For over 20 years I’ve worked within the Lumber, Building Materials and Hardware industry, including senior roles on both sides of the negotiating table. The past 8 years, as President of Castle, have given me insight and a keen understanding of the relationship between manufacturing, distribution, and the independent retailer in serving the needs of Canadians from coast to coast.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • We live in one of the greatest countries in the world
  • If you’re not passionate about what you do, you’re in the wrong business.
  • It’s cool to be an entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy
  • People will always be your greatest asset
  • Relationship are integral to business success
  • The independent Lumber & Building Materials and hardware (LBM) dealer will continue to dominate the home improvement industry
  • Superior service is the differentiator to your success
  • Over the next 10 to 15 years independent dealers will become the largest consolidator of other independent dealers.
  • Embracing communication and technology platforms are key to your future success
  • Consumers are smarter, better informed, more savvy than at any other time in history
  • The Box stores have peaked, and they’ve made the independent better, stronger.
  • Manufacturing is centralizing, and not necessarily in Canada
  • The trade barriers that separate the U.S. & Canada are disappearing
  • We will see more consolidation taking place in Canada, in every sector of the economy

Here’s what I know;

  • The Independent dealer is the backbone of the industry.
  • This industry has some of the greatest people and minds in the country.
  • I like “Business Simplicity” (largely driven by my own intellectual shortcomings).

What are the future challenges?
That’s an interesting question. One I hope we have a chance to discuss as I share my thoughts over the coming months.