Builders FirstSource is the nation’s largest supplier of structural building products, value-added components, and services to the professional market for new residential construction and repair, and remodeling. Builders First Source has over 400 locations, including a presence in 77 of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country. Many Builders’ locations use the Demountable Concepts Swap-Body System, and BFS Houston Millwork is one of the latest to implement the System.
GH: What was your delivery operation like before Demountables? What kind of impact has switching to the Swap Body System had on your business?
CW: It wasn't as big change as it's going to be. Before Demountables we probably ran 70% Class A trucks, but the time spent hooking up to a trailer compared to swapping a body is roughly the same. Since turnaround time is pretty much equal for both, the bigger impact will start next year as we begin transitioning away from mostly Class A tractor trailers to Class B and non-CDL trucks. Switching to less expensive to operate Demountable trucks will reduce my delivery costs. The impact it's going to have will probably be minimal for the first year, but will grow year-to-year to as the transition gets further along.
GH: What were your initial impressions of the Demountable System?
CW: Compared to trailers, we see some impact here. it’s easier to maneuver a Demountable straight-truck around and the System gives us a little bit more leverage when it comes to loading and hooking up power units. We’ve been able to hire a couple of drivers at a lower pay rate because they are non-CDL, and the Demountable straight-truck chassis are easier to drive because they have hydraulic brakes instead of air brakes. In addition the weight doesn't classify running a CDL so we've seen some cost reduction there too.
GH: What challenges were you able to solve using the Demountable System?
CW: In the millwork industry we are making numerous stops during a typical day to various job sites. We put a lot of wear and tear on our vehicles, so repair and maintenance is a big factor. When you run a tractor-trailer, maintenance costs are probably 30 to 40% higher than a straight-truck. With a Demountable setup, the box itself is an investment, but we can save about $3,000 to $4,000 a year on maintenance costs compared to a trailer.
GH: What kind of feedback do your drivers provide on operating the Demountable equipment?
CW: Nothing bad at all! It’s an easy concept for them to understand and it helps that I've had experience with Demountables for numerous years. We have a couple people on our team who have had exposure to the System. I've been a big fan for a long time, and the goal is to transition to just four or five Class A tractor trailers for big commercial jobs, with the majority of our fleet being Demountables and smaller non-CDL trucks.
GH: What kind of long-term goals would you like to achieve with this system?
CW: Right now we're running 6 tractors and around 17 to 18 trailers. We're slowly transitioning away from them year-to- year, but we still need to have tractor trailers available to haul heavy loads. When we do commercial business our volume grows and our daily load increases by 30-40%. The idea is to run our Demountable equipment and if we start putting up decent financials by mid-year we can request three or four more. The goal is to get at least 12 to 15 in here.
For over 30 years, Demountable Concepts has worked with millwork and lumber companies to help improve their bottom line and provide superior delivery service to their customers. With this proven delivery system companies are able to load and deliver product at the same time. Our current customers enjoy the following benefits:
The next time you are evaluating the efficiencies of your delivery operation make sure the Demountable solution is a part of your discussion. The only thing left to do after that is pick up the phone and call us. You'll be thankful you did!