Page 1







December 2013


Special Features

Volume 92  Number 6


In Every Issue


















CHANGE OF ADDRESS Send address label from recent issue, new address, and 9-digit zip to address below. POSTMASTER Send address changes to The Merchant Magazine, 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872. The Merchant Magazine (ISSN 7399723) (USPS 796560) is published monthly at 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Periodicals Postage paid at Newport Beach, Ca., and additional post offices. It is an independently-owned publication for the retail, wholesale and distribution levels of the lumber and building products markets in 13 western states. Copyright®2013 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. It reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it.

Schedule your industry show travels throughout the year The

Month-by-month planning guide for over 300 LBM Industry Meetings & Expos throughout 2014




Building Products Digest



The Merchant Maga

zine • Building Produ cts


t • Building-Product 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newpor t Beach, Ca. 92660 (949) 852-1990 • Fax 949-852-0231 • www.bu

Pull out from the center of this issue Since 1922


The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

TOTALLY Random By Alan Oakes



Magazine A publication of Cutler Publishing

Go with the flow!

back-to-back events, including the NAWLA Traders Market, with continued signs of the industry being upbeat, perhaps now is a good time to finally recognize the industry upturn. Yes, it’s not where we would all want it, but we have seen the turn of a very deep curve and are positioned to start the growth that we all have been waiting for. It's good to see smiley faces again. While 2013 will be up (although maybe not quite to economic forecasts), 2014 should head even further north. While the industry will still have its ups and downs and growth will bring its own issues, it will be a much better place. As business starts to grow again, we are all probably feeling a bit stressed as we likely have 50% less staff around us now compared to pre-recession. As the market grows again and companies still are reluctant to hire, this is perhaps the time to review how we as individuals are performing and measure how productive we really are. The reality is that many of us waste a good part of our working day, which has grown substantially worse with cell phone and Internet usage in the office. So the question as we look at our day is where can we save time to cut costs, improve productivity, and, most importantly, add value to our companies? Imagine that you are a systems analyst analyzing yourself. How do you really spend your day? If we’re truly honest, I suspect most of us are wasting 25% or more of every day. If you start by breaking time into minutes, how many minutes did you spend reading emails? Answering them? Deleting? Tweeting? Facebooking? Making phone calls? Actually, my questions are not how many minutes did you spend on all the above for business reasons, but for personal reasons. How much time did you take from your company, which is paying you to be productive, during working hours? Now add to that the long lunch hour, the late arrival, chit-chatting in the hallway, waiting for meetings to start, and you can easily see the time lost before you even start to analyze real work. In some companies there are processes that haven’t changed for ever. Think about a nut and a bolt. How many turns does it take to get to the final quarter torque to tighten it? The reality is you may turn the bolt 10 times, yet that last turn is the only one that adds real value. So how do you reduce the other nine turns to save time and increase productivity? It is the same with what we do every day in the office or in the plant. If we can be honest with ourselves, how many of these turns could be eliminated with not one iota of difference to the end result? How much time do we spend looking for things because we are not well organized? How much “stuff” do we hold on to? How is our desk organized? How much time is lost due to multi-tasking and getting distracted? I know for me that the technology in our company always seems to be behind where it needs to be, regardless of how we try to improve it. How much time is lost in unproductive meetings (even waiting for them to start)? How often does the printer run out of paper? For me, the secret to higher productivity is to finish one task and flow to the next one—unlike this month’s column, which has taken four attempts to finish. Now if I could only practice what I preach! To all our readers, much thanks for your loyal support to our publications. To our advertisers who loyally choose us, which allows us to publish each and every month, a BIG thank you. My big wish to all is that you have a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season and that you get to enjoy it. See you next year on our travels.



4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Publisher Alan Oakes Publisher Emeritus David Cutler Director of Editorial & Production David Koenig Editor Karen Debats Contributing Editors Dwight Curran James Olsen Carla Waldemar Advertising Sales Manager Chuck Casey Administration Director/Secretary Marie Oakes Circulation Manager Heather Kelly

How to Advertise

Chuck Casey Phone (949) 852-1990 Fax 949-852-0231 Alan Oakes Phone (949) 852-1990 Fax 949-852-0231 CLASSIFIED David Koenig Phone (949) 852-1990 Fax 949-852-0231

How to Subscribe

SUBSCRIPTIONS Heather Kelly Phone (949) 852-1990 Fax 949-852-0231 or send a check to 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, CA 92660 U.S.A.: One year (12 issues), $22 Two years, $36 Three years, $50 FOREIGN (Per year, paid in advance in US funds): Surface-Canada or Mexico, $48 Other countries, $60 Air rates also available.

SINGLE COPIES $4 + shipping BACK ISSUES $5 + shipping

Alan Oakes, Publisher


The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

INDUSTRY Trends Engineered Wood Products

The road ahead in EWP

Q&A with new APA president L AST MONTH,

APA–The Engineered Wood Association bid farewell to its president of eight years, Dennis Hardman, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the organization. Stepping into the presidency is Ed Elias, a 35-year veteran of APA who has served in numerous roles, including technical, financial, and international marketing. We asked Elias to offer his perspectives on how APA and the engineered wood industry viewed 2013 and what dealers can expect in 2014.

Q: What expectations does APA have for housing in 2014? Elias: Along with the rest of the world, we’re forecasting housing demand in 2014 and global economic growth in general with cautious optimism. The economy is slowly improving, and the housing market is recovering in many areas. APA is forecast-

Q: How will APA approach these changing market scenarios? Elias: As an association, that means keeping a focus on our core goals and services while remaining open to opportunities to expand our programs to new and developing engineered wood products and systems. Specifically, related to housing, the association is pursuing the mainte-



The Merchant Magazine

ing 1.1 million housing starts in the U.S. in 2014, up 16% from an expected 945,000 starts in 2013. In Canada, we are expecting overall housing starts to remain similar to 2013 at 187,000. That being said, confidence among consumers and builders is still fragile and challenges, from a tight lending market to labor issues, remain. Of particular note is the fact that multi-family construction is up 32% for 2013, relative to single-family starts at 16%. This trend is expected to continue for several years, based on the assumption that as household growth among young people picks up, their first move is going to be into a rental apartment and not toward the purchase of a single-family house. On the positive side, home prices are generally higher by 12% relative to a year ago. Real gross domestic product is expected to average 2.8% through 2018, which is potentially high enough to improve the employment rate to levels where housing starts by 2015 could be as high as 1 to 1.2 million units per year. By 2018, APA forecasters are projecting that single-family housing starts could reach 1.05 million per year and multifamily 0.5 million starts per year. Demand growth in other end-use sectors, such as repair and remodeling, non-residential construction, and industrial markets, is expected to average 3% in 2014.

December 2013

nance and expansion of structural wood-based panel wall sheathing. But, we have also continued to support the growth of engineered wood floor systems and reduced callbacks through installation education and the proper specification of standard compliant products by engineers, architects and builders. For example, through our APA Simplified Wall Bracing program we are promoting the value proposition for the use of fully sheathed walls in low to moderate wind zones. Four states incorporated these provisions into their building codes this past year—North Carolina, Georgia, Idaho and Montana. The association has also promoted the expanded application of wood structural panel sheathing used in combination with systems other than foam sheathing to meet energy code and structural building requirements through our Advanced Framing construction program. More at the trade level, we have also focused on expanding the technical information available on mobile platforms such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Basic mobile Builder Tips related to the prevention of panel buckling, proper panel and nail spacing, squeaky floors, and care and handling of stock on the building site were successfully introduced in 2013.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for engineered wood manufacturers in the present economy and marketplace? How will those challenges affect LBM dealers and their customers, if at all? Elias: Recovering from our recent recession, there are no shortages of challenges. Overall market demand remains the primary challenge faced by the North American engineered wood products industry. North

American structural wood panel production in 2013 is forecast to reach 21.3 billion sq. ft. on a 3/8” thickness basis. We remain well below the 43 billion sq. ft. of production during 2005 and the peak of our housing market that totaled 2.3 million housing starts that year. Government fiscal policy is a challenge that we cannot directly address but clearly impacts labor markets, interest rates, and consumer confidence. The trend of depressed employment rates across all age classes, most notably in the under-35 age group, continues to adversely impact household growth and homeownership. Global supply and demand of wood products may also impact future consumption patterns of North American construction materials. The cost of raw materials and labor, and the availability of transport for distribution, will need to be balanced against trade policies between developing and developed nations. Competitive use of wood fiber for non-structural applications, such as wood pellets to meet clean energy targets, could also impact future availability. Other potential constraints deal with expanding regulatory concerns on formaldehyde emissions and those of methanol, as well as green building legislation. There are no shortages of challenges; prioritizing them will be a key role of the association, its board of trustees, and membership.

Q: What’s the industry production forecast for 2014 and beyond? Which categories are expected to be the strongest performers? Elias: For 2014, we forecast U.S. and Canadian plywood and OSB production to rise by 1.9 billion sq. ft. reaching 25.7 billion ft., up 9% from 2013. By 2018, U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel production is expected to reach 27.4 billion sq. ft. For 2014, North American production of engineered wood products, such as glued laminated timber, structural composite lumber, and wood Ijoists, are forecast to improve by 5%, 12% and 7%, respectively as the North American economy improves. Overall glulam demand in North America is expected to grow from 251 million bd. ft. in 2013 to 328 million bd. ft. in 2018. Structural wood I-joist production is expected to grow from 625 linear ft. in 2013 to 887 million linear ft. in 2018. LVL volumes will increase from 61.5 million cubic ft. in 2013 to

79.8 million cubic ft. in 2018. An increase in housing starts is expected to be the main driver for this increasing demand for engineered wood in North America. We also believe that recovery in non-residential construction will lag behind but follow home building. In this latter sector, we expect to see 31% growth by 2018 in comparison with 2013.

Q: What are some of APA’s chief highlights from 2013? Elias: APA’s website,, had almost 5,000 visits per day, every day of the year. Nearly 6,000 end-users had technical issues addressed by the APA Product Support Help Desk. New and updated technical publications were added to our library, and close to 150,000 publications were downloaded. We developed a bi-national ANSI standard for cross laminated timber and published a performance-rated structural insulated panel ANSI standard for use in wall applications. Promotion and education supported several APA wall sheathing systems to expand the specification and application of structural wood panels. APA established a strategic partnership with WoodWorks and, with the U.S. Forest Products Lab, hosted two Carbon Challenge competitions. Our field services staff hosted six dealer training events in the past year and presented a variety of educational sessions around the U.S. Q: What resources can engineered wood retailers and end-users expect from APA in 2014? Elias: We will continue to support the cost-effective use of structural wood wall sheathing to meet state energy and building codes. We will promote the preference of continuously sheathed wood structural panel walls to builders and code officials through field calls, publicity, seminars and publications. We will also continue to promote the specification and proper application of engineered wood products in APA wall, roof and floor systems, both in residential as well as commercial construction applications. The latter will be in conjunction with the industry-wide WoodWorks campaign. As well, increased incorporation of web-based programs, mobile applications, and social media will continue to be a priority.

Engineered Wood Panel Demand Growing Sharply

Demand for OSB and plywood structural engineered wood panels in North America is expected to reach about 30 billion (3/8” basis) sq. ft. in 2013 and grow to nearly 40 billion sq. ft. by 2016, according to Principia Consulting. Specialty OSB and plywood panels are the fastest growing segments within the business. Specialty panels offer value-added performance benefits compared to commodity panels, which enable manufacturer product differentiation in the market and some protection from competitive pressures through specification selling, leading to steady demand and higher margins. “Industry pricing and margins are subject to wide swings due to the cyclical nature of the structural engineered wood panels business,” said Steve Van Kouteren, Principia’s business director-industry reports. “As manufacturers bring capacity back online and plan new greenfield plants for the next growth cycle, a well-positioned specialty panels business provides higher margins and price stability during these cycles.” Building codes are a key driver of specialty structural engineered wood panels demand. A complex maze of building codes with varying adoption rates by states and local municipalities are driving changes in how homes and commercial structures are designed, built and remodeled. For example, energy codes are affecting demand for radiant barrier sheathing (RBS) and weather-resistant coated sheathing. California’s recently updated Title 24 energy codes require RBS at the roof in specific climate zones, and the 2012 IECC residential energy codes are driving product innovation and demand for air and moisture barrier products, including coated structural engineered wood panels. Other building codes affecting the demand for specialty panels include fire, seismic and wind load. To quantify these industry dynamics and trends, Principia will release a new study, “Structural Engineered Wood Panels 2014, Specialty Applications in Building and Construction,” in the second quarter of 2014.

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine



Photo by RoyOMartin

By Lee House

5 ways to improve efficiency

in warehouse management FFICIENCY IN THE warehouse is paramount to the success of any LBM company. It’s amazing how simple tweaks to processes can have big impacts on efficiency—and an organization’s bottom line. Despite this, many companies fail to make the necessary changes. Here are five simple things that can improve efficiency in warehouse management:

means every order mistake costs you double. No matter how large you are, this is unsustainable for the financial health of your company. The simple fix is to always doublecheck an order. Make it a policy, create a system, put a sign up so everyone remembers, do something! This is especially important when you have new hires picking orders.

Get a WMS

You know all too well how annoying it can be to misplace your favorite shirt, ball cap, or even your keys. You assume they’re “lost forever,” when, in fact, they’re just buried under a pile of junk in your bedroom. This simple scenario can cause immense frustration, make you late for an important engagement, and ultimately increase your stress levels well above a reasonable level. So what happens when your warehouse is unorganized and messy? Instead of being late for an appointment, you might be late sending out an order—which costs you money. Allocating an hour or two per week, or even per month, to cleaning the warehouse can lead to amazing improvements in your efficiency. You never know what missing or misplaced orders you might find. A clean warehouse also allows employees to


A warehouse management system can provide your company with greater inventory visibility and improved warehouse efficiency by enabling more accurate delivery of customer orders. Expedited orders can be reduced, and the ability of staff to quickly pick and ship products is made much easier. If your organization hasn’t implemented a WMS, it is time to start considering it.

Double-check orders

Humans are prone to lapses in judgment. As the saying goes, cross your T’s and dot your I’s. This has never been more of a requirement than in the warehouse. The cost to send out an order for the second time, after messing up the first order, is typically more than $100 (more than double the cost of sending a first order). That


The Merchant Magazine

Keep your warehouse clean

December 2013

move around more quickly and get things done easier. It’s just common sense.

Bring some order to your orders

Stacking items in an orderly, logical fashion enables easy and timely retrieval of items for staff, which increases efficiency. Items can more easily be found and are less likely to be lost or misplaced—thereby reducing waste and optimizing available space.

Walk the floor

A great way to identify inefficiencies is to have senior employees walk the warehouse floor. It only takes a few minutes. Getting an outsider’s perspective on day-to-day warehouse operations can go a long way to understanding where bottlenecks are occurring and why. Sometimes regular inspections become so routine that what may seem “normal” is actually grossly inefficient. Giving senior leadership—those with the authority to implement processing changes— insight into what may seem like mundane company operations can lead to extensive time and cost savings for the company. – Lee House is v.p. of I.B.I.S. Inc., Peachtree Corners, Ga., a software solution provider for the manufacturing industry. He can be reached at or (770) 903-3320.

PRODUCT Spotlight Lumber-Oriented Presents

Holiday gifts for the wood lovers in your life

F SOMEONE ON your holiday gift list can’t get enough of the beauty and durability of wood, you’re in luck this holiday season. From pocket knifes to pens to covers for Apple devices, you can satisfy anyone’s craving for something made of wood. The original Swiss Army knife, manufactured in Switzerland since 1891, is now available with a beautiful hardwood handle. One model, named SwissChamp, includes 25 different tools, including a can opener, screwdrivers, wire stripper, chisel/scraper, wood and metal saws, and a toothpick. It’s $130, at Several companies make wood cases for mobile devices. One of the best known is Grove (, which is based in Portland, Or., and manufactures all its products there. The company’s WoodPrint iPhone 5/5S cases are constructed of durable maple: $79 for a plan case and $119 for one decorated with custom artwork. If you’d rather have bamboo, a plain case will cost just $79. Or you can choose from dozens of pre-made cover designs for $99.


SWISSCHAMP hardwood-handled pocket knife from Victorinox


For iPad Minis and the new iPad Air, Grove offers Wood Smart cases handcrafted of maple, with a flexible bamboo cover that allows three different standing positions. The price is $79 for the Minis and $99 for the Air. Yet more wood cases are available from Miniot (, based in the Netherlands. Stylish protection for the iPhone 5/5s is provided by a range of hardwood cases. The company’s iWood case costs $106 and is available in several wood species and colors. Book ($194) completely surrounds the phone and is made from two contrasting wood species—maple and walnut, while Contour ($194) is constructed from wenge and maple. Miniot also offers covers for Apple’s iPads and iPad Minis. The hinged cover snaps firmly to the tablet and can be rolled up into an angled stand. Choices include five wood species and six lining colors for $92, which includes custom engraving of a personal message, art or logo.

Baltz Fine Writing Instruments ( creates one-ofa-kind pens in its workshop in Raleigh, N.C., using rare burled woods and decorative metals. The writing point is a rollerball/ballpoint hybrid for smooth writing without feathering or smearing. Prices range from $175 to $280.


December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


COMPETITIVE Intelligence By Carla Waldemar

All SKU’ed up to grow market share North Main Lumber has exploded today. Three years later, in 1991, he bought out his uncles— “strictly HEP, plus a kitchen and bath showroom—solely mechanical, no sticks or insulation.” It wasn’t until 1999 that he acquired a lumberyard, North Main, the first of many to come (current store count: 16) “To be honest, I wasn’t interested in lumber; I simply wanted the location, in the southern tier of New York.” So, welcome to a whole new industry. Big learning curve? He chuckles. “I’m supposed to say yes. But in actu-

Rally ’Round the Roundtable NEW YORK’S HEP Sales/North Main Lumber are known for their range of building products. OHN KRUEGER DID NOT grow up in a lumberyard. And that’s probably a very good thing. He never acquired that “way we’ve always done it” mindset. Instead, he brought a business degree and a self-fueled inner drive that egged him on to expand, acquire, diversify—and succeed. HEP Sales (which stands for heating, electrical and plumbing) was launched in upstate New York by his uncles in 1953, the year John was born. Upon graduating from college, the uncles offered him a job. Well, why not? “I didn’t know anything about building materials, but it seemed like a good opportunity,” he decided—until the first afternoon. “There I was, in 90˚ heat, working on a steel pole barn and thinking, ‘I got a business degree for this?’” But he stuck it out, laboring through the ranks until, five years later, he was made operations manager of the outfit—a promotion he downplays by demurring, “We were small—only eight locations, 45 employees, revenues of $6 to $7 million”—not so small in my book, but… whatever. Maybe puny only in comparison to the way HEP Sales/



The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

As a member of NRLA, John Krueger swears by their roundtables. “They had a big impact on me. I learned how other people do things so I’ll never have to re-invent the wheel. I learned the obvious, like, “Labor costs are 10%: Is that a good number? I could find out their norms. “I’ve been pretty heavily involved in roundtables with a lot of executives on the Eastern Seaboard (so they’re no competition). These guys were leading the building boom of the U.S. They were just cranking, beating each year by 20%—till 2003. Then, heads were hanging; they were off 40, 50%. But I’m coming in with, ‘I’m off 7% and I’m bummed. It sucks.’ But I’d never experienced their double-digit growth, which had made me wonder, ‘Oh my God, how do you do it?’ Two totally different markets. We never saw even 20% growth, but then when I was off, it was only 7%. “The roundtables taught me to keep my eye on the ball. They motivated me to sit down and think about numbers. But the best part was looking at other people’s yards as they shared their successes. I’d think, ‘This will work: It’s how they solved a real-life problem.’ I could latch onto a bright idea.”

DEALER’S push to attract female customers included a Ladies Day, based in its stores’ kitchen showrooms.

ality, I acquired really, really good people who did what I couldn’t. At that time, Wickes was on a slide, closing stores around us, so I picked up management people with 30 years experience. They knew what I didn’t—things like product mix—so I relied on the expertise of the people who worked for me. I knew how to manage people, how to run a business.” So, forget the traditional yard. “I had six full-service lumberyards, but different from the usual yards. I melded them with HEP stores. HEPs carried 17,000 SKUs and a traditional lumberyard had 18,000, so, combined, we had 38,000 SKUs: very diverse offerings.” And a customer base just as diverse. “At first, it was a 50/50 mix of pros and walk-ins. Now, it’s 75/25, drawing more builders because of our deeper inventory—things the trades want, like furnaces and AC.” Plus service. “I spend a lot of time, effort and money on training. Our staff is very knowledgeable, and all full-time—no college kids. And I have 15 outside salesmen on the road, holding the builders’ hands—plus boom trucks, forklifts….” Then along came Builders Bargain Outlets (now four locations). Diversify again, to capture the d-i-y market as yet-another slice of the pie (contractors are its good customers, too). For John, it solved the problem of “What do you do with your mistakes?” he says. “Before that, we had stores of 8,000 to 10,000 sq. ft., but 2,000 of it, in the back, was filled with culls. It used to drive me crazy. Now, management has 60 days to get rid of them or they get sent to the outlets. It keeps the places from looking like junkyards. And I’ve hired an employee as a buyer, whose sole job is looking for closeouts, discontinued, and some distressed product. We just bought six, seven carloads of discontinued windows that had sold for $150; we can offer them at $70 to $90. It’s a great outlet for windows and doors.” Oh, by the way, John also makes his own doors—another of those diversification-by-accident projects. “When our supplier went out of business, I went to the auction and ended up buying the business, which is a great benefit for our contractors. They used to have to wait two, three weeks for an order. Now, we can do specialty doors in a

day. We also do our own trusses,” he tosses in—“serving contractors in a way our competitors can’t.” To facilitate this growing empire, John opened a distribution center in Waterloo—lumberyard, offices, an outlet store, the door and truss plants all in one location that services every yard once a week. (Between times, nearby yards help each other out.) Then in 2000, John got another bright idea and added one more slice of the pie to his plate. How about a lighting store? He calls it Bright Ideas, and the well-heeled folks up there in the Finger Lakes love it. (“The Canandaugua is the second-most affluent lake in the country, after Tahoe,” John reports.) He doesn’t choose to go after the custom builder, who may require coddling, or aim at the remodeling market. “Our customers are very, very rural, so when we open a new store, we’re looking for a demographic of 30,000 people in a 10- to 15-mile radius. Not urban,” he emphasizes. “We had eight locations in the early ’90s when I started growing the business, so in expanding I wanted to try something different, outside my comfort zone” of 20 to 30 miles between existing stores. “So I went an hour-and-a-half away as a kind of trial, to see if it could work, where nobody knew us. Wegman (the supermarket magnate) owned a chain of yards, but they weren’t making enough money, so he closed the brand. I thought, ‘I’ll get into those existing markets,’ so I bought his sheds, the machinery, and hired his employees—a huge investment in equipment, staff and SKUs. We went from their five or six people per store to 20, but the opportunity was a no-brainer. They’d been making $10 to $12 million a yard, so I started pumping things up.” And that’s the part of the operation John loves best. “I’m a marketing guy, to be honest with you. If there’s anything I enjoy, it’s that. I write all our radio spots, and we’re using digital a lot more, too—Facebook, cool stuff on our website.” And promos involving customers. North Main offers classes at each location—everything from window clinics to plumbing (“The ladies are very interested, and women are a growing market.”) to floor heating in a pole barn. At sessions, as an extra lure, “we give away an overhead door or entrance door.” Bottom line: Does it drive sales? “Absolutely! No doubt about it. It’s been very beneficial for us.” So have the zany Ugly Bathroom and Ugly Kitchen contests, where homeowners submit photos in order to win a makeover. Of course, the recession dampened the flames a bit, necessitating “some layoffs, some firing—people I should have fired earlier, but labor is so hard to get here.” But the outlook is becoming bright. “In 2009, what I did was managing my company, and I know how to do that. With a $36-million business, I could do a lot. I always know what I’ll do in sales the next year, but I got a whole lot sharper.” So—more expansion? John responds with a firm no. “I have 200 employees, and that’s a lot.” But, never say never. Son Max, age 24, has worked here since a kid of 14. “He’s now an assistant manager—my hope for the future.” Another bright idea. Carla Waldemar December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


APA ANNUAL MEETING Photos by The Merchant

APA-THE ENGINEERED Wood Association hosted its annual meeting Nov. 2-5 at Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach, Ca. [1] Dotti & Ted Schultz. [2] Mike Nielly, Tom Liberator. [3] Clancy Redmond, Dave Rupp. [4] Ed & Jan Elias. [5] Chris Degnan, Geoff Crandlemire. [6] Jim Enright, Doug Calvert. [7] Charlie Smith,


The Merchant Magazine

Scott Ashpole. [8] Mike Lobbett, Mike Dawson. [9] Katy Tomasulo, Jim Walsh, Heather Crunchie, Brenda Collins. [10] Fred Kurpiel, Rich Donnell, Jon Anderson. [11] Darcy & Denny Huston, Talley Dunn. [12] Jim Pattillo, Cathy Rudinsky, Monty Woods. [13] Ryan Stanton, Mary Jo Nyblad. [14] Bart Bender,

December 2013

Chris Wischmann, Robert Fouquet. [15] Angie Harrison, Pam Green. [16] Jennifer Cover, Kerlin Drake, Marilyn Thompson. [17] Tim Fisher, Tracy Trogden, Emmanouel Piliaris. [18] Cheryl Kuchar, Kim Sivertsen. [19] Kathy & Mike Wacker. [20] Dan & Margie Semsak. (More photos on next page)

APA wished farewell to retiring president Dennis Hardman during its annual meeting (continued from previous page). [1] Kathy & Dennis Hardman. [2] Steve Killgore, Allyn Ford. [3] Pat Lynch, Mike McCollum. [4] Liz Churchill, Donna Meade. [5] Chuck Casey, Ken Caylor. [6] Ken Dunham, Gina Rodriquez.

December 2013

ď Ž

The Merchant Magazine

ď Ž


FAMILY Business By Wayne Rivers

Why your next hire will probably be a flop AMILY BUSINESSES and their owners are good at a great many things. One thing, however, that family business leaders are not particularly distinguished at is recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining outstanding talent. What are some of the root causes of this deficiency and, more importantly, what might family business leaders do about them? First, what’s the downside of a poor hire? What are the direct and indirect costs? It’s hard to put a figure on an item like this because many of the costs are unseen, opportunity costs. Management firms claim that replacing a terminated employee costs an employer between two and seven times annual salary. They also say that hiring and training a new person



The Merchant Magazine

costs between 25% and 200% of that person’s annual compensation. Getting people—especially the wrong people—on your team is expensive! What about the human toll? How many family business leaders have lain awake at night, dreading having to terminate an employee? Even a fairly new person who hasn’t been on the payroll long has feelings and family, and it hurts to have to let people go. And there are other opportunity costs, such as wasted time, lower morale, wasted time on the parts of other family business executives, and unsatisfied customers, as well. A good employee can do the work of two to three poor employees, so there are also inefficiency/low productivity costs associated with poor

December 2013

hires. The long and short of it is this: poor employees cost family businesses a pretty penny, and the pretty penny is directly proportional to the importance of the position to the organization. Why are family business leaders poor at hiring, and why is your next hire likely to be a flop? There are the usual culprits: no well-developed hiring system, insufficient time devoted to hiring and training, the overreliance on gut feel and intuition, and the over-reliance on traditional hiring methods such as newspaper classified ads, etc. But the main reason that family business owners hire poorly is that they rely on the most flawed evaluation tool known to mankind: the unstructured personal interview. It’s easy to understand: anyone who has half a brain can do reasonably well in a 30 to 90 minute job interview. They know, for the most part, what questions will be asked and what the appropriate answers must be. Furthermore, most of the interview time is devoted to talking, and we don’t mean talking by the candidate. In most of the interviews that we’ve observed, when family business leaders are hiring new people, it’s almost as if the executives are trying to sell the candidate on the company, instead of the other way around. The questions are usually open-ended ones such as, “What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” or “How would you describe yourself?” Such questions simply don’t compel applicants to reveal much about themselves in an honest or useful way. Is

an interviewee going to say, “I have a crack problem and I steal?” It’s much better to avoid first-date type questions and focus instead on specific past job experiences and jobrelated hypothetical scenarios. The idea is to focus on objective, relevant data and tune out any questions that invite the candidates to predict the future, reconstruct a rose-colored past, or ponder life’s big questions. Interviews that are structured and all about the facts are six times more effective than unstructured interviews at predicting a candidate’s job performance. Some experts believe that job interviews aren’t needed at all. Research shows that an aptitude test predicts performance just as well as a structured interview. So there’s part of the answer: focus on facts, specific work outputs, and past examples of work instead of piein-the-sky conversation and big picture verbal grandiosity. And here’s another concrete idea you can use: Get other people on your team involved. Allow them to observe and comment freely on what they see as a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. If it’s true that two heads are better than one—and it is—then getting feedback from the other valued people in your family business makes perfect sense. A variation on this theme is to put candidates to what we call the “spouse test.” When considering an important hire, we often bring in the spouse of the owner and have him or her interview the candidate. They will help bring that terribly underrated characteristic—objectivity—to the hiring process. By the same token, if you’re getting near the decision portion of the process, it’s a good idea to have the candidate’s spouse come in for an interview. The spouse tests are informal, but they’ve proven over time to be outstanding tests for fit and chemistry. It costs too much time, money, and emotional turmoil to let your next hire be a flop. Apply these 21st-century hiring techniques and save yourself a lot of trouble, while simultaneously improving the quality of the people around you. – Wayne Rivers is president of the Family Business Institute, Raleigh, N.C. Reach him at or (877) 326-2493.

Reprinted with permission of the Family Business Institute. No portion of this article may be reproduced without its permission.

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


OLSEN On Sales By James Olsen

Contagious confidence Have you ever seen a homely man with a beautiful woman, or vice-versa? Money is not the answer. That’s just a cop-out for people with no money and no confidence. There are lots of lonely, rich and good-looking people. Confidence is the answer. The Bold First Step is one of the characteristics of master sellers. The feeling of confidence radiates. It transfers to others. Why do you like hanging out with your confident friends? Confident sellers make their customers feel confident, which is one of the best feelings in the world.

confuse agreeability with likeability, to their own detriment. So what’s the difference? Confidence. Sure, Bob sounds great, but he has the confidence and nerve to act on his convictions and sell those convictions (which are usually correct) to his customers and suppliers. A great broker is a money-making asset to any company’s buying strategy, and Bob is that. Honesty, hard work, personal beliefs, hobbies/passions, and a myriad of other values are important to people. Sharing these values with our potential customers will strengthen our business together, but by itself, is not enough. Sharing values with confidence wins the day in the sales contest.

Confidence, B.S., and Truth

Why Not Confident?

HINGS THAT MAKE others feel good sell. So, what makes us feel good?


Confidence Is #1

Animals, of which we are purportedly the most intelligent (as reported by us), can feel the difference between B.S. and the truth, which is where true confidence comes from. Weak sellers let themselves off the hook by saying, “I could be a great salesperson, but I don’t want to be like John, he’s such a B.S.’er.” Who’s B.S.’ing whom? Any businessperson who has survived the last 60 months absolutely can smell B.S. a mile away. More importantly for us as salespeople, they can smell a lack of confidence from five miles away. And just as our customers want to be around confident people, they don’t want to be around a lack of confidence—which also radiates. Many hard-working but struggling, plateaued and underperforming sellers think they can get away with only telling the truth. We must tell and sell the truth in a compelling and confident way. I know a lumber broker, alias Bob Wreckman, who has one of the best sales voices I have ever heard. I call him Zeus, because that’s what he sounds like. How can you not buy from this guy? But Bob is not a B.S.’er. He is as serious as your first date’s father. He is a professional. He is in the market, on the market, and making markets daily. He is good for his customers, suppliers and the traders around him. Radiation, it creates profit. Are others as intelligent as Bob? Yes. Do they know their markets and their customer’s needs as well? Some do. Do they care about their customers as much? Some care more and some care too much. Do they make more calls? Some do. Is Bob more likable? Bob is very likeable, but there are those who are more likeable—but most of them


The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

Salespeople are uncomfortable and afraid of being too pushy or being perceived as a liar or a B.S. artist. These are prejudices that are taught at the dinner table across America every day. Many of us are raised by people who are prejudiced against salespeople. It is deep in our psyche. Confidence comes from learning, practice and preparation. • Our product and market. Learn as much about what we are selling as we can. Seems obvious, but isn’t. Many sellers leave product and market knowledge to someone around them. This is a mistake—and does not breed confidence. • Our customers. Make learning about human interaction a lifetime pursuit. • Ourselves. As salespeople we must ask and answer the difficult question: How do I affect others? A treacherous journey, but more treacherous for us is not working on this important question.

Hard Work Is Confident (and Sexy)

Sixty calls a day breeds a positive, confident momentum that 30 calls a day never will. Hard work breeds confidence. Make the calls. James Olsen Reality Sales Training (503) 544-3572

DEALER Briefs Hardware Express, a 17,000sq. ft. Ace Hardware in Coos Bay,

Or., was opened Dec. 1 by Gary and Beverly Kalsbeek, along with their children and their spouses, Marty & Lisa Kalsbeek and Keri & Terry Grafe. The Kalsbeeks hope to later add a garden center.

Lomas True Value, Albuquerque, N.M., owner Jim Capin inked a 10-year lease to add a 13,700-sq. ft. store at Albuquerque’s Promenade Shopping Center. Foster True Value Hardware,

Mariposa, Ca., continues fine-tuning plans to build an expanded store, one year after receiving county planning commission approval.

Hangtown Hardware, Placerville, Ca., is closing this month unless retiring owner Art Hardie can find a buyer for the 64-year-old store. Overland Ace Hardware , Boise, Id., is liquidating and will close by the end of December after 32 years, with the retirement of owner Daryl Watson. Orchard Supply Hardware,

Goleta, Ca., was evacuated Nov. 13 after a fire broke out in a roof-top airconditioning unit.

Sun Mountain, Berthoud, Co., has opened a showroom and design center in San Francisco, Ca., to showcase its custom wood doors, mouldings and wide plank flooring.

Montana Dealer Adds Second Store

Rock Creek Lumber, Red Lodge, Mt., has opened a second location in Billings, Mt., in the former home of Zig’s Building Materials. Owner R.D. Kirkness purchased the one-acre Zig’s property as well as an adjacent acre. He expects at least 75% of the business to be to pro’s and, since BNSF tracks run alongside the site, Kirkness is working with Montana Rail Link to add a short rail spur into his yard.

Roseburg Upgrades Missoula

Roseburg Forest Products will be making capital expenditures at its Missoula, Mt., particleboard facility to upgrade the forming line of the existing press. The upgrade is designed to enhance product quality and improve the line’s overall efficiency. According to Grady Mulbery, vice president of operations, “The improvements we will be making at our Missoula facility will allow us to better meet the evolving needs of our customers, and solidify the long-term viability of the facility.”

BMC Buys No. Ca.’s WBS

BMC, Boise, Id., has acquired Northern California millwork wholesaler Western Building Specialties, Sacramento, Ca., to expand its millwork offerings in Northern California. WBS provides residential pre-hung doors, trim, moulding, shelving and closet organizers. Its commercial

department offers hollow metal doors and frames, as well as commercial hardware. Its Western Bath and Shower division provides tub and shower enclosures, mirrors, bath accessories, bathroom partitions, storefronts and specialty glass. “WBS has built over a 60-year period a reputation for providing quality products and reliable services,” said BMC c.eo. Peter Alexander. “We are very excited about serving customers through the combined strength of WBS and BMC at our facilities located in Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto.” BMC operates 29 lumberyards, 15 truss plants, and 24 millwork operations across the West, plus Texas and North Carolina.

New Name for Hawaiian Aces

Maui Varieties Ltd.’s stores throughout Hawaii recently held “brand opening” events to promote their stores’ name change to HouseMart Ace Hardware. Newly renamed are Ace Hardware stores in Hilo, Keaau, Captain Cook, Ocean View, Pahoa and Naalehu; Ace Hardware & Crafts in Waimea and Kailua-Kona, and Ben Franklin Crafts in Hilo. Staff, management and ownership remain the same. Taking on the HouseMart name earlier were the chain’s four Ace Hardwares in Las Vegas, Nv., and seven in the Pacific Northwest (Milwaukie, Or.; Des Moines, Lakewood, Longview, and Olympia, Wa., and two in Renton, Wa.).

Ace Hardware awarded “Coolest Hardware Store” of the year honors to six retailer members, including Carmel Ace Hardware , Carmel, Ca. (famous for its two unique boutique entrances and having real redwood trees inside the store), and Parkrose Ace Hardware , Portland, Or. (known for its extensive selection of fasteners, grills and unique rentals). Anniversaries: Potlatch Corp., Spokane, Id., 110th … Pro Group, Denver, Co., 60th … Alpine Lumber Co., Englewood, Co., 50th … Starfire Lumber Co., Cottage Grove, Or., 30th …

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


LBM Retailers Set for Modest Turnaround After a period of sharp declines resulting from the failing housing market and declining economy, the retail lumber and building material industry is set for a modest turnaround, thanks to a series of positive changes that will affect revenue over the next five years, according to a new IBISWorld report. Over the past five years, revenue for LBM dealers has grown at a minimal average annual rate of 1.8%. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Kerry Coughlin, “The volatile cost of lumber, which accounts for about 65.4% of industry sales, has also burdened industry firms over the period.” The trend has made it difficult for retailers to anticipate future spending and control costs. Furthermore, the industry has experienced intensifying competition, especially from home improvement stores, which offer the added convenience of one-stop shopping and, at times, lower prices. Such factors have pressured profit margins. IBISWorld estimates that profit declined to industry lows in 2010, only to recover in 2013 with margins reaching 2.6%. Falling margins have caused some operators to either exit the industry or consolidate over the five-year period. As a result, the number of enterprises has declined at an average annual rate of 1.7% to 43,692 in 2013. “After facing stagnant conditions following the recession, the housing and nonresidential construction mar-

kets finally began making significant strides in 2012, and strong gains in both sectors are expected for 2013,” said Coughlin. IBISWorld projects industry revenue will jump 10.1% to $96.3 billion in 2013, driven by an increase in residential construction investment and higher spending on home improvements. Further, as population growth and pent-up demand drive up housing starts, and improved economic conditions boost demand for repairs and renovation projects, sales of industry products will continue to rise. Over the next five years, industry revenue is forecast to increase, albeit not as high as prerecession levels. The retail LBM industry exhibits very low concentration of ownership. It is highly fragmented, with no single dealer having more than 5.0% of market share. The majority of dealers are privately owned, and they successfully supply the local demand in their communities. In recent years, many of these small operators have merged with other players or exited the industry, increasing concentration. Stores covered in the report consist of dealers that retail building materials, such as lumber, hardwood, stones and brick. Companies may also supply doors, windows, roofing, cabinets, floor coverings, electrical and plumbing goods. Not included are home improvement centers, paint and wallpaper specialty stores, and hardware stores.

Happy Holidays and Thank You.

With All Our Best Wishes for 2014. building



Tel. (800) 348-1400 • (916) 624-9293



The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

SUPPLIER Briefs States Industries, Eugene, Or., laid off 35 employees—about 10% of its 331-person workforce—Nov. 11, blaming an inability to secure antidumping tariffs on Chinese plywood imports. Mary’s River Lumber, Corvallis, Or., purchased Port Gardner Timber’s sawmill in Bow, Wa. Sierra Pacific Industries’

sawmill in Lincoln, Ca., sustained an estimated $75,000 of damage in an Oct. 27 fire that started above a dry kiln.

Mid Valley Lumber Specialties, Aldergrove, B.C., next month will

move to larger offices in downtown Langley, B.C.

Blomberg Windows , Sacramento, Ca., is selling off its remaining assets and real estate and closing after 57 years. Longtime TimberTech distributor OrePac Building Products ,

Wilsonville, Or., is now also distributing sister product AZEK lines throughout the West from its 10 DCs. Azek distributor Boise Cascade Building Materials Distribution is now also supplying TimberTech products throughout California and Carson City, Nv. Its Lathrop, Ca., branch will serve No. Ca. and Carson City, while Riverside, Ca., will cover So. Ca.

California Redwood Co. , Eureka, Ca., signed Russin Lumber, Montgomery, N.Y., to distribute its redwood products in the Northeast. Wahoo Decks, Gainesville, Ga., offers a new AridDek color—artisan clay. Thermory USA’s Thermory decking was selected by This Old House magazine as one of the top 100 new home products for 2013. Simpson Strong-Tie, Pleasanton, Ca., was named 2013 Do it Best Vendor of the Year in the building materials product category. Horizon Distribution, Yakima, Wa., was named Farm Mart Distributor of the Year by Pro Group.

MOVERS & Shakers Jerry Long, executive v.p. and general mgr., Parr Lumber, Chino, Ca., is retiring Dec. 12 after 23 years with Parr and 43 years in the industry. Mike Parrella will succeed him, with Bert McKee becoming sales mgr. and Joe McCarron, assistant sales mgr. Frank Elfering has been appointed v.p.-purchasing for Boise Cascade Building Materials Distribution, Boise, Id. Rich Viola is now v.p.sales & marketing for Building Materials Distribution. Eddie Smalling, ex-Oregon Canadian Forest Products, has returned to radio frequency kiln drying sales, as product mgr. for Tru-Dry RFKD timbers at Capital Lumber, Woodburn, Or. Don Bell has retired after 27 years with Bear Forest Products, Riverside, Ca. Tom Doidge, exGP/BlueLinx, succeeds him as warehouse mgr. Jesse Manzo has joined the lumber trading team at Buckeye Pacific, Portland, Or. Ken Laughlin has been named president of West Coast Wood Preserving LLC, Bakersfield, Ca. He remains based in Phoenix, Az. James Brebner, ex-Allweather Wood, is new to sales at Western Wood Preserving, Sumner, Wa. Scott Wirges has rejoined Parr Lumber, as store mgr. in Eugene, Or. Fred Taylor has been named v.p.manufacturing at ProBuild Holdings, Denver, Co. Kevin Caldwell is now handling specialty plywood and lumber cut stock sales at Plywood Solutions Inc., Albany, Or.

Gerd Kronenberg is a new lumber trader at Shelter Products, Portland, Or. Benjamin Mettler, ex-Huttig Building Products, has joined Orepac Building Products, Wilsonville, Or., as a ThermaTru product mgr. Shreedhar Patel has been named director of finance at El & El Wood Products, Chino, Ca. In Elk Grove, Ca., Brian Wheeler is now operations mgr. and Wayne Callicott, door shop mgr. Bill Brown is retiring Jan. 1 after seven years as president of Green Diamond Resource Co., Seattle, Wa. He will be succeeded by Douglas Reed, currently senior v.p. of California operations. Mike Howell has been promoted to director of operations for Parr Lumber, Hillsboro, Or. Doug Embree is a new trader at Mill Direct Lumber Sales, Lake Oswego, Or. Rob Roundy, ex-Truth Hardware, has been named western regional sales mgr. for Deceuninck North America, Monroe, Oh. Miguel Zepeda, ex-Max USA Corp., has joined Fasco America as Portland, Or.-based Northwest territory mgr. Jim Mackall, ex-BlueLinx, is now Sacramento, Ca.-based v.p. of sales at Steeler Drywall Construction Supply, Seattle, Wa. Sara Grootwassink Lewis, Lewis Corporate Advisors, was elected to the board of directors of Plum Creek Timber Co., Seattle, Wa. Owen Elkins is now territory sales mgr. for the Pacific Northwest at Boral TruExterior Trim, Roswell, Ga.

Dave Harris has been promoted to mgr. of Builders Supply Co., Chester, Ca. Wally Placido has joined Canyon County Habitat for Humanity as ReStore mgr. in Nampa, Id. Sandra Collins, ex-Curtis Lumber, is now San Francisco, Ca., area account mgr. for Hilti. Dave Cox, ex-Allied Building Products, is a new branch mgr. trainee at Pacific Coast Building Products, Rancho Cordova, Ca. Brett Bricker, ex-Home Depot, is new to millwork sales at Lowe’s, Concord, Ca. Marty Crouse, ex-CertainTeed, has joined Johns Manville, selling insulation in No. Ca., Nv., and Hi. He is based in Granite Bay, Ca. Mike Clark, senior v.p. and chief merchandising officer, True Value Co., has retired after 40 years in the industry. He came to the co-op from Orchard Supply Hardware in 2008. Keith Foxx, ex-BlueLinx, is now business development mgr. with BlueTarp Financial, Atlanta, Ga. Barrie Shineton, president and c.e.o., Norbord, will retire at the end of January, to be succeeded Peter Wijnbergen, currently senior v.p. and chief operating officer. Terry Upgaard has been named mgr. of plywood sales for Centurion Lumber Mfg., Chemainus, B.C. Angela Braly, ex-Wellpoint, has been elected to the board of directors of Lowe’s, Mooresville, N.C. Doug and Phil Hoals are new fencing installers at Mungus-Fungus Forest Products, Climax, Nv., according to co-owners Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus.

Cal Coast Wholesale Lumber, Inc. Pressure Treated Forest Products Alkaline Copper Quat (ACQ) Custom Treating Selected Inventory Available

P.O. Box 673 • 3150 Taylor Drive • Ukiah, Ca. 95482 Phone 707-468-0141 • Fax 707-468-0660

Sales for Coast Wood Preserving

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


Ochoco Handling Sales for Revived Arizona Sawmill

Ochoco Lumber Co., Prineville, Or., has been named exclusive sales agent for all lumber to be produced at the former Fort Apache Timber Co. sawmill in Whiteriver, Az. Renamed White Mountain Apache Forest Industries, the facility is currently undergoing a $10-million refurbishment and is expected to restart in Febuary (see Nov., p. 38). The facility will primarily produce pine industrials and commons. At full production, capacity is 42 million bd. ft. of 4/4, 5/4 and 6/4 products of various lengths and widths, sourced from the reservation’s 770,000 acres of timberland. The mill will also produce fir timbers, squares and poles and—once the mothballed reman plant restarts— cut stock and moulding products. Art Andrews and Steve Fetrow will handle sales at Ochoco.

Insulation Demand Surging

U.S. demand for insulation is projected to rise 7.6% annually to $10.3 billion in 2017, according to a new Freedonia Group forecast. Growth will be driven by an increase in construction spending from


The Merchant Magazine

a low 2012 base. Gains will also be boosted by changes in building codes and construction practices that call for structures to use energy more efficiently. Such measures as the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the most recent Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design codes—LEEDv4—will spur the addition of more insulation to reduce energy consumption. The residential market is forecast to post double-digit insulation demand advances through 2017, spurred by a strong rebound in housing starts. Not only will more houses be erected, but builders will install more insulation per structure in order to comply with the 2012 IECC. Residential insulation demand will also be supported by homeowners attempting to lower utility bills by adding insulation to attics and walls and sealing gaps to prevent air leaks. Demand for insulation in the nonresidential market will see solid growth through 2017, spurred by strong advances in construction. Further gains will come from rising interest in green building practices, such as those put forth by the LEED rating system, that call for the use of

December 2013

more insulation with higher R-values. Fiberglass accounted for 47% of insulation demand by value in 2012. Fiberglass will remain the market leader in 2017, with demand reaching $5.0 billion. Its low cost, insulative properties, fire resistance, and ease of installation make it popular among both professionals and d-i-yers. Demand for foamed plastic insulation, which accounted for the second largest share of the market in 2012, is forecast to grow to $4.6 billion in 2017. These materials are used more extensively in nonresidential, due to their high R-value. However, the residential market will offer solid growth prospects going forward, as code changes that call for houses to be better sealed to prevent air leaks will boost the use of these products, in spite of their higher costs than fiberglass insulation. Foamed plastics are well suited for sealing hard-to-reach areas, such as crawl spaces and between walls.

Weyco Merges Subsidiary

Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wa., has agreed to merge its homebuilding and development division, Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co., with a

subsidiary of TRI Pointe Homes. As part of the deal, which is expected to close in the spring, Weyco will receive about $700 million and 80.5% of the shares, with TRI Pointe shareholders owning the balance. Barry Sternlicht will remain chairman of the TRI board, which will expand from seven directors to nine. Weyerhaeuser will select four direc-

tors, TRI five. Doug Bauer will continue as c.e.o. of TRI Pointe, with Tom Mitchell as president and chief operating officer, and Mike Grubbs as chief financial officer.

Dealer Networking Meet to Kick Off Builders Show

The National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association will hold

DO IT BEST Corp. recently invited a select group of managers and leaders from member-owned stores across the U.S. to its Fort Wayne, In.,

its first-ever networking event during the 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Nv. Set for 7 a.m. Feb. 5 at the LVH Hotel (next door to the convention center), the Dealer Networking Breakfast will include the latest housing forecast from NAHB chief economist David Crowe. Cost is $25.

headquarters for its inaugural Leadership Development Institute, a weeklong, intensive training development program.

December 2013

ď Ž

The Merchant Magazine

ď Ž


Street Change Upsets Ganahl

Ganahl Lumber, Corona, Ca., is upset over a proposed plan to reroute a street that runs in front of the location, to make way for a new 464-unit apartment complex. “Two of the key parts of location are access and visibility, and that’s what we’re losing,” c.e.o. Peter

Ganahl told The Press-Enterprise. As part of the project, the street would be straightened so it runs through the new apartment complex, then turns south and bisects another street just past Ganahl Lumber. Ganahl was also upset that he received only a month’s notice of the proposed plan. “I would have thought

LMC DEALERS from around the country made their way to Philadelphia Nov. 13-15 for the buying group’s annual forest products & building materials expo.

we would have gotten a little more respect and would be asked our opinion on a street change,” he said. “I guess not.”

Sears Hardware Shrinks Units

Sears Appliance & Hardware has opened in Dallas, Tx., one of the first following the company’s new smaller, neighborhood footprint. Similar stores have been opened in Big Rapids, Mi., and Cedar City, Ut. “When we heard that Sears was interested in rolling out a smaller, neighborhood model, we knew this smaller format would fill a void in the Northwest Dallas area,” said Dave Maggio, who co-owns the location with Michael Donohoe. “Our new store embraces the feel and customer service of a neighborhood hardware store, without compromising on the reach of our merchandise assortment.” He said the smaller models are 16,000 to 18,000 sq. ft.—vs. 22,00025,000 sq. ft. for the larger stores— yet still offer the same size and quality of inventory. Additionally, any item unavailable in store can be ordered and delivered straight to the door of the consumer.

Holiday Greetings from Parr on our 38th Christmas Jesus Aldrete Raul Aldrete Lucero Aviles Antonio Avina Paul Blevins Norm Boucher Edward Butz Jose Chicas Rosario Chicas Karen Currie

Nick Ferguson Vince Galloway Ricardo Garcia Fidenceo Gomez Henry Herrera Leticia Herrera Chris Hexberg Jerry Long Joe McCarron Bert McKee Luis Moreno

Brad Mortensen Rafael Pantoja George Parden Timoteo Paredes Michael Parrella Peter Parrella Kurt Peterson Eduardo Pierre Janet Pimentel Nestor Pimentel

Yolanda Rodriguez Alex Romero Bill Sharp Lois Tavenner Melinda Taylor Peter Ulloa Enrique Vargas Oscar Villegas Robert Williams Pamela Winters Matt Wright

Thank you to our Customers and Suppliers 24

The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

COURT ACTION: Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club members and guests came out swinging for the fall tennis round-robin tournament Nov. 10 at Anaheim Tennis Center, Anaheim, Ca. (Left to right) David & Katie Church, Randy Porter, Teresa Hallock, Stephen Ondich, Leon Richman, Kit Rohm, Dan Bohannon, Bill Fitzgerald, Mike Walters, Ellie Mendiaz, Ron & Kim Nicolas, Dan Nezos.

APP Watch

Application: LITERATURE LIBRARY Produced by: Simpson Strong-Tie Price: Free Platforms: iPhone, iPad; coming soon for Android devices Simpson Strong-Tie has released an expanded version of its Literature Library mobile app, which allows users to download all of the company’s catalogs, fliers, and technical bulletins to their mobile devices. Once the library is created, each catalog can be searched by keyword, including product name, number, or description. In addition, all downloads can be viewed on the go— without wi-fi or cellular connection. Download from iTunes App Store

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


IN Memoriam William Gordon Scott, 94, retired founder of Scott Lumber, Portland, Or., died Oct. 24 in Portland. After graduating from Rutgers University in 1941, he served with the Marines in Guadalcanal during World War II. In 1947, he started his lumber career at A.C. Dutton Lumber Co., Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Ten years later, he moved his family to Portland to open a West Coast office for the company. He retired from Dutton in 1980 and

started his own company a year later, retiring in 2001. Herbert Fred Koller, 85, retired partial owner of Oregon Cedar, Seaside, Or., died Oct. 2 in Seaside. He retired in 1990. Robert Wade “Bob” Mosby, 87, retired West Coast lumber executive, died Oct. 28 in Sweet Home, Or. During World War II, he served with the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater.

He started his lumber career in 1946, with Santiam Lumber, Lebanon, Or. He retired as an executive with Louisiana-Pacific in 1992. Guido Addiego, 69, owner of All Bay Mill & Lumber, American Canyon, Ca., died Oct. 28 in Vacaville. He helped found the company in 1984 and became sole owner in 2001, when his partners retired. Jesus Maria Peña, 76, retired lumberyard foreman for Big Creek Lumber, Davenport, Ca., died Nov. 3 in Santa Cruz, Ca. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he spent 35 years in the industry. William Harold “Bill” Claussen, 93, founder of several Cottage Grove, Or.-based forest products businesses, died Nov. 2 from complications of pneumonia. He started in the timber industry in Olympia, Wa., in 1948, relocating to Cottage Grove in 1950. His businesses included W.W. Lumber Co., R&W Trucking, R&R Cedar Products, and Claussen Timber Products. He retired in 1989. Philip Davis, 94, longtime lumber salesman in Oregon, died Oct. 16 in College Place, Wa. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he broke into in the retail lumber business, working for Tum-A-Lum Lumber Co., Pendleton, Hermiston and The Dalles, Or., followed by Hillsboro Lumber Co., Hillsboro, Or. He retired in 1983. J.W. Charles Jacobi, 91, founder of Jacobi Building Materials, Canoga Park, Ca., died Nov. 12 after a twoyear battle with Alzheimer’s disease. After serving as an Air Force pilot over Germany and Italy during World War II, he graduated from USC. He opened his own business selling used brick out of his garage until formally establishing Jacobi Building Materials and settling at its current location in 1959. Lee Bun Colby Jr., 90, co-founder of Engineered Wood Products, Oroville, Ca., and Las Plumas Lumber, Oroville, died Nov. 1. After serving in the Marines during


The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

World War II and being awarded two purple hearts, he entered the home building industry. He headed several construction companies while helping to fund the lumber businesses. Emmett Francis Birrer, 90, former sales manager for Gallatin Lumber Co., Bozeman, Mt., died Nov. 6.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He worked for Gallatin in the early 1960s and owned Thompson Floor Covering, Bozeman, from 1972 until selling the retail side of the business in 1980 and concentrating on commercial accounts until retiring in 1989.


When it’s going to disappear behind drywall, sell our economical 3 1/2" or 5 1/2" framing-grade glulam. Why would anyone want to pay more?

LOS ANGELES Hardwood Lumberman’s Club was out in force at its Nov. 14 dinner meeting at the Rib Trader in Orange, Ca. (Front row, l-r) Walter Ralston, Alan Arbiso. (2nd row) Matt Barrass, Paul Pendergast, Dan Bohannon, Jim Gaither, Bill Fitzgerald. (3rd row) Deonn Deford, Randy Porter, Dennis Johnston, Larry Mether, Walt Maas, John Banks, Charley James. (4th row) Dale Bohannon, Charley Bohnhoff, Tom Escherich, Steve Ondich, Marty Fox, Nathan Osborne, Rob Wilson, Randy Wilson.


When it will show, sell our beautiful 3 1/8" or 5 1/8" appearance glulam. Removing a little extra material guarantees a beautiful appearance. For more information, call 800-237-4013 today.

FILLER KING Structural Woods ®

You Buy Structural. We Throw In Beautiful.™

© 2013 Boise Cascade Wood Products, L.L.C. BOISE CASCADE, the TREE-IN-A-CIRCLE symbol, FILLER KING and “You Buy Structural. We Throw In Beautiful.” are trademarks of Boise Cascade Company or its affiliates.

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


MANAGEMENT Tips By Annie Tsai

Rallying referrals

ICTURE THIS: After a long day’s work, you sink onto the couch and turn on the television. As you flip through the channels, you see a commercial for a new local restaurant. Later, as you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, you see that a friend has checked in at that same restaurant, posted a picture of his meal, and captioned it, “Delicious! Can’t wait to come back.” Which is more likely to make you reserve a table: the commercial or your friend’s endorsement? If you’re like most Americans, you’re much more likely to be influenced by your friends’ recommendations (even if they’re “just” online friends) than by ads. In fact, a recent Nielsen report reveals that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other types of advertisements. And, they’re four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend. Here’s the takeaway for businesspeople: Referrals are a huge, sparkly, tied-up-with-a-bow gift—and if you aren’t already working to harness and maximize their power, it’s past time you started. Businesses are so busy focusing their energy on acquiring new customers that they often neglect one of their most valuable resources: active referrers. Though this may be a small percentage of your overall customer segment, setting up a basic program to support them and encourage their activity is well worth your time and resources. In fact, if your company is delivering value to your customers, you probably already have active referrers—even if you aren’t aware of them. These people are posting positive



The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

reviews about your business all over the social media landscape and bragging on you to their friends simply because they love what you offer and/or how well you treat them— in other words, because you’ve earned their loyalty. Harnessing that loyalty is a no-brainer. And here’s the thing: These active referrers often don’t expect or even want incentives for referring others. Sure, you can offer incentives, but don’t think you have to break the bank in order to get referrals from current customers. In fact, before you spend the time designing a referral program based on monetary rewards, test out how willing your customers are to simply help spread the word. If you’re ready to harness the power of active referrers, here are seven tips for designing offers that continue to nurture your most valuable customers: Be an equal-opportunity rewarder. Reward the referrer and the referee. This should be an easy modification if you already have a new customer acquisition deal in place. Even if you don’t have a formal offer that rewards the existing customer for bringing in new business, find a way to say thank you. Put a note on that person’s account to give them a little something the next time they come in. The gift could be as small as a coupon for purchase, a small freebie, or a gift card for future service. Don’t stop playing after you score the first goal. Provide an incentive to get the referred customer back a second time as a part of the referral program. It’s the same as when you’re designing deal site promotions or any other new customer acquisition program. Building in a strategy that incentivizes that new customer to return a second time provides you with additional leeway and a captive audience. New customer acquisition through your referral channel is no exception to this rule. Be magnanimous with merchandise. Reward customers with retail products instead of services offered to increase perceived value. Offering retail items is a great way to increase perceived value due to the built-in mark up from cost. Use gift cards to your advantage. Encourage gift card purchases into your customer base as a key driver of referral business. This is a great way to broaden the scope of your actively referring customer base. For those customers who are evangelists for your business in the offline or online world, gift cards are an easy way for them to introduce your business to friends and family. If you don’t have a solid handle on precisely which customers are referring business to you, putting an aggressive gift card promotion out there is a great first step. For

ing purposes, you can append the gift cards with some internal coding; if you’re printing them out, simply use a different color or numeric identifier for easy coding. This way, you can track gift cards as they are redeemed and will know over time which promotions generate the highest new customer referral rate. You’ll also know exactly who is gifting your gift cards, so make sure to say thank you with an extra something the next time that person returns to your business. Go old school—distribute business cards! Don’t discount the power of handing out some business cards to your favorite customers. Asking for the referral is often the most difficult part of building a referral program; however, you need to educate your customers on how they can help support your business—especially in the beginning. Even if you don’t establish a formal referral program, you can use business cards as an easy conversation starter here. Simply hand the customer three business cards at the point of sale and say, “I’d really appreciate it if you could let a few friends know about the great service you received today.” Harness the power of “In their own words.” Use existing customer recommendations and testimonials. If you have a recent customer review that emphasizes how amazing a product or service is, turn that recommendation into a referral engine by pitching your offer as “customer approved” and share their story. You can go several directions here; a customer video testimonial, a before and after photo, or a snapshot of their post-visit review are all effective ways to draw new business from your current fans. Ask customers to bring a “plus one.” Create referrers

using “you and a friend” deals. This is a great approach for businesses for two reasons. First, it turns an existing customer into a returning customer. Secondly, it encourages that existing customer to bring someone completely new to the business. We’ve all heard the adage “The best customers are referrals”—and it’s true. The great thing about this type of customer is that you already know that your existing customer is reliable and operating in potentially socially savvy space. And since they’re a return visitor, you know they already enjoy being a patron of your business. By posting these kinds of deals, you increase your chances of getting more customers like the ones you already have. “Bring a friend” deals also benefit businesses because they give them a very clear indication of how effective their existing customer base can be at driving new patronage on the business’s behalf. Every once in a while—perhaps once a quarter—it’s always a good idea to offer a “bring a friend” deal and test word-of-mouth willingness and con(Please turn to page 35)

Happy Holidays from all of us at

Distributor of Medford, OR. • (541) 535-3465 • FAX 541-535-3288

(800) 365-4627

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


KAHLE On Sales By Dave Kahle

When multi-tasking turns into loss of focus

RECENTLY had a conversation with a sales manager. The gist of it is this: he has so many competing responsibilities, it is difficult to spend time with his sales team. Sound familiar? It should. I have heard that idea expressed countless times by executives, sales managers, and salespeople. In one way or another, sales professionals find themselves increasingly occupied by trivial tasks at the expense of the important ones. It is an epidemic that is raging unabated in our economy. It renders people unproductive and organizations operating at a fraction of their potential. It often comes from what I call “other stuff.” Over the years, I have seen this phenomenon become so pervasive that years ago I labeled it and gave it its own acronym: OSE, for “Other Stuff Expansion.” The rule is this: When you give a proactive salesperson “other stuff” to do, the other stuff will always expand, taking more in time and energy than you anticipated and rendering the


proactive sales efforts to an unacceptable smaller part of the person’s labors. Here’s how this looks in practice. A branch manager needs someone to

fill in a couple of hours a day for a customer service person who has taken a maternity leave. “The salesman can do it,” the branch manager thinks in a flash of inspiration. “He’s got time.” Presto. The problem is solved. But, alas, the couple of hours a day turn into a half day, and sometimes more, as the salesperson gets caught up in reacting to inbound calls. Those proactive sales calls that should have been made in that time are never made. The silent costs of that decision and the inevitable “Other Stuff Expansion” begin to be felt months down the road. Or, you have a sales manager check out that promising new product line, or write that new procedure because he/she “understands that,” and, of course, you’re too busy. Or, you have inside salespeople who also answer the phone and respond to inbound calls, and you are constantly frustrated that they don’t make enough outbound calls. The examples can go on and on. A

C&E LUMBER COMPANY 1 1/2” to 12” Diameter in Stock.



The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

quick perusal of your sales efforts will unearth dozens more, I’m sure. There’s a simple explanation for this. Making proactive sales calls is a high risk effort that requires initiative, motivation and self-discipline. In other words, it’s hard to do. That’s one of the reasons why most people aren’t salespeople. On the other hand, taking care of “other stuff” is usually low-risk, easier and somewhat fulfilling. And, it keeps you busy. That’s why “when you give a proactive salesperson ‘other stuff’ to do, the other stuff will always expand, taking more in time and energy than you anticipated and rendering the proactive sales efforts to an unacceptable smaller part of the person’s labors.” It’s the law of OSE. In a bigger picture, OSE for sales personnel is just the specific application of a deeper rule. That rule is this: When you give someone something to do, you are, by that act, preventing him/her from doing something else. Or, to be more personal, when we accept the responsibility for doing something, we, by that action, eliminate the possibility of our doing something else. What sounds blatantly obvious is open reflection, so often violated that it has become one of the major productivity killers and one of the most common mistakes made today by managers and self-managers of all kinds. Here are two solutions: (a) If you have given—or are tempted to give—anyone who has proactive sales responsibilities other things to do, don’t! There is always a greater cost than meets the eye. If you are a salesperson who has other stuff to do, try to hand it back to your manager or pass it on to someone else. Be very careful about giving responsibilities, or accepting responsibilities, that detract from your core focus. In today’s hectic, multi-tasking world, it is more powerful to say “no” than it is to say “yes.” (b) Okay, you can’t do that. For whatever reason, your sales personnel must also do other stuff. Plan B. Keep the division between the two sets of competing responsibilities as clean and sharp as you can. The other stuff should be well defined, have clear guidelines for completion, and be limited to a specific period of time. For example, don't say this: “John, we want you to do this other stuff.” Instead say, “John, I’d like you to

spend a half-day every other week doing this other stuff.” By keeping the divisions clear between the competing responsibilities, you limit the damage done by other stuff expansion. In the long run, it’s those organizations and individuals who focus on

the core tasks and don’t diffuse their efforts who succeed. – Dave Kahle is a sales trainer, presenter, and the author of a free weekly ezine and 10 books, including his latest How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime. He can be reached at dave@

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


NEW Products

Waterproof Roofs in a Flash

Prefab Balconies

Easier-to-Handle Trimboard

Wahoo Complete is a prefabricated aluminum balcony for use in multi-family residential communities. Made from 50% post industrial-post consumer scrap aluminum, it is fireproof, powder coated, and marine grade. Two walking surfaces are available: Wahoo’s AridDek aluminum decking or DryJoist structural joists with traditional deck boards.

Versatex has added three easier-to-handle sizes to its line of 11/2” thick Versatex Max extruded cellular PVC sheets. The new sizes—2”x8”, 2”x10”, and 2”x12”—were developed based on feedback from developers. Both the old and new sizes are designed to eliminate or reduce lamination steps during fabrication of custom mouldings, rails, pergolas, and corbels.



Post Sleeve Kits

The Merchant Magazine

(800) 541-5455

Concrete Slab Seal

Fiberon’s new Horizon 6”x6” post sleeves allow for angled railing cuts and 4”x4” wood inserts. Available in white, the sleeves measure 5-3/4”x5-3/4”x48”. Each kit also includes adaptors, post cap, and base moulding.

Dependable’s Vaporseal HM is a 100% solid epoxy, moisturemitigation seal for concrete slabs. With no VOCs, mixing and application are easy. Each two-part kit can cover up to 700 ft. of surface.



(800) 573-8841


(724) 857-1111

(877) 270-9387


The new Kemperol Flash Pack from Kemper System America is an easy-to-use solution for waterproofing and repairing leaks in roofing and flashing. Each kit contains everything needed to cover, re-flash, or repair up to 25 sq. ft. The fully reinforced resin system provides full closure to flashings and roof penetrations, eliminating the need for pitch pockets.

December 2013

(800) 227-3434

WHAT YOU WANT. WHEN YOU NEED IT. Dimension Lumber Treated Products Domestic

Speedier Deck Installations

The Speedeck decking gauge can position up to five deck boards with perfect 1/4” gaps for quicker and easier installations. Manufactured with high-density polyethylene, the tool reduces installer fatigue and keeps hands safely away from nail guns. Five sizes—4”, 5-1/4”, 5-1/2”, 6”, and 8”—accommodate a range of boards sizes.


Underlayment That Seals

Ultra HT Wind & Water Seal from MFM Building Products is a self-adhering roof underlayment with a 90-day UV-exposure rating. The product is engineered as a whole-roof underlayment for use with asphalt shingle and metal roofing products. A split-release liner can be used in valleys, ridges, around chimneys, and at eaves for protection against ice dams, wind-driven rain, and water penetration.


(800) 882-7663

Timbers Green & K.D. Export

Manke Lumber Company is familyowned and has been serving the needs of the lumber industry since 1953. We take pride in milling and stocking quality lumber in a full range of commodity sizes and larger dimension timbers. We also answer your market needs for a wide variety of treated lumber products. Our forest products are milled from carefully harvested Northwest trees ready for distribution to you—on time and at the right price. Located in the Port of Tacoma, we have ready access to deep water shipping, rail heads or trucking terminals for longer haul loads. Manke operates its own fleet of trucks and is at your service for straight or mixed loads by truck, rail or sea. We manufacture primarily Douglas fir and western hemlock, including • 2x4 thru 2x12, Lengths 8-20’ • 3x4 thru 3x12, Lengths 8-26’ • 4x4 and wider, Lengths 8-26’ • 6x6 and wider, Lengths 8-26’ • 8x8 and wider, Lengths 8-26’ • Timber sizes up to 12x12

Manke Lumber Company Call 1-800-426-8488

1717 Marine View Dr., Tacoma, WA 98422

Phone 253- 572-6252

Fax 253-383-2489 December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


Modified Wood Wraps

The Look of Rock Walls

SimTek decorative rock walls offer beauty, privacy, and noise reduction for residential, commercial and institutional landscapes. Constructed of proprietary polyethylene plastic and reinforced with galvanized steel, SimTek walls are resistant to impact, organic processes, ultraviolet light, almost all chemicals, termites, and other insects. The modular design enables a seamless transition between panel sizes. Six colors are available, in 3’, 4, 6’, and 8’ heights.

New post wraps from Perennial Wood match the beauty and durability of the company’s modified wood decking and porch flooring. The wraps provide a finished dimension of 6”x6” to traditional 4”x4” posts. They are available uncoated or factory-finished in cedar, mahogany, and Cape Cod gray.

 PERENNIALWOOD.COM (800) 530-7496

 SIMTEKFENCE.COM (866) 648-9336

Easy-to-Install Stone

ClipStone from Environmental StoneWorks is a mortarless stone veneer product that creates the look of natural stone. The product can be screwed directly to sheathing or walls with an embedded mounting clip. A lappingdown design allows stones to fit together tightly, in all four directions. Universal corners and accessories are also available.

 MYCLIPSTONE.COM (800) 891-5402

Cost-Effective Wall Sheathing

Powered Truck tarping from U.S. Tarping Systems minimizes the time-consuming and dangerous task of laying out tarps on top of loads. The product enables a single user to tarp a load without leaving the ground. The system can be installed as a stand-alone building or be incorporated into existing structures.

Rboard from Atlas Wall is a cost-effective, energy-efficient sheathing material for exterior wall assemblies. Constructed of rigid foam, the product has a non-reflective, glass-reinforcement facer on both surfaces. It can be used behind a range of claddings, including wood, brick, vinyl siding or stucco.



Easy Tarping

(800) 388-6134

(800) 523-5287


The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

ASSOCIATION Update Western Wood Preservers Institute welcomed Dwayne Carter, Brooks Manufacturing, Bellingham, Wa., as its new president during its annual meeting in San Diego, Ca. Joining him on the board are new v.p. John Davis, Pacific Wood Preserving, Phoenix, Az.; secretary Patrick Tymkiw, Bell Lumber & Pole, New Brighton, Mn., and treasurer Jerry Farley, JH Baxter & Co., San Mateo, Ca.

elected two APA staff members to serve as officers of the association. Sonya Bachlmayr, financial & administrative services director, was elected treasurer, and Marilyn Thompson, market communications director, is now corporate secretary. During the golf tournament, Scott Poole, RoyOMartin, won $10,000 for sinking a hole-in-one.

Western Wood Products Association has reserved March 2-4 for its annual meeting at Embassy Suites Downtown, Portland, Or.

(Continued from page 29)

APA–The Engineered Wood Association drew nearly 400 to Huntington Beach, Ca., for its annual meeting (see p. 14-15 for photos). Safety Awards were presented to Robert Fouquet, Ainsworth; Greg Anthony, Boise Cascade; Mike Dawson, Norbord; Tom Temple, Potlatch; Terry Secrest, RoyOMartin, and Steve Doffitt, LP. The APA board of trustees also

Rallying Referrals version within your currently active customer base. Of course, in order to leverage the “bring a friend” deal to influence the ‘now’ sale, the deal must offer a higher discount when purchases or appointments are made at the same time. The customer is able to take advantage of a group discount, or better incentive, and the business is able to measure how effective wordof-mouth is in bringing on new clients in this manner. Remember, if you’re doing your job well, customers will want to tell

their friends and family about the great new business or service that they’ve found. Choosing to spend a little time and energy actively converting those customer fans into active referrers is a no-brainer. And the best news of all is that once you have a successful referral program in place, it will practically run itself. One referral will lead to the next, which will lead to the next, and so on. When you put in the effort to cultivate your active referrers, they can become one of the most profitable segments of your customer base. And keep in mind that while increasing the odds that potential customers will make a purchase is one of the biggest benefits of utilizing active referrers, it isn’t the only one. The customers your active referrers bring in are also more likely to work with you if they encounter a problem during their purchase experience—and they may also be more apt to tell others about their (hopefully positive) experience. – Annie Tsai is chief marketing officer at Demandforce and the author of The Small Business Online Marketing Handbook: Converting Online Conversations to Offline Sales.

Respecting the forest, honoring the past, building the future. A nation’s pride you can build on.

Manufacturers of 10 million bd. ft. monthly of • 5/4 & 6/4 Ponderosa Pine Shop • 4/4 Premium Pine Board Programs State-of-the-Art Hewmill & Headrig Mill

From everyone at Fontana Wholesale Lumber Inc.

Contact Sheldon Howell

(509) 874-1163

Alicia Beltran

(509) 874-1168

Yakama Forest Products 3191 Wesley Rd., White Swan, WA 98952 Fax 509-874-1162


December 2013

The Merchant Magazine


CLASSIFIED Marketplace Rates: $1.20 per word (25 word minimum). Phone number counts as 1 word, address as 6. Centered copy or headline, $9 per line. Border, $9. Private box, $15. Column inch rate: $55 if art furnished “cameraready” (advertiser sets the type), $65 if we set type. Send ad to Fax 949-852-0231 or For more info, call (949) 852-1990. Make checks payable to Cutler

Publishing, 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660. Deadline: 18th of previous month. To reply to ads with private box numbers, send correspondence to box number shown, c/o The Merchant. Names of advertisers using a box number cannot be released.

HELP WANTED WEST COAST INDUSTRIAL LUMBER is currently seeking experienced lumber broker/ salespeople for domestic sales. The candidate will become part of a team with responsibility for purchasing and sales. Would like qualifications to include: Existing network of business relationships and following among customers and/or sawmills. Please send resume in confidence to Please reference “MERCHANT AD” in the subject line. Or mail to West Coast Industrial Lumber Inc., 1795 Willamette Falls Dr. #200, West Linn, Or. 97068.

Visit The ALL-NEW

RELIABLE WHOLESALE LUMBER, Huntington Beach, Ca., is seeking an experienced moulder operator. This is a union position with full benefits. Schedule is M-F 6:30 – 3:00, some weekends. Contact Randall Richards, or (714) 849-2211.


Got your own copy? The


Just $22 a year. Start your own

subscription with our very next issue by calling Heather at (949) 852-1990

Discover what’s up East of the Rockies

• User-friendlier layout

Subscribe to

• Frequent updates throughout each day


• Smartphone & tablet accessible

Building Products Digest

• Improved search features

Just $24 for 12 monthly issues

• Event photos

• More news

Contact Heather at (949) 852-1990 Fax 949-852-0231


The Merchant Magazine

• Videos • Building products stock ticker

December 2013

DATE Book Listings are often submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with sponsor before making plans to attend. Southern California Hoo-Hoo – Dec. 11, meeting, Anaheim Hills Golf Course, Anaheim, Ca.; (760) 324-0842; Oregon Wood Innovation Center – Dec. 16-17, annual wood products manufacturing quality control workshop, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Or.; Portland Build, Remodel & Landscape Show – Jan. 3-5, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Or.; (800) 374-6463; Seattle Remodeling Expo – Jan. 3-5, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Wa.; (800) 374-6463; Colorado Springs Home Building & Remodeling Show – Jan. 1012, Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs, Co.; (800) 374-6463;



1321 N. Kraemer Blvd. (Box 879), Anaheim, Ca. 92806

Fax 714-630-3190

(714) 632-1988 • (800) 675-REEL 3518 Chicago Ave., Riverside, Ca. 92507

(909) 781-0564

Wholesale Industrial Lumber • Pine

San Diego Home Show – Jan. 10-12, Convention Center, San Diego, Ca.; (888) 433-3976;

• Plywood

National Retail Federation – Jan. 12-15, convention & expo, New York, N.Y.; (800) 673-4692;

• Mouldings

Black Bart Hoo-Hoo Club – Jan. 15, industry night, Broiler Steakhouse, Ukiah, Ca.; (707) 621-0485;

• Hardwood Lumber

Truck Loggers Association – Jan. 15-17, convention & show, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, B.C.; (604) 684-4291;

y p p a H ! s y a Holid

Humboldt Hoo-Hoo Club – Jan. 16, crab feed, Elks Lodge, Eureka, Ca.; (707) 601-9128. Western Pallet Association – Jan. 17-21, annual meeting, Rancho Las Palmas Resort, Rancho Mirage, Ca.; (360) 335-0208; Do it Best Corp. – Jan. 20-22, winter conference, Walt Disney World Swan Resort, Orlando, Fl.; (260) 748-5300; doitbestcorp. Portland Renovation & Landscaping Show – Jan. 24-26, Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Or., (800) 374-6463; Surfaces – Jan. 27-30, Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv.; (972) 536-6358; National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors – Jan. 28-30, executive summit, Fairmont, Washington, D.C.; (202) 872-0885; California Forestry Association – Jan. 29-30, annual meeting, Marriott, Napa, Ca.; (916) 444-6592; International Builders Show – Feb. 4-6, sponsored by National Association of Home Builders Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv.; (800) 368-5242; National Kitchen & Bath Association – Feb. 4-6, annual show, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv.; (800) 843-6522; Willamette Valley Hoo-Hoo Club – Feb. 7, crab feed, Shadow Hills Country Club, Junction City, Or.; (541) 688-6675. Northern Utah Home Show – Feb. 7-9, Davis Convention Center, Layton, Ut.; (888) 433-3976; Los Angeles Home Show – Feb. 7-9, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, Ca.; (888) 433-3976; San Mateo Home Show – Feb. 7-9, San Mateo Event Center, San Mateo, Ca.; (888) 433-3976; Western Building Material Association – Feb. 12-14, annual convention, Tulalip Resort, Marysville, Wa.; (888) 551-9262; Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – Feb. 19, meeting, San Dimas Golf Course, San Dimas, Ca.; (760) 324-0842;

Specialists in Hardwood Milling • Oliver Straitoplaner • Straight Line & Multiple Rips • Stickers • Newman Straight Knife Planer


301 E. Santa Ana St., Anaheim, Ca. 92805

(714) 632-2488 • Fax 714-776-1673 Reel Lumber Service and Regal Custom Millwork are affiliated companies

December 2013

The Merchant Magazine




For more information on advertisers, call them directly or visit their websites [in brackets].

Bundling Up for Charity

AERT []......................................Calendar 14 Arch/Lonza []..........................Calendar 4 Cal Coast Wholesale Lumber ........................................................21 C&E Lumber Co. [] ...............................31 Capital []..........................................27, 31 Capitol Plywood [] ....................Cover III C.T. Darnell Construction []........Calendar 20, 26 Diacon Technologies [] ...........................Calendar 6 Filler King Co. [] .............................................27 Fontana Wholesale Lumber [].....35 Forest2Market [].........................Calendar 26 Great Southern Wood Preserving [] ........Calendar 12



that it is better to give than to receive, a Midwestern dealer brings warmth and goodwill to a community—and itself. Tri-Creek Lumber & Hardware, Lowell, In., has sponsored a winter coat drive every December for the past six years. As of last year, more than 2,300 new and gently worn winter coats—plus a large number of new hats, gloves and scarves—have been donated. The items are distributed to local churches and a nearby shelter that works to alleviate family violence. Coats of all sizes are welcomed, but ones for schoolage children are especially needed. “Donations for these sizes can be very low, but requests for them are very high,” says employee Nancy Panozzo, who organizes the annual drives. She says that one customer of the store comes in every year to ask what’s needed— and then goes out and buys the requested items. According to Panozzo, it’s one way for that customer— and many others who participate in the drive—to give back to the community and honor help they once received themselves. Tri-Creek requests that donated items are clean and in good repair, because many recipients have no way to do that themselves. If good quality items that need repair are donated, store employees pitch in to help. Panozzo says that the idea for the first coat drive came from an employee. Advertising takes the form of free public service announcements in local newspapers and on local radio programs. She also hangs information flyers in the showroom, although, after six years, it’s mostly word of mouth. Since donated items are collected in the back of the kitchen and bath design center, customers who never venture outside the hardware area get a tour of this side of the store. Some have expressed surprise that TriCreek has such a large, well-stocked showroom. “We think it’s wonderful that people take the time and money to shop for new coats, hats and scarves,” says Panozzo. “It’s a great way to celebrate the spirit of the season.”


The Merchant Magazine

December 2013

Huff Lumber Co. .............................................................................25 Jones Wholesale Lumber [] ........23, 28 Kelleher Corp. [] ......................................Cover I Keller Lumber Sales .......................................................................31 Manke Lumber Co. [].............................33 Norman Distribution Inc. [].......................29 North American Wholesale Lumber Assn. [] ...Calendar 22 NyloBoard []........................................Calendar 8 Parr Lumber [] ..................................24 Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance [] .....15 Peterman Lumber Inc. [] ..................19 Plycem USA [].................................Calendar 16 PrimeSource Building Products [] ....29 Probyn Group [www.].............................................7 Redwood Empire [] .....................Calendar 24 Reel Lumber Service [] ..............................37 Rosboro [] ........................................................22 Roseburg Forest Products [] .......................17 RoyOMartin [] ....................................Cover II Southern Forest Products Association []..Calendar 18 Stimson Lumber Co. [] .........................5 Swanson Group Sales [] .....Cover IV Taiga Building Products [] ....................20 Universal Forest Products []............................3 Westbury Aluminum Railing [] ........Calendar 10 Yakama Forest Products []....................3

Product • Performance • Personal Service

Hardwood & Softwood Lumber Ash Alder Apitong Aromatic Cedar Birch–Natural, Red & White Cherry Mahogany Maple Oak–Red, White, Rift Red & White Pecan/Hickory Poplar Steamed Beech Sugar Pine–#2 & #3 Common Clear Radiata Pine Teak Walnut

* Other species available by special order

Hardwood Plywood

Alder Ash Apple Ply Aromatic Cedar Baltic Birch Beech Bending-Mahogany Birch–Natural, Red & White Prefinished Birch Cherry Knotty Cedar Mahogany Maple–Natural & White Oak–Red, White, Rift Red & White Quartered Red & White Oak Pecan/Hickory Pine–Knotty & Clear Ribbon Sapele Teak Walnut V.G. Fir

Exterior Sidings

Breckenridge DuraTemp Fir-Select, Premium & Clear Knotty Cedar


ABX, ACX, AB & AC Superply BBOES, BC, CCX P&TS, CDX St 1, T&G’s CCX Shop Grades Long Lengths & Wide Widths MDO’s & HDO’s Pre-Primed, Prefinished MDO SkidGuard, Tuf-Tred Fire-Retard Treated Pressure Treated for Rot Medium & High Density Form Sturdi-Floor Marine-AB Fir & Mahogany

Specialty Items

Season’s Greetings from 160 Commerce Circle, Sacramento, Ca. 95815 • Fax 916-922-0775 (916) 922-8861 • (800) 326-1505 1955 Timber Way, Reno, Nv. 89512 • Fax 775-329-3873 (775) 329-4494 • (800) 326-4494

Cedar Closet Lining Sound Board Asphalt Impregnated Board White Building Board Chopping Blocks Moulding & Millwork Items by Special Order Veneers, NBL & 10 Mil FRP Board & Mouldings Prefinished Paneling–States, Trimac R-Max, Foamular 150 – 250 White Insulfoam Tile Board, Dry Erase Board, Chalkboard Hardboards, Pegboards, Temp 2-Side Smooth White, Black & Almond Pegboard Medex, Medite FR, Extira MDF–Formaldehyde Free Liteweight MDF, Medite 3D, Arries MDF MDF, Particleboard Underlayment & Industrial Melamine, Vinyl & Slatwall Redi-shelf, PB & Melamine Shelving Melamine Edgebanding Tape Combination Panels Durock & Fiberock Fire-Rated Particleboard




Merchant Dec 2013  

December 2013 edition of The Merchant Magazine, monthly magazine for lumber and building material dealers & distributors in the West.

Merchant Dec 2013  

December 2013 edition of The Merchant Magazine, monthly magazine for lumber and building material dealers & distributors in the West.