How it began
PAL incorporated in 1937, was 100% member-owned and managed by a 12-member board of directors. In 1935, five enterprising businessmen were in need of a great deal of roofing materials at competitive prices to contend with Sears, Roebuck & Company, the mass-merchant of the day. They worked together to purchase the materials they needed. This purchasing power saved them a great deal of money and began the cooperative that was to become known as PAL.
ENAP was founded in 1967 by six upstate New York lumber dealers who also combined their building commodities purchasing power to make themselves more competitive. Over the next forty-nine years, ENAP developed member partners throughout the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and Midwest. Like PAL and IBSA, it too was member-owned and managed. ENAP’s strategy was an aggressive one based on continued growth by design, striving to provide its membership with a cross section of superior products and programs in a variety of categories. Their corporate structure and tenured sales professionals provided a unique opportunity for members to grow without adding purchasing staff.
IBSA opened in 1977 in Smithfield, NC with eight dealers looking to improve their business. IBSA’s main purpose was to buy quality products with the best service in the industry at the lowest possible price. Over the next forty years IBSA experienced substantial growth. The number of shareholders increased to 215, suppliers increased from two to several hundred, over $6 million in sales volume grew to over $400 million and staff grew from three to thirty-one.
LBM Advantage was launched in 2016 with the merger of two key buying cooperatives, ENAP and PAL, combining 130 years of service excellence and industry knowledge. With ENAP’s strong presence in the Northeast and PAL’s strength in the Midwest, LBM Advantage provided major purchasing power benefits to its membership. The name LBM Advantage was selected for the new cooperative because it underscored its mission to create a competitive advantage for members by leveraging their collective power.
Continuing in the same tradition and commitment to its membership, to grow and diversify its geographic presence with regional expertise, LBM Advantage merged with IBSA in October of 2017. Independent dealer support was further strengthened in the Eastern, Midwestern and Southern markets. Advantage services these markets with offices located in New Windsor NY, Grand Rapids MI, Smithfield NC and Monroe LA. The combined membership increased total member locations to 1035 in 35 states. Advantage members today span 42 states with 519 members and 1169 total locations.