Dealer of the Year: Leadership in the Professional Market

Associated Building Supply, Inc. recognized for overall excellence in the professional market
October 27, 2014


                in the




COMPANY LEADERSHIP: Chris Cole, owner and president; Scott Thurber, vice president

LOCATION: 9 in California—corporate office and 8 showrooms

SALES VOLUME: $15.5 million


PRODUCTS: High-end products from Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors; mid-range products from Western Window Systems, LaCantina Doors and EuroLine Windows; custom products from AG Millworks and Pacific Architectural Millwork

At Associated Building Supply, the sales team spends a lot of time developing relationships with architects. “We really help enhance their reputation with the homeowner and take the burden off the window and door decision,” says Vice President Scott Thurber, who joined the company eight years ago when owner Chris Cole decided to expand the business. During his tenure, Thurber has helped grow ABSi to eight locations in California—ranging from San Diego to Northern California—and 20 salespeople.

“ABSi sales experts take ownership with each customer and are committed to the service they provide from start to finish on every project,” says Jason Funk, president of Western Window Systems, which supplies ABSi. “They work to build the customer’s vision and stay on budget.” To enable the sales team to offer top-notch service, ABSi gives its sales consultants access to all eight showrooms for customer meetings and to use work stations when on the road. Since the company uses a cloud-based system, consultants have access to a private, real-time sales dashboard, quoting software, customer contracts and business records.

 Chris Cole, president of Associated Building Supply Inc., left, and Scott Thurber, vice president. Photo by Harry Bellows Photography.

“With a salesforce of tenured industry professionals, LaCantina Doors has the utmost confidence in ABSi’s ability to manage complex projects and support our mutual customers,” says Tim Kelting, national sales director for LaCantina Doors, which Associated Building Supply carries in its showrooms. “ABSi draws from a broad range of experience and has proven its ability to successfully exceed the service expectations of builders, architects and designers, as well as homeowners and end users.”

Jeld-Wen Sales Manager Larry Case says he appreciates ABSi’s “continual training” for its employees and their professional customers—contractors and architects—who regularly attend Jeld-Wen manufacturing and plant training and tours. “You can expect an ABSi consultant to know the answer to product questions or know the best path to get an answer quickly,” he says.

Thurber says the company helps its customers through value engineering and knowledge. “When some people look at plans, they see it as gospel. We look at it as art—requirements, codes, installation, aesthetics—all the things the homeowner is after rolled into one package. That’s where we shine. We spend a great deal on that whole process to become the expert.” The method seems to be working. ABSi has seen nearly 50 percent growth in the past three years, according to Thurber. “We did well during the Recession by focusing on the super high-end luxury home niche, which didn’t suffer like production homes.”

ABSi is committed to finding employees who Thurber says “are more professional. We continue to grow and hire all the time. We’re trending at $21 million for this year and our goal is to be at $50 million in the next three to four years.”