South End Lumber – Timbermart

Growing to better serve Manitoba builders

By Kim Biggar

Brothers Scott and Tyler Norosky have worked at South End Lumber – Timbermart (South End), their family business, since they were kids. Their grandfather founded the company in 1954, and their father took over in 1978. In 2010, Scott and Tyler joined their father as co-owners.

Located in Brandon since it was established, the company was a single-site operation for its first 64 years. On June 1, 2018, Tyler and Scott opened a second store, in Carberry, as part of their effort to increase and enhance services to the Manitoba construction industry.

The Carberry store, purchased from North American Lumber, is a solid addition to the company. “It already has a strong history in the region and the region has a strong economy,” said Scott. “We’re really pleased to be able to provide value to the community, through employment, as well as new products and services in
the store.”

Large product inventory to serve large construction projects

“At the Brandon store, we have just opened 20,000 square feet of new warehousing space,” said Scott. “All of our product is now stored inside, away from rain and snow.” Drive-through capacity allows customers to load their product out of the elements, too.

“Brandon is our distribution centre,” Scott said. An extensive inventory is maintained there, along with specialty equipment, to serve not only the Brandon area; it is also available on short notice to meet contractors’ and other customers’ needs in Carberry and beyond, “as far as Nelson House,” said Scott.

Scott stresses that contractors should communicate their product needs to either store before starting large projects – especially when out-of-the-ordinary items are part of the plan – to enable South End to have all product available when required. “We work closely with contractors to ensure we have everything they’ll need,” he said, “for projects that include multi-storey buildings, grocery stores and hospitals.

“We also have equipment to help our customers do their work more productively and more quickly,” said Scott. A 74-foot crane truck – useful on multi-storey and basement projects and on steep-slope job sites – shingle conveyors, dump trucks and truck-mounted forklifts are among the machines South End uses to get product exactly where customers need it on the job site.

300 collective years of customer service

The company’s 28 full-time employees include a sales team with more than 300 years’ experience. “They have loads of knowledge,” said Scott, “to help our residential, commercial and industrial customers. We have employees who’ve been with South End for as long as 40 years.”

The team is also well-trained, says Scott. Yard employees have completed Western Retail Lumber Association training courses, including train-the-trainer courses. Consequently, South End can now train and certify employees in-house in forklift and crane truck operation, WHMIS and more.

“We work closely with contractors to ensure we have everything they’ll need for projects that include multi-storey buildings, grocery stores and hospitals.”

– Scott Norosky, Timbermart

Building relationships key to success

“We have very strong relationships with contractors, business owners and retail customers,” said Scott. Based on those relationships – and the reputation they imply – the company can also count on word-of-mouth promotion to help boost sales.

“We’ll aim to maintain our existing relationships and reach out to new customers,” said Scott about future plans. Strengthening and building ties – along with giving back to the local economy – is behind Scott’s involvement in the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, for which he serves on the Board of Directors.

South End’s membership in CARM is largely about networking, too. The company has been active in the association since Scott and Tyler’s grandfather joined in the 1960s (when it was still known as the Brandon Builders Exchange); he served as president in 1965. Seeing customers and prospective customers in a social setting is a real benefit to suppliers, says Scott. In addition, learning about coming projects from contractor members provides opportunities to follow up about material requirements and offer quotes.

Looking to the future, Tyler and Scott are intent on further expansion of their product and service offerings. And, because the Carberry acquisition has been such a success for them, they wouldn’t rule out another, sometime down the road.