BMC Select's Approach to Best Practices - Modern Distribution Management

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BMC Select’s Approach to Best Practices

And why distributors need to take care when looking to a best practices approach for improvement.
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BMC Select, Boise, ID, a distributor and supplier of building materials and construction services, has launched a Millwork Best Practices Council. BMC Select says Millwork is its top segment.

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Dave Ondrasek, vice president and general manager of the company's Houston operations, will lead the best practices group. He will work with senior management and corporate purchasing personnel to identify strategic objectives for the company's more than two dozen millwork facilities in eight states. Ondrasek will focus on sales strategies, sourcing and vendor relationships, equipment utilization, productivity and expansion opportunities.

According to President and COO Stan Wilson, establishing best practices councils is not new territory for BMC SELECT, which previously maintained similar advisory panels for its millwork and truss operations, as well as other key segments of its business. “In the past, best practices councils provided us with significant input and analysis that helped improve our operations potential and our financial opportunities,” Wilson said in a news release today. “The millwork group is merely the first such council we’re emphasizing since we have united under a single new brand.”

MDM recently published an exclusive excerpt from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors book, Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-Distributors, about the trouble with best practices. Mike Marks, Michael Emerson and Steve Deist wrote that while the best practices approach to making change comes from a good place – finding a way to improve our own business by emulating high-performing organizations' processes – distributors need to take care that they are also examining underlying assumptions, market forces or organizational problems. The authors wrote that many distributors initiate process improvement projects for tactical rather than strategic reasons:

"By this we mean that the justification for the project was a perceived deficiency against some form of best practices standard rather than an opportunity to close a market gap. It is important to emphasize that tactical does not necessarily mean bad.

"… Improvement projects often spring from the perceptions of a problem (such as losing sales events) for which wholesaler-distributors seek a straightforward solution (such as more training). This approach is consistent with the world view of winning more events than losing, which we described earlier. Based on a sample of current and past projects undertaken by many companies, more than two-thirds of major wholesaler-distributor process improvement initiatives are driven by tactical considerations instead of closing market gaps."

Read the excerpt of this book here: The Trouble with 'Best Practices'

Learn more about the authors.

Order the book from NAW.

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