Operations, Profiles, Sales & Marketing, V7I3

Nationwide Partnership

An America’s Buildings builder delivers sheds to a local Lowe’s store.

About 15 years ago, Jim White decided to find a way to provide sheds and other portable structures to chain stores across the country.

The solution? Partner with local builders near the retail chain stores to build and deliver the structures. 

That idea led to the creation of America’s Buildings, based in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

“Our main customer has been Lowe’s Company, but we have provided service to other corporate hardware outlets,” says White. “For many years, we had our buildings in all the Meijer stores.”

He says doing business with Lowe’s came as a result of being in the right place at the right time. Lowe’s was experiencing some problems with its major supplier, and White helped out until that supplier worked out its problems.

“From the time we called on Lowe’s to when we set our first building took one full year,” he says. “We have enjoyed a good relationship with the Lowe’s folks because of Lowe’s commitment to customer service—it coincides with the way we do business. Lowe’s goes to great lengths to make their customers happy.” 

The partnership started on a small basis, but today, the company places its buildings at Lowe’s locations in 21 different states, from South Dakota to Florida, at approximately 325 stores.

White and his wife, Pam, along with Charles Hutchins and his brother, Dee, were the original owners of America’s Buildings. 

“Charles and Dee left to pursue some other opportunities, but due to the growth of America’s Buildings, they have come back to work with us in a consulting capacity and acting as regional managers in different areas of the United States, working hand-in-hand with the PSEs (product specialist exterior) of Lowe’s,” shares White. 

What makes the America’s Buildings-Lowe’s partnership unique is that the company provides Lowe’s with portable storage structures by using local builders.

“We bring to Lowe’s the ability to sell and market Amish and Mennonite craftsmanship with portable and built-on-site storage buildings,” shares White. “America’s Buildings has partnered with different regional builders who stand out in quality and service.

“The builders love the Lowe’s program.”

He points out that while the company uses many Amish and Mennonite shops, it does have other builders creating structures.

“We do not limit ourselves to (Amish and Mennonite shops), but it boils down to quality and service,” White says. “This is a great opportunity for the builders, who enjoy the volume sales without the headache of dealing with some dealers. 

“America’s Buildings provides all the sales materials, brochures, and door signs.”

He goes on to say that because of the emphasis on training, the company has had to grow its infrastructure in order to handle the increased business. 

Because America’s Buildings partners with local builders, the products offered through Lowe’s stores cover an array of options. White says styles range from barns and utility sheds to cabins and studio sheds, to pavilions, chicken coops, and playhouses. 

White shares that when the company partners with a builder to sell through a local Lowe’s store, the builder benefits in several ways.

“The builder has the ability to get his buildings in front of a major leader in the home improvement business with a substantial customer base,” he points out. 

“And the builder has no cost in lot rental or sales material or working with a dealer. America’s Buildings is responsible for the training program, sales material, and the sales process.”

Lowe’s PSE employees are a newer marketing strategy for the retail chain. PSEs oversee storage building sales, working with customers interested in a structure for their yards. 

“The PSE even makes house calls and surveys the spot for the building to be delivered,” says White.

“We’ve embraced this marketing plan, and we’ve set forth a training program to help the PSEs with the use of literature, PowerPoint presentations, and regional managers who are assigned to the PSEs’ stores.”

There is also a 24/7 hotline for PSEs to call, as well as a Lowe’s-specific website to help when more information is needed.

The process starts at the Lowe’s store, where America’s Buildings provides displays. The company provides tear pads in each display, which the customer uses to order a portable building.

After the PSE works with the customer, the builder assembles and delivers the structure to the customer for Lowe’s.

White says that in the future, America’s Buildings will have a “Shed Builder Program” that can be downloaded to a PSE’s tablet to aid them in working with customers.

“We are also looking at putting on sales seminars that will be offered to PSEs, held at shops so they can see the buildings being built,” he shares.

Besides America’s Buildings, White operates USA Portable Buildings, for company-owned sales locations and dealers, and Amish Made Cabins, which markets and sells completely finished Amish-constructed portable cabins.

There’s plenty for the Whites to be excited about in the portable structures industry, and the growth of the America’s Buildings-Lowe’s partnership, with shed builders across the country, is leading the way.

“Lowe’s has an unmatchable commitment to customer service and excellence in quality goods,” says White. “They go the extra mile to make sure their customers are satisfied with the Lowe’s experience.

“Of course, there are always highs and lows in any long-term relationship, but our future with Lowe’s is one that I believe is bright, and we are excited about it. We look forward to seeing how far the coverage will take us.”     


Kentucky Shed Businesses Teaming Together at Lowe’s, August 13, 2020

Flexible and Attentive, January 11, 2018

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