your life.   We are working on a 37.5 workweek.  40 hours at work with a 30-minute break (staggered for location and department coverage).
  6. You are going to a task management system.  Monday.com will solve many of our issues we never knew how to fix.  One online form, not individualized for each QB that led to massive miscommunication, high anxiety, and longer lead times.  By tracking tasks, we will have freedom from the workload as we can work share faster, get more done, lower stress, and see and produce results.  Also, qbs won’t have to stand in the head coaches’ office asking where the hell the bid is at.  Causing a complete shit storm of communication and time to figure that out.  We have smart people working on this 90% of their time right now!
  7. PAULS.  We are working with Shane Soule and his firm to bring this to life.  Blenker is joining us officially on May 1.  We are going to double our offsite construction capacity in 18 months.  And do it in a more effective, automated way.  This is being worked on NOW.  This is needed in the State of Wisconsin.  We are pursuing this, full speed ahead.
  8. Quicker, better, estimates.  Switching to Mitek will enhance what we already do.  A few team members are already using it!
  9. 3-D Walk thrus and virtual designs.  A team is working on this currently.  We will be leading Wisconsin in this shortly.  It will be a charged service.
  10. Design Membership vs.  Off the Menu Design.  We will be going to a home design yearly membership which will include many of the conveniences our contractors and their clients have grown to love.  But it will be streamlined (still 100% customized) to make it faster, and simpler, much faster, much simpler.  Many clients are craving that.  Our “Off the Menu Design” will include job site visits, one of a kind remodels, a much longer slower process, that will be charged hourly, jobs bid on an hourly rate.  That is at the infancy stage but will be happening.
  11. Added a core value:  CONNECTION.  We do need each other.  As humans, we need that connection!
  12. Cutting Down Drive Times:  No more onsite case studies, eliminate traveling great distances for a one-hour meeting.
  13. No more on-site representation for vendors.  No reason.  Google Hangout with us.  Use your time better.  Be better.  We don’t have time to chew the fat.  Neither should they.
  14. Vendor direct.  We are working with some of our largest vendors to automatically input our order into THEIR system.  Eliminates another person entering it (and making mistakes) and waiting and adjusting those dreaded incorrect acknowledgments!  July 2020 at the earliest for this one.
  15. Auto invoicing.  Just like we have established a nearly auto payables system thanks to our finance team, we will be going to auto invoicing, saving time and stress.
  16. WorkSharing Deliveries.  To take the burden of peak delivery hours, willing and able team members are joining in our TOP PRIORITY OTIF.  THIS is what we did for our first 20 years, and will be what we do for our NEXT 20 YEARS.  It’s GOOD for all of us to make deliveries once in a while!