Case Studies

J & B Materials Inc.

Putting Customer Service First

Bob Young founded J & B Materials Inc. (J & B) in 1979 after a few years of working for another building material supplier. J & B started out as a drywall specialty supplier, hauling and stocking products for clients, but the company gradually evolved into a complete Lath and plaster and drywall supplier. J & B might have three additional locations and a greater geographical footprint than when it started, but the company’s attention to each individual client’s needs has remained constant. Quality, reliability and dedication are the defining values of the J & B team, all of whom strive to always improve the quality of customer service and help clients streamline construction time lines.

“We make the process very simple for our clients,” expands Bob Young, president and CEO of J & B. J & B’s company motto, “Where customer service is the key,” and the company’s evolution has been defined by the needs of its growing client base.

The team of 80 employees operates from a variety of locations – including the company’s headquarters in El Cajon, Calif., and three additional locations across Southern California – to serve clients as far north as Los Angeles and Riverside, Calif., as far east as Yuma, Ariz., and all along the border towns, where J & B delivers to customers in Mexico.

The company’s product line runs the gamut of Lath, plaster and drywall in addition to metal stud framing components, stucco, cement, fasteners, sand and joint treatment products. J & B also sells ancillary products like paint trays, rollers hammers, saws, sponges, sand paper, hard hats, ladders, putty knives, masking tape and floats among many others. The additional products don’t account for a huge portion of J & B ‘s sales, but the company believes the extra offerings help round out orders so contractors and subcontractors show up to site ready to roll.

The difference between J & B and a straightforward lumberyard is service, as J & B not only fulfills and delivers orders swiftly, but the team will also distribute the order throughout the building site. The company works regularly with contractors building high-rise and multistory buildings, which allows the team to coordinate order distribution swiftly and safely. “If we need a crane, we get a crane,” says Young. “We even have a few forklifts and reach lifts that can lift loads up to 40 or 60 feet in the air so we can slide orders in through the windows or any available and safe opening.”

Establishing a Collaborative Strategy

J & B coordinates closely with each client to establish the most effective and efficient distribution of the orders, saving contractors and subcontractors time and money. Orders are bundled accordingly and delivered and distributed throughout the building site so crews can arrive on site with everything needed to tackle the day’s work.

J & B’s ability to help contractors streamline interior finishing has made it a popular supplier in both public and private markets; J & B regularly works in high-rise development, commercial office buildings, military housing projects and educational facilities. Slow residential construction markets have shifted J & B’s workload toward commercial and institutional projects, with residential work accounting for only one-quarter of J & B’s total volume, according to Young’s estimates.

Nevertheless, the company has remained stable throughout the economic downturn by supporting its longtime clients as focus shifts toward public-sector projects. “We’re supplying probably four of the five large contractors working on the San Diego Airport expansion, who we have been working with for years,” says Young.

The Terminal 2 expansion project at San Diego International Airport represents a $1 billion investment on the part of the Federal Aviation Administration and revenue from airport user fees and revenue bonds. The new terminal will add 10 additional gates to the airport along with a dual-level roadway to separate departures and arrivals, complimented by a completely automated baggage handling system, twice the existing capacity for Transportation Security Administration screening and the country’s largest United Service Organizations center.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

J & B will also spend 2012’s summer completing work at over a dozen schools across the area, as well as building military housing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.

J & B’s success in the public sector is still subject to keeping prices competitive, but J & B has led the movement for increasing the purchasing power of independently owned suppliers as a founding member of Amarok Drywall Distributor Network. Amarok is a national buying co-operative of independent building material dealers from all corners of the country. The organization provides members with competitive prices on material supplies from leading manufacturers as well as insurance quotations, and a space to connect with other members to exchange information.

Young believes the next two years will provide J & B with plenty of opportunity to grow. J & B is backed by over 30 years of industry experience and a team of professionals who believe in going above and beyond to make the client’s job a little bit less stressful. The company looks forward to further proving it’s up to any challenge in the next few years by working together with independent material dealers nationwide to secure competitive pricing. It will always be the company’s ability to coordinate closely with the client that will ensure J & B Materials Inc.’s success in the decades to come.

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Spring 2018



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