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CB-USA Purchasing Group Annual Meeting at Kohler Headquarters

Last Monday and Tuesday I was in Kohler Wisconsin for my CB-USA purchasing group’s National Leadership Conference. Kohler along with Dupont and ILevel sponsored our meeting and the Kohler facilities there are incredible! The Kohler company is a 100+ year old family business and the town grew around the factory. It’s like visiting a hollywood set because all the houses are quaint and manicured. Our Kohler owned hotel was fabalous too. All the latest Kohler faucets, toilets, body spray showers, etc. We took the factory tour on Monday morning and it was amazing to see how all the fixtures I use in my houses are built. The best part of the tour was the iron foundry. I’ve probably installed 750 Kohler cast iron tubs in my 15 years of building and I had no idea how they are made. Each tub has a massive mold that molten iron is poured into, the enamel process is equally amazing as they heat up these iron tubs red hot then dust them with enamel that looks like flour. The enamel process is robotic and I wish I could have videoed the process (no cameras allowed). They are smart in giving factory tours as I’m much more likely to recommend Kohler products after seeing their amazing factory.
Here’s the official memo on the trip: “Members from each of CB/USA’s 13 city operations participated in the 3 day forum that included manufacturer focus groups, “best demonstrated practices” sharing and an extensive strategic planning session which will help to set the priorities for the 230 member network over the next 12 months. Discussion topics during the planning segment included CB/USA’s year-over-year performance, major enhancements to the company’s web-based purchasing software, marketing and a member certification program. Additionally, the group discussed strategies for strengthening its relationship with select vendors and manufacturers, the development of national and local bid specifications and the implementation of industry-leading purchasing tools as a means of increasing efficiency and lowering hard costs for member builders.”
You can check out our local CB-USA Austin website and the national CB-USA website for more information about our group. Look for our group to be a more visible force in marketing our buying power in 2010. -Matt Risinger