Posted on June 26, 2020

2020 is a year that for many has completely upended our ideas of “normal,” and the LBM community has been rightfully “shook.” Typically, one of the slower industries to accept new technologies, and one that heavily relies on face-to-face interactions, this pandemic presented many challenges for a slow-changing, but essential part of our economy.

Earlier on in March many states pressed that “Construction” and “Building Material Suppliers” be deemed essential, but with restrictions.  Gone are the days of stopping by your local lumber yard for supplies or stopping by the local construction site to meet with the contractor on the job. Face masks, hand washing stations, social distancing, and “by appointment only” are the new “norm.” Yet in light of all these challenges, the LBM industry did something truly radical . . . it adapted, better yet, it evolved.

Across the country the construction industry continued its work in support of critical infrastructure including schools, hospitals, and government facilities.  The new construction in the multi-family sector continues its climb; and while new single-family home construction has slowed, home improvement and remodeling has also thrived in this turbulent time.  Companies across the industry have had to step up and find new ways to continue to operate to meet the continued demand of construction.

An entire industry is now looking to embrace “Zoom” meetings, telecommuting, and working from home like never before. Like many industries caught off guard by the sudden changes in work habits, these changes didn’t happen overnight.  However, the companies that have stepped up to the challenge and found new ways to continue doing business are thriving

It’s a brand-new world out there for those working in the LBM industry, but this new acceptance of technology has also started to open the door to a new generation of professionals.  An industry that once may have seemed “antiquated,” has now been faced with the realization that those who embrace change are the ones who will come out on top.