You Said It
Bill Lovvorn, president of Lovvorn Wholesale Lumber answers questions from the Pallet Enterprise about working in the industry.
Date Posted: 9/1/2013
Bill Lovvorn is the president of Lovvorn Wholesale Lumber, a remanufacturing facility with pallet and skid capabilities.
PALLET ENTERPRISE: What is the hardest challenge your company faces right now?
Lovvorn: Maintaining our accounts in the face of ever changing material costs. Customers do not understand that lumber is a commodity and rises and falls by the week. Major accounts often end up pitting one against the other, and usually no one makes any money after that. They want people to enter contracts for a year at a time, and how do you do that?
PALLET ENTERPRISE: What is the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Lovvorn: Recognize an opportunity and act. Be flexible and ready to pivot to a new opportunity. We were approached early on in business by a company that was moving into town. Even though I had never been in the actual fabrication of parts, they wanted to talk about molding door thresholds. I took the challenge and within two weeks to 30 days we were molding door thresholds. That was a great deal for us; it went on for a long time. It put us on the map and enabled us to grow into the remanufacturing business.
PALLET ENTERPRISE: What is the best part of working in this industry?
Lovvorn: Being responsible for guiding your business through successes and failures and in the end being recognized for that success.
PALLET ENTERPRISE: If you could change any business decision that you have made in the past, what would you do differently and why?
Lovvorn: Jumping off in a totally unrelated business. One: it takes away from the core business. Two: It may require expertise that you may not have. We tried making some aluminum folding cots used mostly for the hurricane business around the time of Hurricane Katrina. After we set up a manufacturing line there were no hurricanes and we were left with a bidding war with another company for FEMA. Prices went down and down and down. The other company finally beat us out on a five-year contract which basically put us out of business. In the end, we put the business on the market because it was not worth our time or floor space and were lucky enough to sell it.
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