Profiles, V9I5

‘I Have Never Been as Excited as I Am Today!’

Darren Warren of Stor-Mor Portable Buildings says, “We are only as good as the people around us.”

Darren Warren looks at shed building beyond the structures.

He looks at the people involved and affected by his company’s buildings and even larger endeavors.

Of course, he keeps his eye on the business side of Stor-Mor Portable Buildings, but he’s found that focusing on people and causes like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital brings about success and a commitment to the greater good.

Shed Builder Magazine had the chance to find out more about Warren and his company recently.

How did you get started in the shed business?

I began working in general construction with my dad at an early age, and at 16, I was diagnosed with cancer. My dad was concerned it would be too difficult for me to be outside in the sun and heat while managing my illness and going through treatments, so he decided to shift gears and venture into the shed business. 

In 1999, he opened Better Built Portable Buildings in Melber, Kentucky. I worked in the family business until 2008 when a tragedy hit our family and my dad decided it was time to sell the business. 

From 2008 to 2017, I was involved with various businesses including pole barns, steel buildings, and metal roofing. All these paths naturally led me back to the portable building industry, founding Stor-Mor Portable Buildings in 2017. 

We started in the Southeast and have been growing ever since. In 2022, we acquired Heritage Building Company from North Carolina, increasing our footprint and helping us see a new perspective in the industry. 

We have learned a lot from their successes and created new ways of operating that have been extremely beneficial.

What does your operation look like today?

Stor-Mor currently sells buildings across 19 states with over 315 authorized dealers. We manufacture sheds in 17 shops throughout the lower 48. We proudly build our sheds using LP products and materials from other esteemed suppliers.

We offer a multitude of wood frame portable buildings with various siding products—lofted barns, utility buildings, garages, cabins, etc.

We collaborate with operating partners who build products to our engineered specifications. With our focus on quality and customer service, we have found that our price point is not nearly as important as the people surrounding our companies.

Like everyone in this industry, seasonality plays a major role in delivery time, but with the advancements in technology through e-commerce orders and increased efficiency within our offices, a customer could contact us and have the building order completed in half an hour for an off-lot building. 

If the customer is looking for a custom building, we spend extra time with them to ensure the specifications, colors, and placements are exactly as the customer has envisioned. These orders might take a couple of hours from the moment we meet with the customer until the moment they have their finalized paperwork. 

Taking into consideration all the various factors, our company goal is to ensure any building bought off the lot is delivered in five to seven business days and custom orders are delivered in 14-21 business days. 

We pride ourselves on the customizations we can provide for each customer based on their individual preferences. We offer an expansive array of options at each of our shops. If a customer has a vision, we will find a way to make it a reality for them. 

Recently, we’ve seen an increased demand for electrical packages and spray foam insulation. Of course, we have window and door options that customers frequently integrate into their floor plans. 

We’re constantly listening to our customers, working with various vendors, and examining the market to continue expanding our product line and custom options. 

Talk about how you’ve dealt with the events of the past three years.

Like everyone in the industry, the last three years have been challenging with fluctuations and market uncertainty. The sales surge since 2020 was exciting and somewhat overwhelming, accompanied by a drastically increased cost of goods and supply-chain issues that directly affected our end product. 

This time period presented us with an opportunity to evaluate new ways to handle our business and operations. 

We were resilient and adapted to become much more efficient with our processes. We encountered some software-related challenges and quickly turned our focus to improving upon those obstacles to increase our performance company-wide.

What would you say is the key to your shed-building success?

Our people … our partnering structure with manufacturing shops, drivers, and dealers is what truly stands out to me. We acknowledge that our successes would be minimal without the contributions of those around us. 

I can’t stress this enough: we recognize that we wouldn’t be half of what we have been fortunate to build without our people. They are the reason we have experienced such growth and success. 

This business has been built on the backs of mom-and-pop businesses with honesty and integrity at the forefront. This culture is what makes our business one to thrive in. In return, we’ve witnessed a true impact with heightened team morale and boosted sales in the field. 

Nurturing these unique relationships has been the foundation of our successes. 

What does the future look like for your business?

To continue focusing on what got us here in the first place. Working with good people, building long-lasting partnerships, and expanding our footprint in new and existing territories. 

We will continue focusing on online sales and improving technology within our company. We are excited about our parent company, Stor-Mor Outdoor Products, offering a lot more outdoor products and structures to our customers in the industry.

We are very optimistic about the future. It is our belief that the shed business has a long life ahead of it. 

We have found that finding a greater cause for our people to focus on has been a huge help in building culture and morale of our employees, dealers, partners, and customers. 

It is important for all of us to understand that we are only as good as the people around us and if we have good people around us, good people want to help others like the patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

Having a greater purpose for our companies will be the thing that Stor-Mor and its associated companies will focus on in the coming years.

In all the years I’ve been in the shed business, I have never been as excited as I am today. 

There is so much enthusiasm within the industry for finding new operating partners to continue growing Stor-Mor and its affiliated companies. In our growth, I have always known that I wanted to turn and give back. 

What I really want to expound upon is our press release in last month’s issue regarding our partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Being a St. Jude kid myself, I benefited from the donations of their donors. 

St. Jude ensures no family ever has a bill from the hospital. As an adult, I have never forgotten that. I have personally made an effort to contribute to St. Jude whether monetarily, through fundraising events, performing at Country Cares benefit concerts, visiting patients, and now with Stor-Mor’s promise to continue raising funds for the kids of St. Jude. 

We agree with St. Jude’s founder, Danny Thomas, that no child should die in the dawn of life. With that being said, we started in 2021 by donating as a corporate partner of St. Jude, and last year, our goal was to raise $100,000 for the kids at St. Jude. Thanks to our customers, dealers, shops, and corporate donations, we were able to reach that goal! 

This year, we have promised to double last year’s goal! We kicked off our big fundraiser in August and by the end of November, we have committed to raising $200,000 for the hospital! 

We want everyone to know when you partner with Stor-Mor, we work together for a greater purpose.

If you read this before the Shed Builder Expo at the end of September, come see us to learn more about our fundraising efforts, speak to a representative from St. Jude, and donate to help the hospital continue saving lives.  

If you’d like to join our cause, visit us at https://www.stormor.com/st-jude.

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