Their challenge: Keeping up with demand amidst construction material shortages
Fox Building Supply in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a one-stop shop for lumber products, insulation, siding, roofing and more. Their team has been providing friendly service and reasonable pricing on construction materials since 1971. They’re experts in their community and will gladly take any opportunity to assist with home building or remodeling needs.
In 2021, Fox was acquired by Mill Creek Lumber and the combined companies have seen continued success through their shared values. They take pride in being a family-owned business and see it as a unique quality that sets them apart from larger corporations.
“You can get ahold of the owner in minutes and have the opportunity to provide better service to the client,” said Chris Hayes, sales representative at Fox Building Company. “You can get feedback to them a lot quicker.”
Chris started at Fox Building Supply when he was 16 years old and has worked his way up through different positions over the last 26 years.
In his current role as an outside sales rep, he helped establish the relationship between Fox and CBUSA. After being approached by the founders of CBUSA’s Oklahoma City chapter, he knew becoming a preferred local vendor would provide great opportunities for the company to overcome the volatile building supply market.
Working with CBUSA’s group purchasing organization, preferred local vendors experience streamlined communication, strengthened relationships and an immediate opportunity for market-share growth. They have direct access to the top builders and suppliers in your market who commit to paying on time.
As a building supply business, it can be hard to predict the number of materials needed at any given time. Then throw shortages and delays into the mix, and it becomes an even bigger challenge.
That’s where CBUSA can provide a huge amount of value.
Fox Building Supply
Building material vendor
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Their solution: Taking advantage of builder relationships and committed buys
“I was definitely an advocate for CBUSA,” Chris said. “So, we took the information and hashed out what we needed to do to become a vendor in the program. It’s worked out well ever since.”
As time went on, the number of builder members within CBUSA grew, so they began putting together committed buys. This means builders put together a forecast of guaranteed business for a certain amount of time and number of project starts.
“It gives you an idea of what to expect business wise – what to buy and where pricing will be with that kind of volume,” Chris said. “Then we put a number together and submit it through the CBUSA program where it’s negotiated.”
Through CBUSA’s committed buys, the Fox team has their customer relationships built in for a prolonged period of time, and it’s up to Fox to then meet the needs of their jobs.
“It’s pretty simple as long as everyone involved was up front about what’s expected from the get go,” Chris said.
CBUSA then takes a look at the market and negotiates pricing through the committed buy based on the market price as opposed to supply and demand. This allows local vendors like Fox Building Supply to keep a consistent margin for their clients, ensuring their extensive collection of building supplies is always priced competitively.
“The biggest recommendation for working with CBUSA I can give other suppliers is the clientele. You’d be crazy not to be a part of an organization that has this quality of builders in it.”– Chris Hayes, sales representative at Fox Building Supply
Their success story: Finding success through planning, consistency and builder relationships
In addition to competitive pricing, CBUSA’s committed buys also help suppliers keep necessary materials in stock – even amidst a shortage.
“During the past couple years when a lot of things had been allocated and products were not readily available, it was nice that we had that CBUSA pull,” Chris said. “That forecast allowed us to plan ahead and provide for the group without running out of materials.”
There’s also a consistency to CBUSA builders and the materials they use. This makes it easier for Chris and his team to predict material needs. And, they never have to worry about unreliable builders.
“We don’t have to question builders who come into CBUSA,” Chris said. “We know they’ve been vetted. They’re going to pay on time, they build a quality home and they’re probably respected in the market. All that’s been done for us.”
Chris also sees the value when new builders who weren’t previously customers join the group.
“It brings new business to us, introduces us to a new builder and opens up a whole new set of sales,” he said. “That’s definitely a huge plus.”
Fox also has the opportunity to make additional sales outside of their committed buys. These added sales allow them to make more money and give builders the chance to earn rebates.
“We’re always trying to bring new ideas and new products to the CBUSA builders to try and expand our market share with them,” Chris said.
The relationships Chris and his team are building with CBUSA and the builders in their market are invaluable and give them an edge over other suppliers.
“The biggest thing that sets us apart right now is the relationship with CBUSA,” Chris said. “We’ve learned that we can count on each other. We’re going to prioritize CBUSA, and CBUSA has always stood up for me as a vendor.”
By working with CBUSA and its network of builders, Chris says he can almost write his own insurance policy.
“The biggest recommendation for working with CBUSA I can give other suppliers is the clientele,” Chris said. “You’d be crazy not to be a part of an organization that has this quality of builders in it.”
“I can guarantee I’m working with reputable companies, I’m going to get paid on time and I’m going to have constant work.”
For Chris, it’s also a benefit and relief to know his team will always have business even as things slow down and interest rates rise in the residential construction industry.
“As things are slowing down, the CBUSA builders are going to be slower, but they’re going to continue to have business,” Chris said. “As jobs get harder to maintain, being a local vendor with CBUSA is going to bring you a lot more reputable business than you’d be able to get without it.”
Fox Building Supply is seeing success as a preferred local vendor with CBUSA. You can, too.
Apply today and start working with some of the nation’s top builders. You’ll establish relationships, lock in committed buys and get paid on time.