Collaboration, education and support give CBUSA’s leadership team the strength it needs to deliver for its members

Since its inception in 2004, the CBUSA team has grown from the original team of three to 15.

And throughout these years, they’ve dedicated themselves to providing their premiere independent Member Builders around the country with products and services that gives them the combined purchasing volume and buying power of a large national builder. Each of the hand-selected CBUSA teammates brings with them a wealth of construction industry expertise and a tireless work ethic to further the organization’s mission of providing its builder members with a purchasing advantage while offering increased exposure and access for the Vendor Partners. To say that the construction market has swung from one extreme to the other since CBUSA opened its proverbial doors would be a massive understatement, but according to Chief Operating Officer Brian Pavlick, it’s those conditions that have helped form its incredible team into the tightly knit group it is today.

“CBUSA started in a hot market,” Pavlick recalled, “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 Member Builders and Vendor Partners at the highest level.”

When asked to name the single most important benefit the CBUSA team strives tirelessly to provide its members, Pavlick doesn’t hesitate.

“Saving them money. Our team members are obsessed with finding new ways to help them 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 the builder money. We also serve as a lifeline for all purchasing-related challenges that a builder faces. Our team serves as a resource of knowledge and experience for basic purchasing practices and strategies that I think builders have come to rely on. Knowing our vast experience in numerous markets around the country with a diverse group of building companies with varying profiles, our members have the confidence that we can provide trusted guidance and insight that would otherwise be hard to come by.”

When asked for specifics, Pavlick cites just a few examples of the actions CBUSA’s regional leaders have taken over the past few years to help members of their Local Builder groups get the most out of their membership.

  • - “[Southeast Region President and VP of National Contracts] Phil Randolph did an excellent job working with our group in Raleigh, North Carolina, to get their product lists and material specifications better defined and consolidated to provide more efficiency for the supplier in exchange for more aggressive pricing
  • - [South Central Regional President] Darrel Weidner’s work with our San Antonio group to execute a Committed Purchase for insulation also comes to mind.
  • - And then there’s [West Regional President] Pete Gorence’s ability to pull together a multi-market deal in roofing with Boise, Idaho and Bend, Oregon.”

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 that can balance working independently from remote locations with being true team members,” Pavlick emphasized, and those newer members definitely agree.

“It is really incredible how everyone has a different strength and knowledge about different aspects or processes at CBUSA.” Commented Southeast Regional Operations Coordinator Lisa Smith, “And no matter what the question, I can pick up the phone and ask anyone from [CEO] Bill Smithers to Brian Pavlick {COO} to one of the Coordinators. There’s a real sense of teamwork at CBUSA; everyone is very approachable and willing to help, always!”

“For me it was getting the help I needed to understand certain modules of our CBUSA software,” mentioned Southeast Division Manager Dan Higgins. “Neither Lisa nor I were up to speed on the Takeoff Service, Projects and Ordering functionality, so we approached our teammates in two phases. First,  [Director of Estimating] Greg Miller took us through his estimating process, and then we followed up with Darrel, who walked us through how our builders use the takeoffs to actually get bids and/or order products directly from our suppliers. The training has given me the knowledge and confidence to walk builders through that functionality, if they are interested in it.”

“I think of how Bill, Brian, Phil or [North Regional President and VP - Sales & Marketing] Ryan Lipchek are always willing to fly out west to participate in a general membership meeting or presentations to new builders,” Pete Gorence added. “They’re all so passionate about helping the team that they’ll spend all day on a plane just to meet with a single builder, if necessary. 

But while the CBUSA team has evolved into a group that functions as a well-oiled machine, that doesn’t mean they’re resting on their laurels as they look to the future. 

“We’re focusing on developing even better tools and practices to help keep our team connected, trained, and educated as we grow,” Pavlick stressed. For example, we’re getting ready to implement a new application called Trainual, which will house our standard operating procedures, best practices, and training curriculum for team member professional development and onboarding of new team members. We’re proud of how far we’ve come, but we know that 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? Contact us today! And to keep up with all our day-to-day happenings, be sure to join our group on LinkedIn.

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