It’s a fair question given how the stars have aligned – the “stars” of a mild Spring in many regions along with a finally-vibrant economy.

Take Chicago’s Great Missing Winter of 2017, for example. In a 146-year weather tracking first, Chicago had no snow on the ground during January and February (and chalk-up February as the city’s third warmest).

Metrostudy reports for the first time since the Residential Remodeling Index (RRI) began, all 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas are expected to see year-over-year gains.

Momentum Builder

With business trending up, it’s a good time to consider what to do to operate even more efficiently and profitably. Is it time to upgrade power tools? Streamline record-keeping? Speed materials delivery? Tony Drew thinks a lot about those questions and many more.

Drew is the Divisional Pro Director for the Northern Division, responsible for overseeing the company’s pro business in about 800 stores. “The mood in the remodeling business is exciting right now,” Drew says. He offers several ideas on making the most of the good times ahead.

Cordless Rules

“Portable power is helping pros finish projects faster because there’s no need for a receptacle or air compressor,” Drew explains. “Today cordless tools are everywhere. We have Makita concrete saws that are battery operated. You think, how well can that run? How does it compare with a corded saw? I can tell you without hesitation cordless performance is impressive.”

He cites a pair of examples – the Makita concrete saw and the Flexvolt tool line from Dewalt. “To make a bunch of miter cuts off a battery is really powerful,” says Drew. “We have a lot of tools now that are battery-operated that three years ago didn’t run long enough, cool enough, or deliver enough torque. That’s all changed. It’s really impressive.”

Receipt Hunt

Keeping track of daily business receipts is a constant battle for busy pros. Now, with tax season, the pressure is on to find every one. Drew says there’s a can’t-miss solution.

“We do that purchase tracking for you through our Pro Xtra program. At no extra cost, the contractor can organize and track up to two years of purchases by job, location, PO, or date. You can even export records to Microsoft Excel. It’s a huge time-saver,” observes Drew.

Predictable Delivery

Ever wonder what happened to the delivery truck you expected by noon? Drew says help is finally here.
“We have the ability to deliver the next day within a two-hour window,” Drew promises. No more clock-watching waiting on drywall, nails, studs, or other building material to arrive. Now you know within two hours.” As of January, every market in the U.S. has the ability to select delivery to a jobsite within a specific two-hour time window, i.e. 9-11 a.m. When pros choose to have products delivered from a store, they will have the option of normal delivery, a 4-hour window or a 2-hour window.

“We want our customers busy making money instead of waiting for the delivery truck or stopping by the store,” Drew says.

Will 2017 be your best year ever? It just might be with the help of a few good ideas.

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