BuildDirect is a venture capital, institutional investor, and family office backed technology company founded in 1999 and headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company operates an online marketplace for heavyweight home improvement products. While over 90% of the company’s products are currently flooring, the company has historically also supplied tile, decking, building materials, outdoor, kitchen & bath, molding & accessories and doors. The company connects buyers (including both consumers and contractors) with sellers (suppliers and manufacturers) via the BuildDirect Gateway. By 2017, the company’s expansion into side-line businesses had significantly increased costs at the company but never generated the revenue to justify those costs, eventually leading the company to declare bankruptcy.
After emerging from bankruptcy, the new CEO, Dan Park, had the challenge of restructuring the company for long-term success. This would require clearly defining the core competencies of the company, streamlining their product offerings, building a new management team and reducing costs at the organization.
In early 2018, Build Direct was looking for a new Chief Financial Officer to help manage the structural changes that needed to be made and ensure that the company was set up for continued revenue growth, cashflow and profitability. Shortly after taking the position as CEO, Dan called FLG Partners to garner our help in rounding out the leadership team he had built. He was looking for a strong Consumer Products CFO with a proven track-record to help him quickly make the needed changes at the company. Stephanie Roberts, prior CFO at Old Navy, joined BuildDirect as interim CFO in May of 2018. Stephanie was the final hire that rounded out Park’s newly formed leadership team.
Stephanie had the benefit of working along a talented Sr. Finance Director at BuildDirect. Together they quickly assessed the financial health of the company, concluding that significant strategic and operational changes were going to be required if the company were going to build a path to profitability. Stephanie and Dan worked closely with the leadership team to evaluate and prioritize which strategies would have the best long-term outcome for the company. Together they streamlined the company’s product offerings to focus primarily on flooring and built a much smaller but stronger organization around this core focus as non-flooring product categories while only 20% of revenues, had added unneeded complexity and costs.
The leadership team, working with both Dan and Stephanie, took a fresh look at how the company was organized, the roles within each organization and which functions should be retained (in a smaller footprint) and which functions should be outsourced. By the end of 2018, a solid strategy was in place and presented to and approved by the Board. Stephanie helped hire and groom an internal successor to lead the Finance function and continued with BuildDirect through December 2018. Because of these changes, the company was Contribution Profit profitable for the first time ever at the end of 2019.
“I couldn’t be happier with Stephanie’s contributions to BuildDirect as interim CFO during this critical time at the company”, notes their CEO, Dan Park. “I wouldn’t hesitate to bring Stephanie and FLG in, again”.