L.E.K. has substantial experience in developing insightful and actionable strategies for leading building products distributors and has also helped manufacturers navigate a rapidly changing channel structure in the building products space.
Examples of our work
We have successfully tackled the most pressing issues related to distribution across building product categories for both distributors and manufacturers.
- Reducing costs: A leading global cement producer was evaluating opportunities for optimizing U.S. logistics given changes to demand levels. L.E.K. identified the drivers of increasing costs and determined appropriate organizational changes, improving cost controls to lock in savings that were equal to 10% of the existing cost base.
- Leading composite/PVC trim deck and rail company: The client sold through one stepper, two stepper and big box but was seeing price pressure in some channels. The client wanted greater ability to sell non-price factors, which required greater end-decision-maker influence. L.E.K. assessed which product lines were most susceptible to price pressure by channel and region. We developed a strategy for channel and product segmentation to improve channel share. Fall buy-in was tremendous post-recommendation, resulting in better mix, share and margin for the client.
- Sales-force effectiveness: After a large reorganization program, a European builder’s merchant (400 point of sales) sought L.E.K.’s help to rapidly ramp up its sales force effectiveness and implement tangible solutions to improve performance. We conducted a customer segmentation and prioritization program and defined the optimal approach to serve targeted customers. Then we helped the client define its optimal commercial approach (lead generation, customer purchase path, sales conversion and customer satisfaction). Meanwhile, we teamed up with the client to implement a new Sales Force Effectiveness program among the whole organization (communication, change management), providing practical recommendations to optimize the operational processes (interactions between sedentary and itinerant sales force, rituals, daily/weekly/monthly agenda, KPIs, etc.)
- Optimizing branch scale and service: L.E.K. helped a leading distributor define a value-maximizing branch scale and service strategy. We systematically evaluated potential alternative branch network models utilizing advanced tools that allowed much better understanding of the client and its markets and competition at a local level. We further defined the implementation steps, milestones, performance indicators and on-going support needed to successfully roll out the new branch scale and service strategy and fully capture the value.
- Trade contractor assessment and growth strategy: L.E.K. helped a leading MRO distributor diagnose the underlying causes for rapid share loss with trade contractors (e.g., plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors). We conducted a comprehensive survey of trade contractors in order to bring a deep understanding of relative positioning and share within each customer segment and insights on where opportunities exist. We delivered a clearly defined, robust growth strategy aimed at reversing declining sales and market share.