Volume 47, Issue 3 - April 2008

From the Editor

After the Big Show
Editor Looks for Distributors Who Think "Out of the Box"

I recently returned home from the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando. If you were there and have been to shows in the past, I think you’ll agree that the feeling at this year’s show was different. A slower housing market had a lot to do with this, but so did the fact that this was the fourth year the show was in Orlando. Whenever I walked by a booth and saw chairs and couches set up, I couldn’t help but wonder what company had pulled out of exhibiting this year. 

But before you think this is going to be a dismal column, think again. Many of the company officials that I talked to said that business was okay—meaning it’s not at the levels of two years ago, but it’s satisfactory. 

Steve Vanderpan is the vice president of sales and marketing for Doorframer Inc., a company that makes tools to help distributors transport their products to customers without damage. Vanderpan had positive feedback for this year’s Builders’ Show.

“The show was a huge success for us, as we picked up a significant number of high profile leads. Those who came to our booth used it as a destination,” Vanderpan says. “We found that the attendees that we spoke with were highly qualified potential accounts looking to change their company paradigm regarding shipping products and wanting to save money for their company in these tough times.”

As I walked the show and talked to companies I found that a number were changing their strategies and targeting light commercial construction instead of residential. And companies are still inventing new products that impress their customers. You can find many of the new products from IBS in the New Products Guide on page 18

Innovative ideas are what I am most interested in, and those are the stories I hope to bring to you the rest of this year. In the technology section on page 27, you can read about distributors and dealers who are using technology to stay ahead of their competition. See what innovative software applications they are using to remain ahead. 

If your company is doing something that is innovative, please contact me at scarpenter@sheltermagazine.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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