Associated Building Supply likes to run ahead of the crowd.
When the building industry was booming in 2007, especially in the California market ABSi serves, owner Chris Cole recognized that longer-term, sustainable growth would require an outside-the-box revamping of his business model.
He was carrying multiple product lines, had varying personalities and sales approaches on his sales force and had to make decisions about the future infrastructure of his Oxnard, Calif.-based business. "I just decided it was time to either grow or maybe contract this business,” he recalls. “I was at that crossroads, that reflection point."
With about 20 years under his belt in the building materials industry, Cole shut out the noise of the then-frenzied new construction market, which is what his company primarily served, to evaluate how he’d like his company to look down the road. “By nature, I’m a contrarian,” Cole admits. “Wherever the herd goes, I generally go the other direction.”