‘We’re always looking for new ways to improve’: Q&A with CBUSA’s COO

Builder with cape looking for new ways to help the industry succeed while standing on top of a staircase.

Collaboration. Education. Next-level support. That’s how CBUSA delivers more for members – but that’s not all. Our COO is sharing insights on how our team leads the way.     

Construction isn’t just hammers and nails. It’s people. It’s collaboration. It’s a collective push to help build the communities around us.

CBUSA is proof of this. We’re not some cold-hearted, conglomerate organization. We’re a team of dedicated, driven individuals that’s grown from three to 15 since the group purchasing organization’s inception in 2004.

And throughout these years, each of us has dedicated ourselves to providing our premiere independent member builders around the country with products and services that give them the combined purchasing volume and buying power of a large national builder.

Each of our carefully selected CBUSA teammates brings with them a wealth of construction industry expertise – but that’s not all. They also possess a tireless work ethic to further the organization’s mission of providing home builders with a purchasing advantage and exclusive access to vendor partners.

To say that the construction industry has swung from one extreme to the other since CBUSA opened its doors would be a massive understatement. However, according to chief operating officer Brian Pavlick, it’s those exact conditions that have helped form our incredible team into the tightly knit group it is today.

That’s not all he’s sharing. We sat down with Brian Pavlik to discuss the CBUSA team and what our group purchasing organization is doing to deliver more value to home builders.

How has the construction industry evolved since CBUSA’s founding – and how has our group purchasing organization adapted to those changes?

A: CBUSA started in a hot market, but we had to quickly adapt to the industry’s worst recession in history. Although we are enjoying a pretty healthy market now, there are still challenges including an increase in supply costs and a serious labor shortage.

All of these changes have forced our team to learn and adapt. We did everything necessary to survive the recession – work twice as hard and made some significant sacrifices. Fast forward to today when we’re challenging our team, at times, to take risks and to invest in growth. I love the responsibility that our team takes to care for the company’s resources and the fact that they’re dedicated to serving our home builders and vendor partners at the highest level.

What is the single most important benefit the CBUSA team strives tirelessly to provide home builders?

A: Saving them money. Our team members are obsessed with finding new ways to help members save even more, whether it be promoting a national contract, assisting with reporting or helping them submit data required to participate in a committed purchase.

It all ladders up to delivering the same benefit of saving home builders real money. We also serve as a lifeline for all purchasing-related challenges that a home builder faces. Our team serves as a resource of knowledge and experience for basic procurement processes and strategies that I think builders have come to rely on.

Our members have the confidence we can provide trusted guidance and insight that would otherwise be hard to come by. That’s because they know we have vast experience in numerous markets around the country with a diverse group of building companies with varying profiles.

Let’s get more specific. What are a few examples where CBUSA’s regional leaders have gone above and beyond to help home builders get the most out of their membership?

A: First Phil Randolph, southeast region president and VP of purchasing, did an excellent job working with our group in Raleigh, North Carolina. He helped get their product lists and material specifications better defined and consolidated to provide more efficiency for the supplier in exchange for more aggressive pricing

And then there’s south central regional president Darrel Weidner’s work with our San Antonio group to execute a committed purchase for insulation. That also comes to mind.

What makes the CBUSA team unique to home builders associations or group purchasing organizations?

A: No team functions at its peak unless its members work together as a unit – supporting each other, training one another and having each other’s backs day in and day out. With this in mind, CBUSA has made a commitment to recruit smart people who help foster a successful team-oriented culture.

We’re proud to say we’ve hired players with tireless work ethics. They can balance working independently from remote locations with being true team members. There’s a real sense of teamwork at CBUSA. Everyone is very approachable and willing to help, always.

Sounds like CBUSA has developed into a group that operates as a well-oiled machine. So, what’s next?

A: We’re focusing on developing even better tools and practices to help keep our team connected, trained and educated as we grow. For example, we recently implemented a new application called Trainual. This houses our standard operating procedures, best practices and training curriculum for professional development and onboarding of new team members.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come. However, we know in an ever-evolving industry, the only way we’re going to continue to be successful is if we’re always looking for new ways to improve and strengthen our team – and we definitely are.

Are you an independent home builder who would benefit from all that a CBUSA membership has to offer? Inquire about how to become a part of our group purchasing organization’s network now. And to keep up with all our team’s day-to-day happenings, be sure to join our group on LinkedIn.