Drexel Building Supply is a supplier of structural building components. They manufacture roof trusses, wall panels, and floor panels, and deliver much-needed materials throughout Wisconsin. Jason Blenker has been at the heart of the economic recovery and the surge in residential building.
They have experienced the demand evolution first-hand.
“The pandemic brought with it an increase in demand as people have realized they want to live somewhere else or build a bigger house with home office space or more space for the kids,” said Blenker.
It has certainly been a challenge to meet the demand for materials lately. However, he stated that they had done a good job adapting.
“We implemented hub and spoke networks in our lumberyard for distribution. We also modified some of our operations to meet the shorter supply. We’re also taking a closer look at inventories, substitutions, and things like that,” Blenker explained.
Of course, Blenker isn’t alone. Drexel Building Supply is family-owned, with eight locations in Wisconsin and more than 600 employees—and has also been awarded the Top Workplace National Programs badge for ten years in a row due to a strong focus on internal team members and customers.
Drexel Building Supply leans on its relationship with Great Dane to ensure it has trailers that meet its supply-running demands. Blenker quickly noted that the trailers aren’t custom-made but provide flexible options to meet their needs. The company fields a fleet of more than 45 flatbed and drop-deck trailers.
“They’ve been great to work with,” Blenker said. “They’ve answered our questions, responded to our needs, and understood what we wanted. It’s great to have a partnership like that, one we can continue to build on.”
He states that his team has been a big part of the company’s success, as well.
“Our team rallied, and every day we figure out a way to overcome obstacles and take care of our customers to make sure they get their material on time and in full as much as possible,” Blenker said. “We’ve been able to maintain 97% to 98% on-time in-full delivery. Hats off to our team for just having a figure-it-out attitude and making it work.”
It’s an attitude that will serve Drexel Building Supply well, as there’s no end in sight for material demand this year.
“I think it’s going to be pretty consistent,” Blenker said. “I think for the next few years, we’re going to see increased demand, looking at the demographics and the statistics out there. The housing and shelter industries are underbuilt. We have a pretty strong outlook on the next three to five years.”
With the right people in place, the other important component is the right equipment to safely and productively haul its materials. Pre-built walls, for example, are a prime building component Drexel supplies, which means specialized Great Dane trailers to get it to the customer.
“Imagine all the walls in your house—we build those in our shop ahead of time and then stand them up vertically. Post pockets in the center of the trailer allow us to secure the walls,” he explained. For Blenker, it comes down to one important component. “A high-quality, well-built trailer, with options and the flexibility.”
Between the trillions in federal dollars allocated to rebuilding American infrastructure and loosening supply chain kinks in many construction-based industries, the next few years will be big for flatbeds.
Here are five ways Great Dane flatbeds are getting even better at a time when fleets need them most.