The construction industry is huge, and so is Nathan Derrick’s idea to transform that industry with SupplyHog.com (formerly called Nopone). Nathan knows construction. He has experience in all aspects of the industry from surveying, financing, and titling to contracting, supplying, and building. Nathan recognized that one of the most inefficient processes in the construction industry is the supplier-builder relationship. For example, if a builder needs a 2×4, there is no place online that that builder can go to get a price quote on 2x4s because their prices fluctuate daily with commodity markets. A builder can get quotes on car or home insurance, airline tickets or vacation packages, and just about anything else he or she might want, but the builder can’t find the current price of a 2×4! To do that, he or she would have to call every building materials supplier and get quotes from each one to find the best deal on 2x4s. By revolutionizing builder-supplier relationships through the Web, Nathan explains that SupplyHog.com could change the course of a multi-billion dollar industry. On SupplyHog.com, a builder that needs a 2×4 lists it online, local suppliers place competing bids for the business, and the builder picks the cheapest bid and gets the 2×4. As building materials prices can fluctuate overnight, Supply Hog streamlines the old, time consuming process of contractors having to check prices on materials everyday. With Supply Hog, it’s as easy as list it, supply it, build it.
While Supply Hog has the potential to streamline the multi-billion dollar construction industry for industry insiders like suppliers and contractors, it also has the potential to make a big impact on the purchasing habits of do-it-yourselfers. Supply Hog could be a really big money maker by capitalizing on traditional supplier-builder relationships, but Nathan admits that what he is looking forward to most is Supply Hog’s potential to level the playing field for mom and pop suppliers to compete with big box retailers like Lowes and Home Depot. Nathan puts it this way, if he watches Rachel Ray on the Food network and sees a recipe that he really wants to cook, he knows exactly where to go to get those ingredients, a grocery store. If instead, he is watching Bob the Builder on the do-it-yourself network tile his bathroom floor, and he decides he wants to do that, then he would probably go to the nearest Lowes or Home Depot even though there may be several independently owned, cheaper suppliers around. Why are the independent guys often cheaper than the big box retailers? They don’t have to pay millions in marketing, sponsorships, and executive salaries. Nathan laments, “When I owned a supply warehouse, I used to go to Lowes or Home Depot and see a guy there buying three thousand dollars worth of lumber. I would think to myself, shoot, if I could have only bid for those materials, I could have saved that guy hundreds of dollars.” Through SupplyHog.com, independent suppliers can potentially reach the do-it-yourselfers and meaningfully compete with the big box retailers for business.
Nathan Derrick is an entrepreneur is a big way. He comes from a family of small business owners and says that working for other people has just never worked out for him. He likes to be his own boss, and he believes that big risks equal big rewards. Nathan said that he came up with the idea for Supply Hog two years ago and has since spent that time doing market research and figuring out exactly how the site would operate. Nathan has been gaining notoriety for his idea since November of 2010 when Supply Hog handily won the Company Lab’s Will This Float Competition in Chattanooga. The site launched in 2011, and the transformation of supplier-builder relationships in the greater Chattanooga is now underway.
Nathan has big ambitions for Supply Hog. He tells me that construction is not a flashy or glamorous industry, so that’s why your average consumer probably has not heard of sites that cater to construction industry professionals. For instance, who has ever heard of nutsandbolts.com? Well, they did over a billion dollars in sales in 2010 according to Nathan, and Nathan thinks that through Supply Hog, suppliers can sell a lot more than just nuts and bolts. Supply Hog has the potential to go nationwide and worldwide. Nathan sees Mexico as the next logical market for Supply Hog, and SupplyHog.com already has a Spanish version in the works. With the potential to revolutionize the construction industry worldwide, Nathan Derrick has high hopes that he will be ringing the Nasdaq bell one day as Supply Hog CEO.