14 Aug 2018
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2018 August Market Update

LUMBER MARKET & AUGUST TAKE AWAYS

  • Framing lumber prices have spiraled downward from their records earlier in summer, but prices remain well above their historical averages.
  • OSB prices plummeted from their peak in June due to new production from new mills
  • One lumber trader noted “I think the market is adjusting to a level to see customers feeling more confident”
  • Lumber dealers’ sales expectations have dropped slightly, but activity at the dealer and contractor levels remains steady to strong.

No Margin, No Mission - Finding Hidden Profits Twelve years ago I attended a Texas Association of Builders (TAB) meeting and was intrigued by a featured speaker, Dennis Dixon, who spoke about profitability for custom builders.  Though not a builder, I am a small business owner and know firsthand that without profits we cannot survive.  Especially in this cyclical industry we know and love – if we don’t make hay while the sun shines (and put it in the barn), we won’t survive the droughts and downturns.  I really like the phrase attributed to Sister Irene Kraus, a renowned healthcare administrator for Daughters of Charity – “No Margin, No Mission”.

In this newsletter and in our blogs we talk a lot about craftsmanship in our work.  We love it! It’s what we take pride in! Watching an excited customer move in to their beautiful new home or addition is so satisfying.  But without sustainable profits, finely-crafted, customized, quality products for our clients are not possible.  And without solid profits, we’ll have a pit in our stomachs on move-in days, wondering how we worked so hard for so little.  Aren’t we worth more than that!  Yes, we are, but it requires us to be organized, professional and capable managers of our businesses.

After hearing Dennis in 2006, I emailed him for his book and received an autographed copy of Finding Hidden Profits – A Guide for Custom Builders, printed by the National Association of Home Builders.  I searched my bookshelf this week when I found out he is again speaking locally at the Sunbelt Builders Show on Wednesday (tomorrow!).  Here’s the link to the show www.sunbeltbuildersshow.com, which runs Wednesday and Thursday, August 8th-9th at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Dennis just came out with a 2nd edition of his book and on Wednesday from 2:15 – 3:00 he’ll be discussing: Making Money with Allowances, Change Orders and Specifications.  Click Here for more details. 

I’ll be there!  And I believe it can be so valuable for you and your business that I’ll reimburse you for your Expo Pass ($75) and buy you his latest edition of Finding Hidden Profits if you meet me there.  Email to let me know you’re coming, or just meet me at his seminar (I’ll be wearing a cool Davis-Hawn shirt and trucker hat so I’ll be easy to find).  I look forward to seeing you there.

I always sign off these newsletters and blogs with “Build to Last”, but now more than ever we must be profitable to last.  So here’s to craftsmanship and profitability - for you and your team!

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