Remodeling supply business...a few questions

Hello. I am new to the boards but I have been reading for a while. I am not a roofer, nor do I own a roofing business. I am currently in the gutter business. However, I have been around the remodeling world pretty much my whole life. My father owned and operated a sucessful roofing business and now the gutter business.

I am looking into opening a remodeling supple company in my area of Pittsburgh, Pa. I just have a few questions that I would love to have answered if you do not mind.

  1. If a new supply company opened near you would you try it or just stay where you are currently getting your supplies?

  2. What would it take for a new place to get your business? Are you guys looking for anything specific in a supply business? Obviously lower prices would catch your eye. Anything else besides good customer service and prompt timing?

  3. Where do you generally get your material? Lumber places, HD, Lowes, or an actually remodeling supply company?

Thanks alot guys! This goes for gutter material (full rolls of coil, partial rolls, cut and drop, and everything else), siding, trim coil, windows, and roofing.

Again, thank you for your time and I hope I am not getting to personal.

In my region (central-Ohio) I was with the biggest company in town (40 million in annual revenue) and we were buying from a popular midwest supplier in the area. The products were always in stock, they held 12 delivery spots open per day for our deliveries, and were fairly easy to deal with. The downside to this supplier was the service wasnt real personal–very corporate and we had no pull when it came to special situations.

Bradco came to town with a special deal from a certain shingle manufacturer. They were going to sell us 30yr dimensional shingles at 25yr 3-tab prices for a couple of months to get their foot in the door.

Once they opened the door, they kicked it down. The branch manager bent over backwards for us, worked with us regarding pricing, and the service was very personal. If they didnt stock a product that I used, they started stocking it as soon as they could get it.

This being said, for the most part its about price, but service is important also. Treating customers nicely is a key. I cant tell you how many places I go now where the inside sales people are mean and rude and act like they are doing me a favor by entering an order.

Thanks a lot for the reply. In my area there is really only one supply company. They do not really sell gutter coil and the guy who is in charge has a very bad attitude. They also do not want to work with you at all. You either pay what they want or they literally tell you to go away. Well really its more of a: You’re a pain in my ass, we don’t want your business.