The Silver Lining Playbook for LBMs
By: Paradigm Author
Read time: 2 Minutes
Stormy economic forecasts, lingering doubts surrounding the supply chain, and labor availability: How can efficient and accurate material takeoffs help lumberyards navigate changing conditions?
While uncertainties surrounding inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain continue to cloud economic forecasts for the construction business, there’s a silver lining LBMs should consider: Demand and sales are still strong, albeit not as strong as the unprecedented pandemic-driven boom.
Even so, there are tools and technologies available to help lumberyards get while the getting is still good and establish a strategy for navigating the predictable storms ahead.
Accurate Estimates Soften Supply Uncertainty
Overall, the country’s supply chain issues are improving. However, delivery delays of certain items, such as engineered lumber, window and door materials, and hardware still linger, along with the related market and employment anxieties that dampen a full recovery. Extra care in material management is as critical as ever. Starting with accurate and consistent estimates ensures the right materials and quantities are available when your customers need them.
A material takeoff service like Paradigm Estimate arms its team of expert estimators with the technology that quickly and accurately identifies building material locations on both the elevation and floor plan of a blueprint.
Advanced measurement functionality verifies dimensions and flags discrepancies, and takeoffs can be optimized for waste factors, so estimates are right the first time. This level of accuracy and consistency is critical in today’s market conditions. But delays and wasted materials should be rooted out whatever the circumstances.
Labor Forecasts Drive Outsourcing Decisions
Closely tied to the nation’s distribution network is the labor required to make it run smoothly. As manufacturing and shipping channels gradually reclaim workers displaced by the pandemic, labor shortages are also creating business challenges for LBMs seeking qualified employees.
Nationwide, more than 40 percent of small business owners participating in a Goldman Sachs study released this summer said hiring challenges had increased. Almost all of them said the hiring situation is “impacting their bottom line.”
Hitting closer to home is the 2022 LBM 100 survey that reveals 84 percent of companies said recruiting, hiring, and retaining employees is a challenge. Scarcity of drivers and yard workers top the list, but staff shortages are evident throughout the LBM industry – including availability of qualified inside and outside salespeople:
Outsourced material takeoff services are one way that LBMs can ease the tension of staff shortages. Whether experienced estimators are overworked, or OSRs are spending too much time on takeoffs and not enough time selling, Paradigm Estimate has a full-service estimating team to fill gaps on a long- or short-term basis.
In addition, an outside estimating expert frees your sales staff from tedious and time-consuming takeoffs and allows them to focus on building customer relationships, following up on leads, producing more quotes and, ultimately, winning more bids.
Now more than ever is the time to consider incorporating a fast, reliable, and accurate material takeoff service that allows you to brace for the economic pressures forecasted for the LBM business, while taking advantage of the current bright spots in demand and sales opportunities.
See why more and more lumberyards rely on Paradigm Estimate to take control of takeoffs.
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