Fence material suppliers across the country have suffered from a disrupted supply chain for the past two years. With the help and guidance of a fractional CFO, one Florida company, American Wholesale Fenceworks (AWF), found a way to thrive through the supply chain crisis.
Three main factors contributed to their success:
Shane Miller, owner of AWF, often encourages his team to “out-work, out-smart and out-class their competition”. As fence material supplies became scarce during a period of high demand, I observed how my client Shane and his team worked to line up alternative sources of supply. When their primary and secondary suppliers of vinyl material were struggling to fill orders, the AWF negotiated with three other suppliers to fill the gaps. Eventually, two of those companies became their new primary and secondary suppliers.
Shane knew that becoming the “go-to supplier” for vinyl fencing in Florida would also help their sales of aluminum, wood, and chain link products. The hard work to secure scarce vinyl fence materials lifted sales across all product lines.
During a time when many businesses pulled back to preserve cash, Shane chose to make a few bold moves to strengthen his position in the market. He invested in higher stocking levels as a strategy to gain market share. He also invested in chain link weaving machines which improved his margins. AWF gained a reputation in the industry as a reliable supplier during tough times and soon began to receive calls from new customers from other states in search of scarce material.
Ultimately, these bold, but smart financial decisions during a challenging economy led to 2021 revenue that was twice the pre-COVID level.
Fence material suppliers raised prices often throughout the crisis. Therefore, watching margins on a real-time basis became an essential practice. AWF learned to quickly react to the cost increases. Because of the strength of their market position and their quick response to cost changes, AWF’s gross margins improved by over two points in both 2020 and 2021.
Conclusion: Expecting A Bright 2022
Working hard and making bold, calculated moves throughout the supply chain crisis has elevated AWF’s reputation as a “go to” fence material supplier across the region. Top line growth is showing no signs of slowing down. Combining top line growth with their disciplined approach to watching margins is driving 2022 EBITDA projections that will fuel more bold moves to secure AWF’s position in the fence materials industry.
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