Truss Plant Purchase Helps GA Dealer Expand Rapidly

Originally published by: ProSales MagazineMay 13, 2020

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Griffin Lumber & Hardware was founded in 1948 when it began milling logs to lumber in Cordele, Ga. Over the years, the company added retail lumber and building materials to its portfolio, but it made a big leap ahead last year when it acquired two companies.

The prospect of completing an acquisition can be daunting. Businesses must consider the cost of growth, culture, employee morale, and many other factors. Griffin had to carefully weigh these factors before acquiring Blake Builders Supply, in February 2019. But what was particularly challenging about this acquisition was that it included Specialty Structural Products, a roof and floor truss manufacturing plant, which represented a new area of business for Griffin. “We had to fast track to learn the truss business,” COO Randy Maddox told ProSales.

Griffin’s efforts paid off and, after purchasing a new saw, the company increased sales and profitability at the plant in central Georgia. The success here encouraged Griffin’s leadership to build a truss plant in southern Georgia to service its stores in the area, as well as handle overflow business from the Specialty Structural Products plant, according to Maddox.

Later in the year, Griffin acquired Dodd Builders Supply, a full-scale lumberyard in Forsyth, Ga., representing the company’s fifth location. The two acquisitions helped year-over-year sales soar 84% to $39 million, enabling Griffin to join the ranks of the ProSales 100 at the 95th spot on this year’s list.

While 2019 represented a year of significant growth for Griffin, 2020 has presented a different challenge, as all five locations have needed to adapt to the changes imposed upon them by the coronavirus pandemic. The biggest changes have been replacing in-store sales with contactless, curbside pickup and offering contractor pickup and deliveries to essential job sites. Throughout the pandemic, Griffin has increased its public communication through its social media channels to provide up-to-date store hours and operations procedures.