Dealer Roundtables

What is a dealer roundtable?

Roundtables are groups of non-competing dealers who have an interest in sharing best practices, financials, and other information to help each other become stronger dealers.  Roundtables generally include 8-10 dealers who stay together for an extended period of time. They meet in the spring and fall. CSA currently has both LBM and truss groups.

So how does the roundtable program work?

Most of our roundtables, with the exception of a few, meet twice yearly. The spring meeting is focused on financials. CSA owns a web-based program called the Building Material Operations Comparison (BMOC). This allows dealers to compare their financial information with that of other companies in a secure, confidential manner. After dealers input their data, the system creates a book of charts showing how each dealer in the roundtable performed in comparison to every other dealer in the roundtable, along with comparisons to a regional average and a national average. This information is confidentially obtained from LBM associations throughout the United States who utilize the BMOC program for their members as well. A facilitator familiar with our industry will then guide roundtable members through an analysis of the group's survey results.

The fall meeting is focused more on a topic of interest to the group. These topics could range from margin improvement to yard operations to evaluating property and casualty insurance. The topic is set by the group at the prior meeting and may or may not be led by a formal facilitator. In addition to these topics, almost every roundtable meeting includes a discussion of market conditions along with the best and worst ideas implemented by each dealer since the last meeting.

Where do meetings take place?

Meetings are generally (though not exclusively) hosted by one of the dealers in the roundtable. When that's the case, meetings include a tour of the host's yard followed by a critique from the visitors. Occasionally, a roundtable will choose to meet in a more vacation-friendly location and play in the afternoon rather than do a yard tour.

Aside from the formal business part of the meetings, participants enjoy meals and hospitality time together. This allows dealers to form meaningful relationships and "talk shop" with people who really understand each other and the industry.

What's the format for roundtables?

Meetings generally begin with a reception and dinner. The next day is a full day of meetings and tours followed by hospitality and dinner. The final morning is a half-day of meetings, with the promise that you will be on the road home no later than 11 a.m. Most groups choose between a Sunday - Tuesday or Wednesday - Friday pattern. 

Many participants choose to bring additional personnel with them to the meetings – additional owners, a general manager, chief financial officer, yard manager, etc. Attendance by these non-owners may change depending on the topic under discussion. While we do not limit who or how many people may come from a participating company, we do ask you to respect the others in the room by limiting participation to senior company officials. Also keep in mind that the more you bring, the higher your travel expenses are. CSA, however, does not charge an extra fee for more than one person.

Interested in learning more?

For more information, please contact:
Karen Handel
CSA President
(678) 674-1860