I have now come across two potential clients that purchase stocked Home Depot cabinets as an actual business practice.  They think they’re saving time and money; probably without considering the factors below:


1.)  Packaging


You can imagine that MOST of these things were nicked up BEFORE they even hit the job site.  They won’t get prettier the longer they sit there waiting to get installed.


2.)  Low quality Laminate


Actually shows the details of this full overlay door quite well; almost as well as the dents and scratches…  (sweet finger paint touch up though)



3.)  No corner gussets or hanging rails + Terrible assembly =






Just Glue, staples, and hope to hold your cabinet together.



In whatever shape it takes:nate7










If nothing else, you can now add some value to your Home Depot contractor: TELL THEM TO BE CAREFUL WHEN THROWING THIS CRAP IN THE TRASH



As shown below, shortsighted thinking is the real obstacle to overcome.  There are at least 31 people out there that need our help.



Nate Westendorf, Cabinetry Sales & Design Specialist| Drexel Building Supply













The shadows of the past often loom large.  You don’t just represent the present…  you are a culmination of the past, and hope for the future.  Your time is now, only because of the toils of past generations.

Life changes.

How often we don’t realize where we are is because of who brought us here.

But sometimes we can, and that perspective can be magical.

Nick Leist you see is the 8th generation of dispatchers at our mother ship in Campbellsport.

Nick and his family.

Nick and his family.

It is solely the most important position within our organization.  He is in control of the one thing we can control.   The one thing that adds true value to what we do.  Deliveries made in full and on time at our largest and founding location.

This is not to minimize any other position.  Billing, estimating, ordering, receiving, purchasing, design, service, installing, selling, and so much more is very critical as well.  And of course no location is more important than the other.

But the core of Drexel is our delivering and scheduling services…and it all started on Main Street in Campbellsport.

Everything we do that is right can be made horribly wrong by a delivery or install team arriving at the wrong time with the wrong product.   It takes a team of experts to make a load perfect, estimating, the right mix of product quality and price, certainly good service and good billing practices… but one person can make a huge mess out of all it.

Ultimately, it is in the scheduler’s/dispatcher’s hands to make us look good.

That is why the 8th generation of dispatchers is so closely fostered, trained and coached.  That person has to be just the right mix of saint and sinner, therapist and enforcer, mathematician and mechanic.  With a little magician throw in.

Here are the 8 that have had the reins of Team Blue in the last 30 years, all continue to work here except Dick who left this world much too young:


Albert Fleischman

Dick Dornacker

Scott Rosenthal

Joel Fleischman

Jay Enright

Eric Beck

Jake Junk

Nick Leist

Albert believed that we will NEVER say no to a delivery until every person in the company was on one or every truck was gone.  In 30 years we HAVE NEVER had a load that didn’t make it out because we ran out of time.


Which of course has led to many stories, including…

Kris Ballard (at that time Kris was the secretary and cabinet designer) taking out a load of 4’x’8′ styrofoam that peeled off the back of the truck like a deck of cards as she drove….

Starting to pull a delivery at 4:30pm on Friday July 3rd…and arriving home just in time for the fireworks in town…

Receiving material purchased from a freight train that ran off the railroad tracks…

Making deliveries by boat, helicopter, and by hand… to prisons, schools, churchs and countless more…

16 hour work days…

I’m sure most of us has a story like this, something we just HAD to do to please the customer.

We’ve delivered to Florida, Nebraska, and dozens of other states…we have done online sales to Alaska.  Our first delivery to Canada is starting next month.

And we will continue to do the un-doable….safely…on time…and complete…

When do you need it by?….and we will get it done by then.  The only thing stopping us is mother nature, and even then we win most of those battles.   We can and we will continue to BE the difference.

It’s simple really.  We are a logistics company.  Taking product from one truck on to the next.  Barb and the flooring team install it too.  At the core, that’s really all we do… we do make this small task, moving materials from one place to its last, fantastically hard!

History has taken us from no communication in any trucks, to a system where you called “base camp”, to beepers and pagers, to cell phones, and now to Drexel logistics.

Rosie, Carl, Benson, and Pigeon in front of Drexel logistics.  Captures a picture of all materials delivered and time driver arrived at site.

Pictured in front of Drexel logistics:  Rosie, Carl, Benson, and Pigeon in front of Drexel logistics.    Drexel Logistics captures a picture of all materials delivered and the time driver arrived at site.


Our current dispatchers and schedulers are:

Andy Feld, Kiel & Sheboygan Falls


Andy Krause (in yellow), Berlin


Ryan Michalak, Brookfield


Barb Wolf, Scheduler flooring and window treatment installs, Brookfield


Brendan Biller, Wrightstown


Thank you dispatchers, both current and past, for being the glue that holds the puzzle together.   And to all those that surround them… you are all part of what we do.  It is the daily “doing” that makes what we do so incredibly awesome.

Being on time and in full takes an army of blue.  Each of you make that delivery go perfectly, and currently we are doing it 92% of the time.  We will continue to improve.



– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Since 1985, our business success has come from building others UP.






Laser focus is great, unless the focus is off.

We are focused on creating the best customer experience they have EVER received.  We lean on core values to BE GREAT!  BETTER > BIGGER.

Store leaders:  You are the advocate for the customer.  Watch for opportunities to surprise and delight them!  Your role: coach, educate, support and encourage your team.

Coaches:  Help make decisions that are best for the customer, your team, and the company.  Help your team use the processes and procedures in place.  Be confident making good decisions based on the core values.  Escalate problems that you don’t feel comfortable making to the store leader.  Not so they can make the decision for you, but to HELP you make the best decision for your team.  Use core values to lead the way.  Communicate, change, grow and learn best practices to your team and beyond working with your team and others to grow.

Account managers, cabinetry and floor salespeople:  You drive the revenue and profits.  You are our internal customers, our goal is to make your life easier so you can sell more and see more customers’ EYEBALLS.  You hold the relationships and are the key ingredient to our customers.  Don’t ever take that lightly.  We need you to use the procedures and processes so you can get out and see customers and make everyone’s life easier.  Work on taking care of problems and escalate to store leaders not so they can decide for you, but to help you make the best decision.   Sell with price integrity. Sell with confidence.  Be humble and grateful for every order you get, they decided to buy from us!

Everybody (including me):  We make everything work.  We might not get the glory.  We are the guts.  The offensive lineman.  The grease.  Without us there is no Drexel.  It is up to us to BE GREAT or NOT.  It’s our choice every day if we are inspiring ourselves, our teammates, and our customers.  Be a beacon of positive energy, let others feed off your spirit.  Work on making procedures and processes a habit; that will help reduce mistakes and allow us to help others as we grow!   Make your internal customers (account managers, cabinet, and flooring people) happy.  If there is conflict or problem take to your coaches, or escalate to your store leader, or me and we can help you make the best decision.

99% of any breakdown in focus is due to lack of communication.  Communicate to be great!  Ask if you need help or don’t know your focus.

This is YOUR company, not mine.  We’ve all decided to be GREAT years ago; I can never thank you enough for that.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.






People buy from eyeballs.  Or the more common phrase is “people buy from people.”  I think quite often with the ease of communication (not the lack of, but the ease of) we forget this.  Especially when we are busy.

When we lose a job around here quite often I hear it is price.  Or more often I hear nothing… we just lost it.  And sometimes it was a customer that we thought was “loyal.”   And you know what?  Quite often WE get upset at the customer!  Shame on us, like they have to buy from us!  How we forget the customer gets to choose the relationship NOT US.

When you dig deeper you almost always find out the customer hasn’t seen their salesperson in a long time… a real long time.  They couldn’t SEE their EYEBALLS.  They will never tell you, “hey you need to be my friend.”  They will never say, “I need to see you.”  YOU need to make that happen.

Voice mails, phone calls, texts, and e-mails are all super for speed and efficiency.  And we think “hey, look at me, I am taking care of my guy whenever he calls.”  But you know what?  People buy from FRIENDS.  Not e-mails.

Be careful texts, phone calls, and e-mails can be a trap.  While the 1950’s three martini lunches are a thing of the past, building relationships might SOUND old school, but that is THE ONLY WAY to build and retain customers.  Giving your customer PRESENTS and just be there friend. Maybe a 3 martini lunch is EXACTLY what your client needs!  DOING THINGS WITH THEM THAT THEY LIKE TO DO  IS A GREAT WAY TO GET BUSINESS.  Actually, it’s the best way!  Take time to be with them.  And then look em in the eye ball.

So this week, go through your accounts and rank the last time you saw that person and had a good talk with that person face to face. Then start working at the bottom of the ranking. I don’t care how big or small  they are  but make a point to go look at them in the eyes.  Or I will bet you they will be looking at your competition’s eyes really soon and spending there money there.  Don’t be surprised when it happens if you haven’t taken the time to look ’em in the eye.


Bonus tip:  If you are an outside sales person:  LEAVE THE OFFICE.  Your inside sales team and delivery team (or whatever team depends on you) depends on you for sales.   So leave.  Go.  Visit.  Look em in the eye. You think you are “helping” your inside team by not delegating and doing the work yourself.  WRONG.  They are counting on you TO LAND JOBS.  Or they themselves might be out of a job.  They WANT you to leave and make revenue for the company.

Being on a bidders list is NOT THE GOAL.  Sending over more quotes to people YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IF YOU SAW THEM IN CHURCH is WRONG.

Try this: At 3:30 or 4:30 or whenever you are wrapping up your day instead of saying, man I work hard, I am going home to mow the lawn or make dinner or work out or dang just chill, make ONE MORE PHONE CALL for the NEXT day.  Schedule your NEXT DAY, TODAY.  And make it for someone you haven’t seen in awhile, make it for a face to face meeting: breakfast works great!  I am 100% confident your sales and quote to order ratios will improve significantly!


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.










Our chemical composition:  Who is Drexel Building Supply

Okay so we doubled our sales from 2003-2009 and doubled again from 2009-2013.  However, as our customer, you aren’t looking for a bigger supplier; you’re looking for a better one… no you are looking for THE BEST ONE.

You are looking for one you can trust and treats you like a friend; makes you feel important and special, because you are.  You are looking for one that will deliver value by delivering you the right information and products, to the right place, at the right price, at the right time.  And one that works with you to increase your sales, reduce your cost and improve your productivity.   One that saves you:


Because without YOU their isn’t US, we can never stay stagnant we can never quit getting better.  We work to improve you and your clients EXPERIENCE with us every time.

Our goal is to be the BEST supplier and subcontractor on your job.  Not among our competition, but the BEST you have ever worked with regardless of industry.

That’s a lofty vision; but that is what every team member understands when they begin the journey with us.  No problems, only solutions.

We were founded in 1985 by Albert Fleischman as a TEAM based on the work ethic, pride, and truthfulness of the Wisconsin immigrant German farmers.  Those farmers that surround our small town of Campbellsport, WI and where Albert has deep roots.  Another aspect of what we do is to HAVE FUN which follows the tradition of these hard working German immigrants as well.   We serve builders and their clients, industrial customers, agricultural communities, interior designers, commercial contractors and weekend warriors.

Our servant leadership style currently serves 6 locations with over 220 team members.  Drexel makes deliveries daily to all parts of Wisconsin at an ON TIME AND IF FULL RATIO OF 92.2% COMPLETE AS OF THIS WRITING– primarily South Eastern, Central, and East Central Wisconsin.  It our customers request we can deliver ANYWHERE… and have delivered to over 25 states and growing.

We are here to help you achieve your goals, be it for one small deck to a 100 million dollar a year new construction company.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.



The high emotions of building.

Working with builders and their clients I can confirm one truth:  building new or remodeling your home is stressful.  (It’s also worth it.)

It will take a tremendous amount of your time.  This might seem obvious to some, but not everyone is ready for that.  It’s an interruption of your life.  The selection and change process is taxing.  Multiple meetings on multiple categories.  Kitchens are a project within a project and will require multiple meetings with your cabinet supplier alone.  You might be asked to pick a granite slab on the actual dock.  Most meetings with be during “work hours.”  You will have to get baby sitters and take off of work often.   Very cool… if you have the time!

You will have to trust your builder.  There are unforseen costs.  That are expensive.  It happens.  Discuss with your builder on how change orders will take place.  Feel comfortable with her answer or don’t build with them.  You BOTH will be happier.

There will be good days and bad days.  Weeks will go by and it will seem like there is no activity.  That is NORMAL.

If you and your builder can anticipate the ride it makes it a lot more enjoyable.

Have fun, it’s one of the largest purchases of your life and you will have to live with it.  That last sentence is both exhilarating and exhausting.  Yep, it’s a roller coaster.  Just like a roller coaster if you are not ready for it, it’s really hard to enjoy it.


– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.



I was about 10 years old at my first auction.  I was hooked from the first moment.  The energy in the air, the pulse, the beat, the roar of the sale is the greatest at an auction.  It’s the best sales game in the world!

I’ve been to some farm auctions, a few house auctions, and a couple that were antiques.  I’ve been to my grandpas, the last earthly items of the Fleischman homestead farm.   Mostly I’ve been to lumberyard auctions.  Ones that have closed their doors forever.

There are a lot of things you learn at an auction.  What the person hung on to.  What the person did right, and mostly what they did wrong.  It’s a learning lesson every time.  This blog hopefully will help you in your business.


It will sell eventually.  It’s worth $500.  We have to keep it, look what we paid for it.  I will use it someday.  Or will you.  Probably not.  And once you start a pile, what’s a little more on top.  And whoever questions why it is there.  It’s a vicious cycle.



You get used to dust.  And clutter.  And messes.  So look at your store and your work area as someone has never saw it before.  Do that often.  What does it look like then?


Be honest.  Spot trends.  Run reports.  If it’s not selling, it’s not selling.  The trend won’t come back… at least in your lifetime.  If it’s not profitable, dump it.  period.  Unless it TRULY adds to another sale.


Dust and messes start in the corners.  Make sure your corners are clean.  If they are, your store will be too.



This isn’t just the owners or store leaders job.  This is everyone’s job.


Have you ever went to a restaurant and thought man, I wish the menu was bigger?  I mean never right?   Same with your store.  People want less, don’t let the options confuse you.  Another restaurant story.  Most restaurants that have EVERYTHING, usually do NOTHING awesome.  Be great at something; become a true expert of one category, one brand and sell the crap out of that.



Don’t play commission or accounting games.  A loss is a loss.  Get off the books when it happens.  My dad told me a million times when he was growing up with 9 brothers and sisters, “The first bath is the cleanest.”  Get it off your books and do not refuse ANY even remotely reasonable offers for your mistakes.

Ok, well that’s it for the overview.  You want to dig, deep, deep, deep into the rabbit hole.  Take an opportunity to learn from one of the legends in the lumber industry.   Here’s my dad giving his advice as we go through the last auction we had from a lumberyard that was in business for almost 150 years… that didn’t make it any longer.

** special notes to the drexel team: don’t ever keep a door slab.  They are worthless at an auction.  Same for a door frame.  Same for countertops.   Also take like items of lumber and make a medium size pile.  That sells the best.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president & Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.