Brian Mccoy

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HIS FAMILY are committed
to keeping McCoy’s Building Supply
a partner with ranching and home-
building families – actually, with
anyone who’s “born to build.”


B     rian McCoy is a lively and welcom-
      ing individual, but he really lights
up when he talks about the people who
populate the McCoy’s community.
    McCoy’s Building Supply has long
been recognized as a family-friendly
workplace. The ethic on which grandfa-
ther Frank McCoy and father Emmett
McCoy founded and developed one of the
largest family-owned businesses in the

Brian McCoy and his family of colleagues at
McCoy’s Building Supply are in locations accessible
to large- and small-acreage ranchers. They count
the heavy-duty do-it-yourselfers in the ranching
community as one of their important client groups
and offer supplies, service and support.
                          Brian McCoy, Betty Crawford, Thom Wirtz and Daniel
                          Gooding are making the San Marcos location a showcase
                          for McCoy’s.

building supply category mirrors       reach of their retail building sup-
the family model of the ranching       ply centers.
community.                                  “We’ve always been a family
    “We do enjoy celebrating the       business,” third-generation Brian
family,” Brian McCoy says. “That       says. “It’s been ingrained in me
sure parallels the ranch and farm      and I love supporting the commit-          Before this photo was taken, customer
                                                                                  and friend George Forrester told Brian
community. We’re in the home           ment to families.”                         McCoy that the folks inside the store
building business,” he says, and            Part of their commitment to           had steered him to the right product for
adds with emphasis, “and we like       family is to be closed on Sunday.          his project.
that!”                                 He explains, “If you’re in the re-
    Frank McCoy started as a           tail business, you’re working long
                                                                                  tomers and in the last decade has
roofing contractor in 1920s Hous-      hours. We do that, often six days
                                                                                  identified ranchers as a fourth
ton and soon relocated to Galve-       a week. I like to give the depend-
                                                                                  important group of customers,
ston. “Then after World War II –
my father was a young man – he
and my grandfather started sell-       … to be part of people’s homes, ranches
ing roofing, plywood and miscella-
neous supplies as a sideline,” Mc-       and farms is special for McCoy’s.
Coy says. “Pretty soon, that
sideline became bigger than the
roofing business. That’s how Mc-       able Sunday off. We have no plans
                                                                                  which somewhat overlaps the
Coy’s developed.”                      to change that. Our teams love to
                                                                                  other three.
    The father-son team earned a       have that dependable day for
                                                                                      Those three groups are the
reputation for fair dealing. One       their worship and to be there for
                                                                                  heavy-duty do-it-yourselfer; the
notable way was by holding their       family.”
                                                                                  repair/remodeler; and the inde-
prices steady, rather than raising          McCoy, president and chief
                                                                                  pendent home builder. These
prices, after the devastation of       operating officer, and Dan Stauf-
                                                                                  types of customers are also plan-
Hurricane Carla in 1961. By            fer, vice president of marketing
                                                                                  ners who find it easy to get to a
1964, Emmett discontinued the          and real estate for McCoy Corpo-
                                                                                  McCoy’s on a weekday or Satur-
roofing contractor portion of their    ration, explain McCoy’s Building
                                                                                  day and don’t seem bothered by
business and the McCoy family          Supply has cultivated relation-
                                                                                  the fact the store lights are out on
concentrated on increasing the         ships with three groups of cus-
     “I think as we target our cus-      ing have changed from 10 years         much wider variety of gates for
tomer, and not market quite to           ago. “We didn’t have the kind of       cattle and horse owners, in all
the masses that we used to, that’s       computer system years ago to           sizes, shapes and gauges. “We
allowed us to be closed on Sunday        track the customer like we do to-      weren’t stocking any panels be-
and not feel as much pressure,”          day. But definitely our ranching       fore and now we have a full line
McCoy says.                              customers owned larger ranches         and options on types and gauges
     He continues to describe the        and were buying fencing supplies.      and so forth,” he chuckles. And, if
groups. “The home-owner cus-             Oftentimes, their crews were do-       a store doesn’t have a specific
tomers still like the service they       ing some fencing. Today, the big       product, it can be ordered for
can get at a McCoy’s store. They         ranches have gotten outside con-       pickup or delivery. That goes for
are buying often enough to know          tractors doing the fencing,” Mc-       any product McCoy’s sells, includ-
the difference between coming to         Coy says.                              ing the lumber products on which
our store” and a big box retailer.            He has observed that the av-      the business was built.
     McCoy        describes       the    erage herd size in the areas
repair/remodel community as their        around McCoy’s stores has be-          New, renew, re-invest
pro’s and tradesmen that come in         come smaller. “We know the typi-
the store on a weekly, if not daily,     cal rancher in Texas and in other           The 85th McCoy’s Building
                                         of our markets, very frequently, is    Supply has just opened in Alpine.
basis. That’s everything from the
                                         making a living in some other          This is the first new store in a
fix-it-up guy to the remodeler doing
                                         way, too. They are enjoying that       new market for them in several
an entire room addition or house
                                         rural lifestyle and raising cattle.    years. “Over the last almost 10
addition and everything in
                                              “That’s where we feel we pro-     years, we’ve been trying to take
between – the drywallers, painters,
                                         vide great service as far as product   our existing locations and rein-
electricians, plumbers, deck
                                         mix, store locations, and availabil-   vest in them,” he explains. “We’ve
builders. They are not in new con-
                                         ity. We’ve put a lot of emphasis in    had a strategy of either improving
struction, but they are always out
                                         recent years on that category for a    our facilities or moving them.”
there doing projects for others.
                                         couple of reasons. One is our loca-         Several factors cause the Mc-
     “Then the independent home
                                         tions. Second, we really have the      Coy’s team to consider a new mar-
builder is our third category of
                                         outdoor space to handle the prod-      ket. “For instance, Alpine was un-
customer,” as opposed to the big
                                         ucts (ranchers can use), and we        derserved, we thought, in terms
national home builders.
                                         deliver them. That’s service we can    of building products. So far we’ve
     Geography often determines                                                 been well received.”
the size of the farmer/rancher cat-                                                  Stauffer agrees, explaining,
                                              On some of the smaller
egory. For example, McCoy ad-                                                   “We look at high growth areas.
                                         acreage ranches, “folks are doing
mits they don’t sell much farm                                                  We look for areas where inde-
                                         their own fencing, their own cat-
and ranch equipment through                                                     pendents are building. On the
                                         tle handling. They need the set
their Galveston Island location,                                                consumer side, we like high popu-
                                         up! We want to be a part of that,”
but “you get just about anywhere                                                lation growth and large family
                                         McCoy says.
else, you have a chance to sell               As a result, McCoy’s Building     size. There seems to be a correla-
farm and ranch products. There           Supply has developed relation-         tion there.
are cattle and horses all over this      ships with quality farm and                 “Age of housing is important
cotton picking state!”                   ranch equipment manufacturers          for us to look at. Those are factors
     McCoy’s Building Supply has         and suppliers, such as Priefert for    we blend. As long as we have job
85 locations in Texas, Oklahoma,         cattle handling equipment and          growth, jobs created in an individ-
New Mexico, Arkansas and Mis-            Stay-Tuff for high-tensile fencing     ual market, there are going to be
sissippi. “We just opened our 85th       products.                              new homes built,” Stauffer con-
location in Alpine,” McCoy says,              “On the fencing side,” he ex-     tinues.
clearly excited at the prospect.         plains, “the whole selection of             McCoy’s has been in some
And, it’s close to their family ranch.   fencing products has changed.          cities for enough years that the
     Stauffer adds, “It’s amazing        Used to be, you had some barbed        pattern of growth may have shift-
what percentage of our independ-         wire and you had some field fence      ed, or original business neighbors
ent builders have cattle and have        and there weren’t any options on       may have moved or declined. Or,
farm accounts. Then, the typical         high tensile, or options we’re see-    perhaps the old location isn’t
target do-it-yourselfers typically       ing today. It’s been fun to be able    large enough to allow them to ex-
are more rural, have a few acres,        to offer more variety in that are-     pand the store as they’d like. “It’s
so they’ll have some livestock.          na.” The variety of fencing sup-       either we’re in a solid location
That’s where this blends so well         plies includes their own Tuf-Mac       with enough space to get our facil-
together.”                               brand, supplied by Oklahoma            ity up to standard, or we need to
     McCoy and Stauffer agree            Steel and Wire.                        move,” McCoy explains.
that the demographics of ranch-               McCoy adds they provide a              “A great example would be
right here in San Marcos.” Their       him this could be a career.             Our service in the store is very
original location didn’t lend itself       “Then we have the truly             important. We have customers
to the traffic they wanted and         wholly homegrown in Toni Hill,          who value all those things.
wasn’t what they considered a          manager at Brownwood. She                    “Same on the fencing side,
good location for their showcase       started with the crew, then be-         too. We’ll have a certain set of
store. “We decided to move this        came assistant manager. Then            products by location, because
store. There is so much growth to      when the opportunity came up,           some locations have a broader se-
the west of town and in the hills.     she became the manager. We do           lection or the space for it. If we
“Plus,” he adds with a chuckle,        recruit from the outside, but we        don’t have it, we just order it for a
admitting to some business relat-      also recruit from within our            customer.”
ed vanity, “Our own home town          ranks.”                                      The outside lumber yards at
needs to have a really kicking             College graduates are wel-          McCoy’s locations provides them
store!”                                come at McCoy’s, but folks with-        with more space than typical big
     As a result, the San Marcos       out college degrees shouldn’t be        box retailers to store and display
McCoy’s is west of I-35 on Wonder      deterred from applying for posi-        farm and ranch supplies.
World Drive, easily accessible to      tions. McCoy says, “There are                McCoy explains another of
new homes being situated in the        some pretty dedicated, smart,           their theories – the woman of the
picturesque hills of western Hays      savvy people who don’t have de-         family really seems to drive the
County and an easy drive from          grees. We love finding them and         projects in the heavy-duty do-it-
town on a surface road, freeing        giving them responsibility they         yourselfer category. Therefore,
patrons from the hassles of the        can handle.”                            “We want our stores to be very fe-
notoriously bad traffic of I-35            Is the McCoy’s work force,          male-friendly,” he smiles. They
near the Outlet Mall.                  like all work forces, getting gray-     accomplish that by greeting every
     Besides investing in their        er? McCoy leans forward and an-         customer who enters a store and
physical locations, McCoy’s Build-     swers quickly, “Yeah and we’re          make them – male and female –
ing Supply has a culture of invest-    fine with that!”                        feel that help is on the way.
ing in their people. McCoy says            He continues, “We have some              “We don’t bat 1000, but we’re
the company-wide voice mail sys-       men in their 80s today who are          really working on our percentage
tem is a great tool to send            part-time with us still. We are re-     so that somebody can be support-
announcements to hundreds of           ally quite fine with that, and          ed when they come into one of our
people in a few seconds. But, it       frankly I have had this feeling for     stores,” McCoy says.
doesn’t replace the handshake and      a while that the older we get the            McCoy and Stauffer say na-
one-on-one communication. The          more we really value some of the        tional competitors bring chal-
company newsletter is often filled     service we’re trying to provide.”       lenges and opportunities to their
with employment anniversaries
                                                                               stores. While the national stores
numbering 10, 20, 30 years or
                                       Out-service the 800-pound               have taken away occasional buy-
                                       gorilla                                 ers of building or repair products,
     “I was just at our store in
                                           The building supply business        they have found the serious do-it-
Richwood,” McCoy says, “and one
of the men that works in our store     is highly competitive. The Mc-          yourselfers, semi- and profession-
out there next month celebrates        Coy’s Building Supply in San            al builders recognize the help Mc-
35 years with our company. We          Marcos is on the road to Lowe’s         Coy’s offers them through
celebrate those things! I keep up      and just a few exits down from          professional advice and support,
with the birthdays of about 300        Home Depot. How does one com-           such as their delivery service.
McCoy people out of our whole          pete with, not one, but two 800-             Stauffer adds, “We really focus
team, and anniversary dates for        pound gorillas in the same town?        a lot on all of us having a relation-
about the same size group.”                Unfazed, McCoy’s eyes practi-       ship or connection with customers.
     McCoy laughs and admits the       cally gleam at the challenge, “We       That’s not something that’s talked
lumber and building material           compete all the time in that sce-       about in a lot of companies.”
business may not be a glamorous        nario. You have to compete on the
career field to a young part-time      focus. Our lumberyard selection is      The next generations
employee, but he does have some        greater than Home Depot or                  McCoy’s Building Supply is
examples of “home-grown suc-           Lowe’s. Think about the things          facing the same generational
cesses.”                               that are in our yard, real core         transfer issues ranchers face.
     “Matt Ramos was a young           things – forestry products. We          Emmett McCoy turned 84 this
man who worked part time in our        don’t try to compete with their ceil-   year and spent the last several
Kingsville location. He is manag-      ing fan or light fixture selection.”    years turning the business and
ing the El Campo location today.           He continues, “We focus on          ranching operations over to the
When he was a part-timer, he had       what we’re really good at. Our          next generations.
someone encourage him and tell         delivery service is very important.         “We have a great partner-
ship,” McCoy says of the family
members and their children. “You
talk about the succession in fam-
ily businesses, I know that’s a big
thing in the ranching industry.
Our folks have handled that real-
ly well.” McCoy says his father,
“has been very dedicated to get-
ting the ownership down to the
next generation. I credit my fa-
ther for realizing the tax man is
going to come,” and then set
about working through the own-
ership shift of McCoy’s Building
Supply, McCoy’s Real Estate and
the ranching operation.
     Brian and his family, includ-
ing daughter Meagan who has
joined the company full-time,
have primary responsibility for
the retail business. His sister
Brenda and her husband Kaare
Remme are responsible for the
ranching enterprise and brother
Mike is involved with the real es-
tate entities.
     “Whether it was a sale or gift-
ing or whatever, we got all that
down to the next generation,” he
says with a bit of a relieved sigh.
     Brian and his wife Wetonnah
are new grandparents this year,
thanks to their son Reid and
daughter-in-law Katherine. “The
generations are coming!” he says
with clear delight.
     He adds, “We are corny
enough to say, ‘I want to be a good
caretaker of all this and pass it on.’
To be a part of that and to be part
of people’s homes, ranches and
farms is special for McCoy’s.” ■

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