Case Studies

Manufacturers Reserve Supply Inc.

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  • Written by: Manufacturers Reserve Supply Inc.
  • Produced by: Manufacturers Reserve Supply Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Robert Boyd Sr. founded Manufacturers Reserve Supply Inc. (MRS) in 1931 out of a rented warehouse in Paterson, N.J. Robert Sr. built MRS in the Great Depression, selling lumber on consignment to local builders. He gradually cultivated relationships with major suppliers, allowing MRS to grow. Robert Boyd Jr. – Robert Sr.’s son, and the former president and late chairman of MRS – joined the family business at the end of World War II. Today the family legacy is continued through Stephen, Robert Jr.’s son and president of MRS.

The company is a growing distributor of specialty siding, decking, roofing and trim products. “Our customers are retail dealers and home centers,” says Stephen. “Today our headquarters is located about 25 miles outside of New York City in Irvington, N.J.” The current 17,000-square foot facility was constructed in 2008, with an office boasting a training/educational room, a gym, a display room, multiple conference spaces, an open sales floor and several private offices. The location offers the team an additional 100,000 square feet of undercover storage.

A Family Philosophy

MRS employs approximately 25 people, each of whom strive to promote longevity, demonstrate pride, work with passion and perform with velocity. With a 13-year average for service length, employees find the company to be a good place to build a career. MRS offers both training and networking through the company’s membership with the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA).

“Our people are what make us special,” explains Stephen. “The culture we have created here instills the family-owned business pride into each employee. Although this company only has two Boyd family members in the management team, each employee feels like they are MRS family.”

Employees are encouraged to make decisions as team members and family members. “The pride here is contagious,” continues Stephen. “And you can see it in the passion when you engage with one of our team members.”

“Owned and managed by the Boyd family for four generations, our motto has always been ‘We buy from our friends and sell to our friends,'” says Stephen. “We provide the extraordinary service and exceptional value of a preeminent distributor, and develop strong business partnerships among our valued customers, suppliers, community, staff and owners through business practices and the encouragement of sound business ethics. Service excellence has always been the main stay here.”

As an independent distributor, MRS has developed close relationships with customers and vendors. These relationships have offered the company valuable insight into changing markets, and with its smaller size, MRS has more flexibility.

Manageable Market Change

With industries changing rapidly during the economic recovery, MRS is taking advantage of its small size and ability to evolve in order to maintain growth. “Since 2008, our average order size has decreased by 30 percent,” explains Stephen. “The demand for 24-hour delivery, however, has increased.”

MRS has been reorganizing over the last year internally to maximize efficiency without burning out employees. “We are being more flexible with our employees,” says Stephen. “As we concentrate on developing the next generation of leadership, we have recognized that we needed to make changes with our internal customers, the employees. Through recent NAWLA regional meetings, our ownership has learned what is important to Gen Next. This includes things like time off, work/life balance, and the need for instant access to information, the Internet and Facebook.

“We have made changes to our policies in all of these areas to be a more employee friendly company,” continues Stephen. “For 81 years, we have been able to pride ourselves on low employee turnover, and the average employee tenure of 13 years. To maintain this going forward, we are working on the flexibility of our company, and making changes to create an environment that is friendly and fun to work in.”

The company celebrated 75 years in business in 2006. Stephen and the team are looking forward to a long future of superior service. MRS is constantly updating inventory to offer new, innovative products that serve the changing needs of contractors and do-it-yourselfers in every market. New products include Timbertech decking, Fypon PVC trim, Maibec Eastern White Cedar shingles, Ipe, Oak flooring and Selex Prime pine products.

“As a distributor, our supplier relations are the key to our success,” notes Stephen. “We always have the No. 1 or No. 2 brand in the marketplace and we pride ourselves on our loyalty to our suppliers for decades.”

As for progress over the next few years, Stephen says his team is optimistic. “We are optimistic about the future and think housing starts will increase and demand will strengthen,” he says. “I think we’re going to continue a solid growth at around 20-percent per year.”

MRS benefits greatly from membership with NAWLA. The team utilizes networking and educational benefits like sharing best practices and market tips from noncompeting distributors around the country. “NAWLA has helped us increase our exposure as a small regional distributor,” adds Stephen. “I was chairman of the organization in 1999 to 2000, so we believe in giving back to the industry that has been so good to us.”

MRS will continue to participate in the organization, utilizing mutual benefits to help develop business on the home front as well as the progression of the industry. The company’s resources and flexibility continue to contribute to its overall success. Backed by ingenuity, flexibility and knowledgeable service, Manufacturers Reserve Supply Inc. has proven to be a steady, driving force in the materials supply business.

Published on: July 22, 2013

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