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AP R I L 2012



Osmose® has long been a leader in the research and development of new products and services in all areas of lumber preservation technology. We provide innovative wood preservative products, advanced engineering services and customized marketing services to our valued customers. Established in 1934, Osmose, Inc. is recognized as a world premier supplier of lumber preservative technologies. Osmose has a long history of successful development and diversification into specialized areas of wood preservation.

For more information visit

MicroPro pressure treated wood products are treated with Micronized Copper Quaternary Compounds or Micronized Copper Azole. NatureWood pressure treated wood products are treated with Alkaline Copper Quaternary Compounds. CCA pressure treated wood products are treated with Chromated Copper Arsenate. MicroPro, NatureWood, Advance Guard, Hi-bor, FirePro and CCA treated wood products are produced by independently owned and operated wood treating facilities. MicroPro®, NatureWood®, Advance Guard®, Hi-bor®, FirePro®, and Osmose® are registered trademarks of Osmose, Inc. Colors shown in photo images may differ from actual product samples. © 3/2012











 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012


April 2012

Volume 90  Number 9



CHANGE OF ADDRESS Send address label from recent issue if possible, 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速2012 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.

TOTALLY Random By Alan Oakes




A publication of Cutler Publishing

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

How many businesses are putting the customer first?


at how bad customer service has become. If only some owners and bosses understood what is happening on their front lines, they would surely cringe. On Friday night, we drove 50-plus miles over two traffic-snarled hours to arrive at a restaurant to celebrate a family birthday and the visit of a nephew from Australia. By the time we arrived, I was ready to eat and drink. My wife and I were the first to arrive at 6:10 p.m.—an early hour when the restaurant was only a third full. Our table was set up and waiting, but when I asked to be seated, I was told in a haughty manner, “No, you must wait until your entire party is here.” At 6:15, I asked again. I tried to argue nicely that the restaurant was all but empty. I was told, “No, you MUST wait,” with a stare that made me think I was about to be tasered. I can say that the staff’s attitude messed up my evening and guaranteed that I will never return. At long last, we were seated—at a makeshift table in the middle of the aisle to the kitchens and bathrooms, where I could not hear a word from someone seated 3 feet away. I suspect our placement was deliberate. A month before Christmas, I succumbed to all the advertising by AT&T for their U-verse cable system. First I was told that it would take about a month before it could be installed—not until December 30 between 8 and 11 a.m. I agreed, even confirming with my local store a few days before. Come December 30, I waited and waited, made three calls to re-confirm they were still coming that totaled about one and a half hours. About 2 p.m., I finally learned that our order had been put on hold by the warehouse. Nobody could tell me why. On January 20, while I was traveling in another state, a message was left on my voicemail that the installers were on their way. Of course, I wouldn’t be home to let them in for another week. Par for the course, here we are in March and not a peep out of them. Guess who is not going to get my business? How many times do you walk into a store, like I did to return something at Costco last week, only to watch three of the five help desks close in front of you, and then have to watch the clerks standing around laughing and giggling as the return line grew longer and tempers shorter. Or when you want to get help in a store and have to listen while the clerks plan their weekends on their cell phones and give you a dirty look because you are interrupting their day? Inevitably, you’ll overhear them say, begrudgingly, that they have to get off the phone because some customer keeps looking at them. A couple of weeks back, two contractors submitted quotes for re-sealing our floors. One gave us his promised quote the following day. The other needed two promptings before he finally turned in his bid on day seven. Guess who got the work? When I make calls in this industry, I cannot tell you how many times I am appalled by the ineptitude of some of those who pick up the phone. Many do not even know how to transfer a call. Others leave you on hold for five minutes or more, making you doubt if you are still on hold or not. Yikes! You would think that in all these instances, your competitor must have found a way to infiltrate your company with these employees to sabotage your business. Sadly they did not. You hired them. Can you think of any better way to drive customers away? Or is it just me? AM INCREASINGLY SHOCKED

Alan Oakes, Publisher


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Publisher Alan Oakes

Publisher Emeritus David Cutler

Director of Editorial & Production David Koenig Editor Karen Debats

Contributing Editors Dwight Curran, Carla Waldemar, James Olsen, Jay Tompt, Mike Dandridge 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

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MARGIN Builders

Made in America boosts connector business


EALERS AND DISTRIBUTORS looking to support the Made in America movement—and boost the national economy—need look no farther than domestic nail and fastener producers. “We’re one of the last makers of nails in this country,” says Roelif Loveland, president and general manager of Maze Nails, Peru, Il. The family-owned company has been in the business since 1848, making galvanized stainless steel nails protected by a corrosion-resistant zinc coating. Maze has supplied nails for two high-profile projects: restoration of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and the “All-American Home” built by Anders Lewendal in Bozeman, Mt.

TRUE SPEC nails manufactured by Halsteel are identified with a combination of color and number codes, for easy indentification.

Lewendal, who earned a degree in economics before going into construction, believes that if builders directed just 5% of their construction spending to American-made products, it would add $14 billion to the U.S. economy. As proof, he built a 2,200-sq. ft. home with American-made products. “We don’t need every builder to build every single home with allAmerican products,” he says. “That’s not practical and that’s not necessary. The point is that little things add up.” Lewendal claims American-made nails cost about $5 more per box but save $10 in labor costs because they jam nail guns less often than cheaper Chinese brands. “What we’re looking for is the best value,” he says. “If a guy has to get down three times a day to clear the gun, that’s time wasted.” Lewendal and his crews also used True Spec collated nails from Halsteel, Ontario, Ca. Because each nail in the line is identified with a combination of color and number codes, it’s easy for both builders and inspectors to verify the right nail and correct nailing pattern have been used. “The concept is to provide a quality nailing system that builds confidence with all levels of the building community,” says Alan Brown, national sales manager for True Spec. “We believe that our American-made product reinforces our commitment to building a strong economy.” Simpson Strong-Tie, Pleasanton,

Photo by Roelif Loveland, Maze Nails

U.S.-Produced Fasteners

SIMPSON STRONG-TIE is proud that its core product line is manufactured in the U.S. at its plants in California, Texas and Ohio.

Ca., supplied a variety of connectors for Montana’s All-American Home. The family-owned, 56-year-old company is proud that its core product line—which includes structural connectors, prefabricated shear walls, and steel moment frames—is made in the U.S. at its plants in Stockton and Riverside, Ca., McKinney, Tx., and Columbus, Oh. SST also produces stainless steel bulk nails in the U.S., at its plant in Gallatin, Tn. “There are many advantages to having production in the U.S.,” says Jacinta Pister, senior v.p. of manufacturing. “First, it ensures availability of our products so they get to dealer locations and jobsites when they are needed. Second, it allows us to develop products for specific markets and create innovative solutions that address customer needs. It makes good business sense and adds to our commitment to customer service.” April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


PRODUCT Spotlight Copper Naphthenate

The return of copper napthenate


HANKS TO THE efforts of Nisus Corp., Rockford, Tn., copper naphthenate is once again available as a wood preservative for pressure treated railroad ties, telephone poles, bridge timbers, and other industrial wood products. “If the industry lost this product, it

would immediately increase the use of non-wood alternatives and have a long-term detrimental effect on our industry and the environment,” says Dr. Jeff Lloyd, vice president of research and development at the 22year-old company. “We really don’t have a replace-

KEVIN KIRKLAND, president of Nisus Corp., inside the new 10,000-sq. ft. plant, which sits next to its existing 42,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Rockford, Tn.


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

ment for copper naphthenate, ” says president Kevin Kirkland. “It’s one of the safest and most effective treatment solutions available for ground contact wood preservation.” Nisus’ quest to save copper naphthenate began early last year, when Merichem Co., Houston, Tx., declined to re-register the chemical with the EPA and discontinued production of its CuNap-8. At the time, most plants and customers were expected to switch to pentachlorophenol—even though copper naphthenate is a general use preservative and pentachlorophenol is registered for restricted use. Once Nisus decided that copper naphthenate would be a natural addition to its wood preservation division, Lloyd and Kirkland met with EPA officials who agreed to expedite Nisus’ registration application, which was approved in August 2011. “Normally, the registration process takes a minimum of six months, but in this case, the EPA got it done in just six weeks without lowering any standards,” says Kirkland. “You always hear stories about inefficient government or government that gets in the way of business, but in our small corner of the world, EPA got it done!” One month after receiving EPA approval, Nisus produced its first batch of copper naphthenate—with the brand name of QNap—in a leased facility located in Dalton, Ga. By the following month, construction had started on a new 10,000-sq. ft. production plant in Rockford, Tn., which is scheduled to begin operations this

month. Wheeler Lumber’s treated wood division uses copper naphtenate to service all its markets—even fence posts and landscape timbers. After a 2003 fire destroyed its wood-treating facility in Whitewood, S.D., the company rebuilt and switched from three different chemicals to just one: CuNap-8 from Merichem. “It’s a very clean product—no odor, not photo-toxic,” says vice president Jeff Parrett. “It’s the only nonrestricted, oil-based preservative on the market, so customers are getting the benefits of an oil-based treatment that helps lubricate the wood cells and prevent swelling and checking.” After Merichem stopped producing CuNap-8, Wheeler looked to Nisus. “We were very upset that the product was going away,” says Parrett. “We had just enough to fill orders until Nisus shipped new product, so we didn’t have to return to other chemicals and possibly lose some of our customers.”

NEW LOGO for copper naphthenate treatments supplied by Nisus Corp.

A number of other treaters have also signed with Nisus, including Boatright Companies, Montevallo, Al.; Cahaba Timber, Brierfield, Al., and Mellott Wood Preserving, Needmore, Pa. Nisus offers the following copper naphthenate products to wood treaters: oil-based QNap1 and QNap8 and water-based QNap5W. It also offers a water-based, tintable formulation—QNap1W RTU—to sub-registrants who support the remedial, endcut, and retail markets. The company also encourages use of a dual-treatment process using copper naphthenate and borate, which is especially useful for railroad ties traditionally preserved with creosote. “Copper naphthenate is a great wood preservative that we have used for many years,” says Elaina Jackson, Pacific Wood Preserving, Bakersfield, Ca. “Now that Nisus is producing and marketing copper naphthenate, their customers will receive a high quality product delivered professionally and personally.”

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


FEATURE Story By Huck DeVenzio, Arch Wood Protection

The other treated wood

Dealer demand growing for surface treatments that inhibit mold

MOLD can cause darkened color or blotches that make wood hard to sell. When mills apply anti-mold surface treatment, lumber may remain clean-looking throughout the chain of commerce and even longer.



advertisements for “the other white meat” or watched movies about “the other woman.” Sawmills are facing greater demand from lumber dealers for “the other treated wood.” Some major building supply outlets, including a big box retailer, have grown tired of consumer reaction to mold on lumber and are beginning to require material that has been surface-coated with mold-resistant sprays. For decades, lumber dealers have bought and sold pressure treated wood. It is produced to resist damage from termite attack and fungal decay, and thus last longer in outdoor applications. Of more recent concern is wood sprayed with mold-inhibiting solutions to prevent, or at least delay, the appearance of mold. Moldy wood is hard to sell to consumers who expect clean lumber. “Homeowners have taken a greater interest in the lumber in their homes,” says Geoff Webb, business manager, specialty chemicals at Arch Wood Protection. “Not just for wall paneling and decking, but even for framing and sill plate. They want all of their wood to look good, even wood that will be hidden within walls. It used to be that homeowners and contractors might pick through lumber bins looking for wood that was straight and wane-free. Now


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

they pick through and expect the lumber to be free of mold and dirt. Their demands are tough to meet with normal lumber.” Anti-mold solutions have existed for several decades and, when applied properly, have shown that they can postpone the onset of mold and discoloration resulting from mold. Different conditions require different concentrations of mold inhibitor. These conditions include local climate, species of mold fungi present, application for the wood, construction techniques used, and length of time for which mold protection is desired. “We have used anti-sapstain products for years,” says Chris Swanson, v.p. of sales & marketing for Swanson Group, Glendale, Or. “Dealers and their customers want clean-looking wood. Last fall, our Glendale sawmill made the change to a different brand of coating, which allows our wood to yard longer without discoloring. Since then, we have seen a significant improvement in the appearance of our wood and less downfall in our inventory.” Neal Shunk, marketing manager for Weyerhaeuser, Federal Way, Wa., is proud of his company’s leadership in the use of mold-resistant coatings for wood products and noted what the coatings can do for customers. “These solu-

MOST COMMONLY, anti-mold solutions are sprayed on softwood lumber, although they may be applied by dipping lumber bundles into tanks of mold inhibitor.

tions significantly reduce the occurrence of mold throughout the supply chain, especially when paired with good inventory practices in the yard and on the job site.” Prior to 2008, mold was a pressing issue and fear of mold liability caused anxiety among dealers and contractors. Concern over mold seemed to subside with the collapse of new home construction. The issue is rising again, however, and dealers are taking steps to avoid moldy wood.

Specifying Anti-Mold Coatings

For wood pressure-treated with preservative, a dealer can rely on the standards of the American Wood Protection Association or the requirements of building codes when specifying the product. However, for surface treatments, there is no established organization setting standards for proper coating and there are not thirdparty inspection agencies to monitor application. The requirements are determined by the desires and preferences of individual buyers. The mills are expected to provide material that meets those requirements. Once a dealer has specified the

Pressure Treated Wood

Surface-Treated Wood


Termites, fungal decay

Mold, blue stain from mold


AWPA, building codes

Buyers’ preferences only

Primary Effect Longevity

Main Uses

Application Method

Greater durability

Cleaner appearance

Very long term—decades

Decks, exterior projects, sill plate Pressure impregnation at wood preservation facility

degree of protection wanted for particular circumstances, a mill can work with a chemical supplier in creating a treatment adequate to meet the specifications. Since no standards or monitoring services exist, a dealer must rely on choosing lumber from reputable mills using brand-name products that can be trusted. Respected companies have a reputation to protect and are more likely to provide products and services that will meet consistently the needs of the dealer. Incidentally, anti-mold treatments do not increase chemical risks to lumberyard workers or homeowners living

Depends on chemical, concentration, application, exposure Framing, interior lumber

Spray coating at sawmill or component manufacturing site

in houses with treated framing. MSDSs for wood sprayed with mold inhibitor are typically the same as MSDSs for untreated wood; the chemicals do not raise hazards. For dealers who sometimes experience mold problems, it is worth considering the other treated wood.

– Huck DeVenzio is manager of marketing communications at Arch Wood Protection, Inc., manufacturer of wood treating chemicals, including AntiBlu surface protection products, and licensor of the Wolmanized brand of preserved wood. He claims he resembles some picked-over lumber—straight but not always clean. Reach him at

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


MARGIN Builders By Lisa Podesto, PE

Panelized roof systems make sense for commercial buildings


on the horizon for low-rise commercial construction. McGraw-Hill Construction forecasts an average 8% growth for commercial building this year, with warehouses and hotels seeing the largest percentage increases. This is good news for building material dealers who position themselves to provide materials for panelized wood roof systems. HERE IS HOPE

Cost-effective materials, faster installation, and improved worker safety make panelized wood roof systems a good choice for commercial building projects, particularly lowslope roof structures such as warehouses. Panelizing, the process of assembling wood or hybrid roof sections on the ground and then lifting them into place, allows contractors to

reduce labor and material costs. Typical savings in markets along the West Coast—where panelized roofs are most popular—range from $1.25 to $1.50 per sq. ft. over conventional steel joist metal deck systems. While low-slope panelized wood roof systems are certainly appropriate for eastern markets, design and construction professionals there tend to be less familiar with their benefits. However, with conservative estimated savings of 25¢ to 50¢ per sq. ft. over conventional steel roof systems, the opportunity for growth in this market exists.

Panelized Basics

ALL WOOD PANELIZED ROOF on a 41,000-sq. ft. shopping center in Honolulu, Hi., was the most cost-effective choice. Photo by Michael O’Hara


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

There are two basic types of panelized wood roof systems. An all-wood system consists of glued laminated beam girders with wood purlins (glulam, I-joists or open web wood trusses), wood sub-purlins, and a wood structural panel deck. Commonly seen in buildings with spans of less than 40 ft., the all-wood system is particularly well suited for applications where conveyor equipment is hung from the roof structure or in food-processing facilities that need to minimize dust from overhead joists. The hybrid system uses steel purlin and girder trusses together with wood sub-purlins and a wood structural panel deck. The long span capability of steel framing makes this system particularly economical when spans range from 32 to 60 ft., but much larger spans can be accommodated. Wood decking allows better economy, both in terms of material and installation cost. This is usually the system of choice for large warehouse and industrial structures requiring long spans.

While market share fluctuates with commodity steel and wood prices, about 70% of new low-slope, commercial roof projects in California are currently built with hybrid systems, 10% are all-wood, and the remaining 20% are built using all steel.

Assembly & Installation

Much of the assembly is completed on the ground, which improves safety and speeds construction. In one method, the crew nails the wood structural sheathing to the sub-purlins, sometimes called stiffeners, which are typically spaced 24 inches on center. Using a fabrication table or jig, crews then fasten the panel/sub-purlin assembly to the purlins with joist hangers. In the other method, workers attach the sub-purlins to the purlin and then nail the sheathing into place over the top. The roof erector then lifts the pre-fabricated panel into place and connects it to the joists and girders to form the roof structure. A typical 50 ft. panel takes just five to 10 minutes to assemble on the ground. Panels are then lifted into place by forklifts and reach machines. Two or three people work on the roof deck to land the panels, weld them into place (for hybrid systems), and then nail them, strategically working their way across the structure. An accomplished roof erector with one crew can erect more than 100,000 sq. ft. of roof per week.

Cost-Effective Materials, Cost-Effective Roof

Designers have a great deal of flexibility in choosing components. Wood structural panels can be OSB or plywood, in 4x8 or 4x10 sheets, even 8x8 jumbo panels. Framers attach these panels to 2x4, 2x6, 3x4, or 3x6 wood sub-purlins. Common purlins for an all-wood system include I-joists and open-web trusses, or 2” glulam in some cases. Hybrid systems use K-Series openweb steel joists for short-span steel purlins (less than 48 ft.) and LH-Series long-span steel purlins for applications with spans greater than 48 ft. G-Series steel girders can span up to 120 ft., but are more commonly used for 50-to 60ft. spacing. With cost savings of up to $1.50 per sq. ft., contractors, developers and owners are increasingly turning to panelized wood roof systems. A typical hybrid panelized system in California for a large project under

HYBRID PANELIZED ROOF SYSTEM was ideal for this large, 1.8 million sq. ft. distribution center in Moreno Valley, Ca., which used more than 53,750 sheets of OSB, 1.63 million bd. ft. of lumber, and 45 miles of steel trusses and girders. Photo by J.D. Herron

normal loading runs about $3.25 per sq. ft. If insulation is needed, inexpensive batt insulation can be installed below the deck of a panelized wood roof system, saving 50¢ to 75¢ per sq. ft. over the cost of rigid insulation. Rigid insulation may be required in regions with cold exterior temperature or in applications with high indoor humidity. OSB radiant barrier panels offer another option. They cost about 5¢ to 10¢ per sq. ft. more than regular OSB, but their reflective backing blocks up to 97% of radiant heat and offers an advantage in cooling costs. Market opportunity for building materials dealers is promising. A 1.8million-sq. ft. distribution center for Skechers in Moreno Valley, Ca., used an enormous amount of materials: more than 53,750 sheets of OSB, 45 miles of steel trusses and girders (240 truckloads), 1.63 million bd. ft. of

lumber (20 rail car loads), and 14 million nails (four truckloads). Up the coast, a distribution center for Subaru in Portland, Or., used nearly 420,000 sq. ft. of OSB. Both projects were built in 2011. The commercial building industry is finally beginning to show positive momentum. As demand for low-rise commercial structures grows, market potential for LBM dealers will also grow. Panelized wood roof systems offer numerous benefits to your customers. By familiarizing yourself with the advantages of panelized wood roof construction, you can take full advantage of the opportunities. – Lisa Podesto, PE, is senior technical director-building systems for WoodWorks (, a nonprofit providing free project support, education and resources for non-residential and multifamily wood design. For answers or technical support, email

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


PRODUCT Spotlight Cross Laminated Timber

Cross laminated timber backs huge condo install


E NGINEERED W OOD recently supplied its Nordic XLam cross laminated timbers to create reportedly the first condominiums in North America constructed entirely of the massive panels. A crew of five working 10 hours a day required just 22 days to erect the four-story, 24-unit structure in Chibougamau, P.Q. According to Nordic’s Nicolas Angleys, that’s roughly twice the speed of traditional concrete and steel construction. “The winter conditions in northern Quebec encouraged the builder to use massive wood panels to reduce construction time and eliminate the need to heat the structure during erection,” Angleys said. The CLT install was completed in January. ORDIC

USING massive CLT panels, installers were able to erect a four-story, 32,400-sq. ft. condo complex in just over three weeks—a necessity in the harsh winter of northern Quebec.


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

INDUSTRY Trends Changing Pro Buying Habits

Contractors change their buying habits


in a row, L.E.K. Consulting surveyed more than 500 contractors across the U.S. While most are cautiously looking toward the future, they are changing how and where they shop in order to remain price-competitive. “For the first time since the recession, contractors are planning for OR THE SECOND YEAR

growth,” says Chris Kenney, an L.E.K. vice president and head of the international firm’s North American basic industries practice. “There’s an opportunity to capitalize on growth by promoting trusted brands, introducing product features that will command a premium, and reevaluating how to reach customers across traditional and

online channels.” Other key findings for LBM dealers, distributors, and manufacturers include: Pricing pressure continues despite market optimism. A third of respondents said they lost bids last year due to price—double the percentage in 2006. Contractors responded by looking for their preferred products at competitive prices. Brand loyalty remains higher than channel loyalty. Contractors are loyal to trusted building product brands, not the channels through which they buy. Contractors are twice as likely to channel shop rather than trade down and purchase less expensive alternatives. This indicates that strong brands have significant pricing power and should examine distinct pricing strategies for different channels. Loyalty to big boxes declines. When respondents were asked about their loyalty to sales channels, big boxes remained at the bottom for the second consecutive year. Contractors said that big boxes under-perform on the three most important channel selection criteria, other than price: delivery speed, stock on-hand for immediate purchase, and contractor services. Contractors’ loyalty to twosteppers increased the most from 2010 to 2011.

It’s time to re-focus on the pro channel. Manufacturers typically surrender significant profit margins in exchange for large sales volumes generated via big boxes. It might be better to sell new and premium products


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

through pro channels, where profits are traditionally higher and differentiation of products is sustainable. For this strategy to work, manufacturers must have clear pricing strategies among channels and establish programs to support distribution partners.

Online purchasing continues to grow. Nearly 50% of contractors said they have used the Internet for price comparisons, and 40% expect to conduct more purchasing online during the next three years.

Social media affects purchasing. Along with the Internet, social media plays a growing role in contractors’ decision-making processes and purchasing decisions. Almost a third of those surveyed said they are using social media more than they were a year ago to follow suppliers and brands, and 35% expect to be more active on social media this year.

Product selection criteria are changing. Energy efficient and sustainable products are becoming increasingly important factors in product selection. More than half of contractors indicated a willingness to pay a 10% or higher premium on both product types. However, the importance of these two features varies significantly between residential and commercial contractors. Residential contractors are willing to pay a premium for energy-efficient products and consider it the second most important purchasing criterion behind price. But they are generally unwilling to pay more for sustainable products. In contrast, commercial contractor purchasing decisions are equally influenced by both energy efficiency and sustainability. According to L.E.K., contractors will have more flexi-

bility to return to their preferred purchasing habits as the construction market slowly begins to expand. However, the firm believes that the winners in the industry five years from now will those that pursue new strategies now. “Companies have an opportunity right now to get ahead of the growth curve,” said Robert Rourke, vice president and head of L.E.K.’s North American building and construction practice. “Their actions today will largely dictate tomorrow’s winners.”

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


COMPETITIVE Intelligence By Carla Waldemar

Ninety years young



adaptability. That’s the mantra of Bob Margolin, whose grandfather launched L. Miller & Son Lumber Co. in a dense Chicago neighborhood 90 years

HIP CHECK: President Tracy Merchant (left) has helped to invigorate Bob Margolin’s 90-year-old Chicago yard, L. Miller & Son Lumber.


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

ago. Bob follows up with another guiding maxim: “From adversity comes opportunity,” he says. Then goes on to prove it. Adversity started growling in the late ’70s, when the first big box—a Handy Andy—threatened to chew up the business that Bob’s grandfather had nurtured. Originally a buggy and wagon maker in the Old Country, he came upon an opportunity to buy a building in Wicker Park—back then, a neighborhood where blue-collar workers parked their sedans at a tavern. Today, thanks—or not—to gentrification, those corner hangouts have become sushi bars and the Chevies have been replaced by BMWs—a transition we’ll pick up on later (as did Bob). Grandpa stocked the place with hardware and the merchandise of a general store, then installed his wife and three kids in the rear. Long before his demise in the late ‘70s, he’d added lumber, recalls Bob, who grew up in the neighborhood and supplemented his school days with stints filling shelves, loading trucks, and gleaning from gramps, his wisest mentor. “Even in his late 90s, we had to chase him out at night. I learned the business little by little,” Bob recalls. “I knew it was my future.” But along came Handy Andy. “Nearby 90% of our business was walk-in—small contractors and d-i-yers—and they weren’t walking in anymore. I knew we had to change. So I started making cold calls on the other 10% of our business—the commercial accounts: the in-house shops of institutions, factories and hotels. I changed our inventory and stated stocking the materials they needed. They didn’t like the grade of wood the yard carried, so I upgraded, and I added hardware and plumbing. Now we were a one-stop shop, and,” outsmarting adversity, “our business flipped to 90% commercial. “When we were losing to the home centers, I was still calling on a few small factories, so I decided, ‘Let’s see who else?’” Bob soon picked up accounts at the likes of Morton Salt and Oscar Meyer, among others. “I found a hunger for the type of service I was promoting. Here I was, trying to get guys to spend their company’s money! They valued service over price, which was just the opposite of the d-i-yers down the block. So with good service and material, price wasn’t so important to the contractors I was dealing with. I didn’t have to make bids; instead, I developed relationships, had fun! I went after niche markets, such as the entertainment industry, which began using our Styrofoam insulation for making scenery. It helped us weather a lot of situations.”

Adaptability again. “I went after 100% of their orders; I never said no. I just figured out ways to be of service. I’d say, ‘Just give me your order and go back to work.’ Plus, we offered free, same-day delivery. It was a unique concept then, and it enabled us to develop relationships that have continued 25, 30 years. Now their sons come in. “Our market is based on repeat business. We don’t have to bid for an order; we’re allowed an honest mark-up, and they don’t kill you over price. You spoil your customers— which you should,” Bob instructs. “Once they place an order with us, there was no going backward after they’d experienced timely delivery, courtesy, and dry wood. “It’s all about service,” Bob underscores his message, adding, “Basically, I’m an expeditor—a glorified go-fer. When I started calling on prospects, I’d say, ‘I know you buy from ABC. Do they meet all your needs?’ I’d take away the hardest items”—the thankless stuff—“and pretty soon, picked up the rest. Business grew by word of mouth, no advertising.” Adaptability showed up another day 10 years ago in the unlikely disguise of one Tracy Merchant. The classy young lady operated her own construction business, for which she utilized her talents as an interior decorator for developers of upscale condos. She walked into Miller looking for special moulding and walked out with a job offer. After her “You’ve got to be kidding!” reaction, the idea of making good money by working part-time on commission sounded intriguing. Bob, in turn, was impressed by the 20-something-year-old’s “strong sense of self. She was smart, pretty, well-educated, well-traveled, and was doing little contracting jobs for friends.” (It didn’t hurt that Bob himself had a young daughter with her future ahead of her.) And, talk about adaptable: “Tracy would call on clients with her Gucci purse and then change into jeans to do measurements. And they’d tell her, ‘You’re the only one I’ve gone to who really understands what I’m looking for.’ She was received very well: good rapport with customers and driven by a good business model.” Tracy worked part-time from 2002 to 2007, taking off, oh, about 15 minutes in 2006 to have a baby. A week after her Cesarean section, with her infant son in a carrier, she

was back on the job—greeted by her customers not with congratulations, but rather, “Where’s my doors?” “I’m probably the first one in lumberyard history to be sitting at a desk, nursing her baby under a Pashmina shawl,” laughs the company’s president. That’s right: Tracy now holds that prestigious title. She oversees accounting and manages cash flow for the company as a fourth-generation “family” member, says Bob with evident enjoyment. “We finish each other’s sentences and eat Thanksgiving dinner together,” he declares. Tracy oversees the operation of three trucks, three drivers, and three outside sales reps, who also serve the showroom that serves as an extension of their contractors’ businesses. All three reps are women, and that’s no accident. “We’ve had bad luck with guys,” Bob claims—plus, as he’s observed, “Times have changed over the past 10 years,” crumbling the walls of the Good Old Boys fortress. “Nowadays, many vendors’ reps are female, too,” he notes. Fine with Tracy. “I’ve always been interested in buildings and interiors, and I call on some pretty unique accounts,” including the Playboy and Broadway in Chicago entertainment operations. Despite the current downturn, “There’s still some building going on in Wicker Park—custom homes and remodeling,” says Tracy. In fact, Bob adds, “There’s more business than we can handle,” acknowledging that the operation is undercapitalized. “We’re operating as if there were a governor on our car,” he regrets. To overcome that, “We’re looking for a partner. “Chicago is losing its independent dealers,” he mourns. “There are only four left. Several closed down within the past six months, so we need to get out and pick up their business. Why not? There’ll always be a place for us—things we do better than the boxes!” Carla Waldemar

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


OLSEN On Sales By James Olsen

What kind of relationship?



Almost everywhere I go, people warn me about John (or Susan or…). “Yeah he sells a lot, but what a jerk! He’s always blah, blah, blah about an order he got that shipped late or…” What I find is John is the guy who holds the whole company to a higher standard than anyone else in the organization. If invoicing is not done correctly or efficiently, John gets on invoicing. If the truck ships one day late, John is on the shipping department. “Why can’t we ship one day early?” John asks incessantly. If John thinks you should get on the phone and quit complaining, he says so. If John thinks management is making a(nother) mistake, he marches into the big man’s office and tells him. If John is such a bad guy, why do his customers love him? I do field work with salespeople. We will drive by a place of business, they will say, “We don’t want to go in there, that guy’s a jerk.” “Pull over!” I say. When we meet the customer, he is usually no-nonsense and has a very clear idea of what he wants. And he runs a company that is doing great business. Who is selling these guys anyway? The Johns and Susans of the world, that’s who. Definitions are funny, huh? Only the top 10% are demanding excellence. They do stand out. Dealing with them is exacting, which can be demanding, but in the end they are just asking that it—the sale, the shipment, the invoice, the product, the commitment—be done the way it is supposed to be done, more if possible. The top 10% prefers an edge, but never less! Remember, the top 10% stands out on the sales side, too. Game recognizes game.

Poor Relationship Strategy

Sellers who underachieve have the following strategy: “I will be as nice as possible, so my customers will like me best, and then they will buy from me.” These sellers insult their customers, their competition, and themselves, and suffer for it. Who marries the yes-man or yes-woman? No one (except my wife). Why? Because “I don’t know, whatever you want to do” is boring. Standing up for ourselves (being disagreeable) is part of being likeable, for crying out loud! We must understand the difference between likeable and agreeable. Everyone likes someone with spunk. Master sellers hold themselves to the standard of being direct—asking for the business in everything they say and


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

do, being assumptive (“Mr. customer, we are going to do business together”) with every customer, on every call, and doing it in a nice way. It does take skill to negotiate, haggle, cajole and demand things from customers in a way that leaves the relationship intact. That is the master seller skill set. Contrary to what struggling sellers have convinced themselves, we can be nice, ask for, and get what we want.

Early Relationship Moment

How master sellers and struggling sellers handle obfuscation from customers determines their relationship fate with all customers, for life. Example: Us: “How much of that product do you use per month?’ Customer: “A fair amount.” The master seller repeats the question, while the struggling seller lets it go. (See underachievement strategy). The master seller sends the message “When I ask a question, I expect an answer.” The delivery of the message can be subtle: Us: “Well… (Silence, pondering) I know you can’t tell me exactly, but… (respectful waiting) could you give me a ball-park idea?” This kind of response, delivered in a nice way, with a smile, conveys that we are a serious person. Customers will respect us, like us, and will not side-step us at closing. When we let customers wriggle away from any of our questions, we become accomplices in our own demise. We impair closing and the relationship in general. We are in charge of the kinds of relationships we build with customers. We must be conscious of the little things we do every day on every call that build the kind of relationships that work for us. (Note to John and Susan: try some salesmanship on the inside also. It works.) James Olsen Reality Sales Training (503) 544-3572

GREEN Retailing By Jay Tompt

Green bricks & blocks


URABILITY IS ONE of those green building attributes that doesn’t get enough attention. Things that last a long time don’t need to be replaced as often, which saves money, material, and energy. Durable items that are reusable and recyclable are even better. And ones made from abundant, recycled, or easily renewable material right from the get-go are, theoretically, the best. So, why doesn’t the ubiquitous and overlooked “brick” get more attention from green pundits and sustainability gurus? It’s durable, reusable and made from abundant materials: clay and slate. Where red bricks fall down is high carbon footprint. Bricks require high-temperature kilns, which consume lots of energy, and that’s a deal killer for most green architects. But there’s more than one way to make a brick. Innovations in recent years, as well as shifting attitudes about older brick-making technologies, are combining to make the category much more interesting. Are we close to a renaissance in building with brick? Who knows? But for building materials dealers looking to refresh an ancient category, there are innovative new solutions worth evaluating. Let’s start with the basic red brick. Red brick has a specific aesthetic that may represent an important aspect of a region’s building vernacular, or may simply be appealing to individual customers. If it has to be red brick, there is a green alternative. Bricks made with fly ash, such as those from CalStar Products (, can capture that same look and feel, but with a fraction of the carbon footprint. They’re made with an industrial waste product, fly ash, and are steam cured rather than kiln fired, and at comparable price and performance to the traditional


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

clay brick. Fly ash bricks are an innovation that could very well capture the imagination of architects, specifiers and builders, and begin to gain significant market share at the expense of traditional red bricks. They fit well with mainstream attitudes and represent a safe way forward. For some dealers, there are niche opportunities to push the envelope a little further. Recycled paper offers one of the more unusual building materials currently testing the boundaries of what’s possible. A new company in Texas, MasonGreenStar (, is testing the market with GreenStar Blox, bricks made from recycled paper, cement, and proprietary additives. The bricks weigh only about a third of comparably sized adobe or compressed earth blocks (CEB). This technology is not ready for prime time just yet, but it may represent an important alternative building material in the future. In a return to the past, natural building projects are often focused on using materials like adobe and CEB, which can be sourced on the building site. While many dealers are stuck in a “stock and ship” paradigm, on-site material sourcing and production presents a different kind opportunity for the enterprising green dealer. Renting compressed earth brick-making equipment and hosting training courses could be business opportunities for dealers currently supporting natural builders, or those inspired to evangelize natural materials. Earth Tek ( is one manufacturer of brick presses and blenders worth a look. But if you’re interested in building your own, you can do that, too. Open Source Ecology (, is developing open-source plans for what it calls the Global Village Construction Set, machines that could be built by almost anyone that would be necessary to deliver the industrial needs of a small town, including a CEB press. For some, this kind of brick making might provide new sources of revenue as durable as the bricks themselves. Jay Tompt Managing Partner William Verde & Associates (415) 321-0848

FAMILY Business By James Olan Hutcheson

Coping with family business ills “L

UCK’S A CHANCE, but trouble’s sure,” the poet A.E. Housman wrote, speaking to the wisdom of preparing for problems as opposed to counting on good fortune. Even the most serendipitous family business will encounter trouble at some point. Some family business leaders may turn to attorneys, accountants, family-business consultants, and other experts to provide essential support. But not all problems encountered in a family business will require outside professional help. A well-prepared family business should be able to cope independently with most of the common issues, such as hiring from within the family or a parent’s reluctance to step down. If you want to increase your in-house ability to deal with challenges like these, the best thing any family business leader can do is to install an experienced board of directors.


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

The next best thing is to embark on a lifelong personal effort to learn all aspects of managing a family business.

Back to School

There are many family-business centers, mostly university-based, scattered throughout the U.S. Dozens more cen-

ters devoted to studying and educating people about family business exist around the world. These centers sponsor research, organize events, and offer courses. The Family Firm Institute, a group for family-business advisers, offers good resources for study, many of them available on its website at Some of the university centers offer multi-year degrees or diplomas in family-business management. Others have courses you can complete in a few days or weeks, with valuable information on topics as general as basic management and as specific as intergenerational wealth transfer. Prices vary. Harvard Business School offers a six-day program for a whopping $30,000 per four-person group. Less expensive options and single-day seminars also exist.

Family Business Review, the journal published by the Family Firm Institute, presents research by scholars and practical examinations of critical issues by experienced family-business advisers and leaders. If you take the time to educate yourself about family business problems now, you’ll not only learn to solve many of your organization’s problems without outside help, you’ll learn to distinguish between troubles that really do require expert assistance and those you can handle on your

own. On those occasions when you do have to hire a pro, you’ll also be better prepared to decide what kind of adviser you need and you’ll have the tools to select the best one.

– James Olan Hutcheson is managing partner and founder of ReGeneration Partners, a family business consulting firm headquartered in Dallas, Tx. He can be reached at (800) 406-1112 or

Reprinted with permission of ReGeneration Partners. No portion of this article may be reproduced without its permission..

Visit the Library

Conventions and other gatherings aimed at family business leaders are sponsored by university or professional family-business centers or held by event management companies. They offer good opportunities to learn. They may be one-time affairs, featuring speakers and panel discussions on specific topics, or annual events that focus largely on networking. Both can be educational, offering leading-edge ideas from recognized experts as well as the chance to network with like-minded family businesspeople who can provide more informal, but often equally useful insight. Books are another readily accessible resource. Options range from the biographies of famous business families, to discussions of family business management issues, to more general business and professional titles. One of the most entertaining and instructive reads on my bookshelf is Birthright: Murder, Power and Greed in the U-Haul Family Dynasty by Ron Watkins (William Morrow, 1993), the story of L.S. Shoen, founder of UHaul. Another favorite of mine is Generation to Generation by Kelin Gersick, John Davis, Marion McCollom Hampton, and Ivan Lansberg (Harvard Business School Press, 1997).

Give Yourself an Edge

For the most timely look at family business issues, there are several family-business magazines, as well as regular coverage on family business published in general business magazines.

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


Depot Stuck on San Francisco

Home Depot has filed an application to build a store in San Francisco, Ca.—a city that has denied two of the chain’s previous applications. “It was disappointing for us, having invested close to a decade in trying to open a location in San Francisco,” said spokesperson Kathryn Gallagher. “However, we have never given up hope, and we’ve been looking for the right location and opportunity to build a store.” The application is for a 120,000-sq. ft. store with a 18,255-sq. ft. garden center on 7.9 acres in the Bayview section of the city. Until 2009, the property was home to a printing plant for The Chronicle newspaper. Currently, it’s a temporary home for Webcor, a construction firm. “San Francisco is an important market for the Home Depot,” said Gallagher. “Our analysis indicates that there is more than enough demand for multiple home-improvement retailers in the city.”

Oregon Mill Cited for Leaks

Sanders Wood Products Co., Liberal, Ore., reached a settlement with the EPA to pay over $108,000 in penalties stemming from alleged chemical leaks at its sawmills. During a 2009 inspection, an EPA inspector discovered leaks in three transformers. He also claimed the transformers were not properly maintained and lacked necessary labels. As part of the deal, Sanders removed the leaking transformers, cleaned up the contaminated areas,

and certified that all of its facilities are currently in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

SIPs Maker Expands Reach

Premier SIPS by Insulfoam, Tacoma, Wa., has expanded to the Eastern U.S. with the addition of manufacturing capabilities in Ohio. The company currently supplies structural insulated panels throughout the West from plants in Kent, Wa., and Dixon, Ca.

Weyco Ships OSB to Japan

Weyerhaeuser’s mill in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, Canada, this month begins producing JAS-certified OSB that will be exported to Japan. Shipping should start in May. “We are very excited to be entering the Japan market,” said mill manager Chad Kelly. “This is a great fit for us in terms of our wood supply and our production strengths. We have a 9-ft. wide press so we can produce 3-ft. wide material very efficiently.” The mill will use a proprietary formulation specifically engineered to meet JAS strength and stiffness criteria, as well as stringent F4 requirements for formaldehyde emission levels. To fit Japanese building practices, the panels will measure 910mm x1820mm (approx. 3’x6’) and 910mm x2730mm (3’x9’). Custom sizes will also be produced. Based in Federal Way, Wa., the company has an office in Tokyo and more than 50 years experience in the Japanese housing market.

British Columbia WESTERN RED CEDAR, D Fir, Hemlock FSC /PEFC CERTIFIED Rough, Finished & Engineered Products

Surrey, BC • fax 888-620-3964 •

604-541-7600 •


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012


Backstrom Builders Center, Bend, Or., is closing after 41 years, with the pending retirements of Sue Backstrom and Doug Watson, co-owners since 1986. The hardware store and lumberyard will close “in the next couple months,” after its inventory is liquidated. Progress Ridge Ace Hardware, Beaverton, Or., held a grand

opening March 17-19 for the new 13,000-sq. ft. store (Terry Cain, owner).

Floyd’s Ace Hardware , Pahrump, Nv., closed March 31 after 49 years.

Sammamish Ace Hardware, Sammamish, Wa., with its lease expiring in September, has found a new location (see March, p. 17).

Cole Hardware, San Francisco, Ca., agreed to pay over $50,000 in restitution for enabling city workers to buy personal items at its stores using Public Utilities Commission funds. A former PUC supervisor and his crew were accused of receiving doctored invoices from vendors, including Cole, and submitting them to the PUC for payment from 2003 to 2007. A former store employee is awaiting a preliminary hearing, charged with 12 felonies linked to the scam. Ace Hardware, Missoula, Mt., employees blocked a 29-year-old man from driving away after he allegedly pilfered two reciprocating saws and a drill March 24. According to police, when the suspect tried to flee in his car, one worker stood in front of the vehicle and tried to take its license plate, then a co-worker blocked its path with a truck and trailer.

Habitat for Humanity held a grand opening March 10 for its new ReStore discount outlet in Mills, Wy. Habitat also relocated its ReStore in Billings, Mt., to a larger facility and doubled the size of its Salem, Or., store to 17,000 sq. ft.

Lowe's was named the official home improvement retailer of Six Flags amusement parks. Anniversaries: Farmer’s Building Supply, Grants Pass, Or., 50th … Jarms True Value Hardware, Cheney, Wa., 40th.

MOVERS & Shakers Brent Bearnson, ex-Foxworth-Galbraith, has been named regional operations mgr. for Bloedorn Lumber Co., Torrington, Wy. Thom Wright, ex-All-Coast Forest Products, is new to sales at Redwood Empire, Morgan Hill, Ca. Jeffrey Hoggard is a new lumber trader at American International Forest Products, Portland, Or. Jerry A. Heemstra, ex-Simpson Investment Co., has been named chief financial officer for McFarland Cascade, Tacoma, Wa. Jason Sele, ex-Bright Wood, is now director of information technology. Jim Ziminski, ex-BlueLinx, is now category mgr.-insulation at ProBuild Holdings, Denver, Co. Ed Waite, executive v.p.-local operations, transferred from Denver back to Alaska, as senior v.p.-operations. He earlier had been based in Anchorage as president of the Spenard Builders Supply division. Paul Fuller, ex-Reeb Millwork, is now general mgr. of ProBuild’s window & door design center in Santa Cruz, Ca.

Barry Haugen, ex-Arch Wood Protection, joined Troy Corp., Florham Park, N.J., as western regional mgr. for its coating division. Don Kavert, ex-Barr Lumber, is now shipping & receiving mgr. for Universal Forest Products, Riverside, Ca. Jason Allen is now general mgr. of International Wood Products’ Tumwater, Wa., branch. Christina Buttz, ex-Lumber Products, is new to sales. Bob Berwick is now v.p.sales & marketing, based in Clackamas, Or. Dean Hague, ex-Swanson Group, is now with Sherwood Lumber, Medford, Or. Michael Jarman, ex-Bridgewell Resources, is now handling international sales for Wood Brokerage International, Lake Oswego, Or. Steven Ward, ex-Talon/AFA-USA, has founded Far East Trading, Wilsonville, Or. Jin-Li Lao, exTalon, is Chinese sales mgr. Brian Johnson, ex-Clearwater Paper, is new to sales at Enyeart Cedar Products, Tigard, Or.

Eric J. Cremers was named executive v.p. and chief financial officer for Potlatch Corp., Spokane, Wa. Brent Stinnett, v.p.-resource management, is retiring at year’s end. Ward Cooper, ex-Weyerhaeuser, is now environmental mgr. in St. Maries, Id. Robert Argall has been named merchandise mgr. of the hardware department for Orchard Supply Hardware, San Jose, Ca. Ara Erickson, ex-Forterra, was named sustainability mgr. at Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wa. Kevin Measel was appointed senior v.p.-store operations for Lowe’s West division, replacing Jim Frasso, who is retiring after 17 years with the company. Steven Benasso is new to commercial sales at Pabco Gypsum, Rancho Cordova, Ca. Steve Stallard has joined ECi Software Solutions, Fort Worth, Tx., overseeing business development for the LBM market. Kent C. Strait is visually grading boards at Mungus-Fungus Forest Products, Climax, Nv., report Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus.


(Continued on page 52)

…Quality Wood Treating Services Since 1977 “We Treat Wood Right”…

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 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012



Heat Treating Drying Services (KD, KDAT) Marine Piling Staining Service Rail Siding (BNSF) Coating Serv ice: MFI-SLO8 Marine Grade Spray Polyurea Coating


Screw Products Inc. , Gig Harbor, Wa., is now marketing its full line of fasteners and hardware through a new site, In addition, Screw Products’ C-Deck composite deck screw has been approved for use with Trex Transcend and Enhance lines. Freres Lumber, Lyon, Or., suffered damage to a machine shop from a Feb. 16 fire.

Coos Head Forest Products, Coos Bay, Or., is now distributing the FSC -certified Humboldt Redwood line of decking, fencing, garden and landscaping products.

Heppner Hardwoods, Azuza, Ca., now distributes Incadex cumaru decking (4/4”x6” and 5/4”x6”) from the Bozovich Group’s FSC-certified forests in Peru.

Chicago Suburban , Forest Park, Il., is stocking Diamond Pier from Pin Foundations, Gig Harbor, Wa.

Premier SIPS by Insulfoam, Tacoma, Wa., has earned FSC chainof-custody certification for the OSB it uses in its SIPs.

Jeld-Wen , Klamath Falls, Or., achieved FSC certification for custom wood windows and patio doors manufactured in pine at its Bend, Or., facility.

Roseburg, Dillard, Or., obtained Eco-Certified Composite certification from the Composite Panels Association for its four composite panel plants—Dillard, Missoula, Mt.; Taylorville, Ms., and Simsboro, La.

Timber Products, Springfield, Or., received CPA’s Eco-Certified Composite Sustainability Standard for particleboard at its Medford, Or., plant.

Eco Building Products, Vista, Ca., obtained GreenGuard Children & Schools Certification for its Eco Red Shield coatings.

Stimson Lumber’s shuttered sawmill in Bonner, Mt., installed a new wood chipper to break down excess logs and ship the wood chips by rail to mills in Washington. Nevada Wood Preserving , Silver Springs, Nv., received an OSHA Safe Partner award.

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


KAHLE On Sales By Dave Kahle

Biggest time wasters for salespeople


for salespeople has been an obsession of mine for more than 30 years. In the last decade, I’ve been involved in helping tens of thousands of salespeople better their results through more effective use of their time. Over the years, I’ve seen some regularly occurring patterns develop— tendencies on the part of salespeople to do things that detract from their effective use of time. Here are the four most common time-wasters I’ve observed. See if any apply to you or your salespeople. MPROVING TIME MANAGEMENT

1. Allure of the urgent/trivial

Salespeople love to be busy and active. We have visions of ourselves as people who can get things done. No idle dreamers, we’re out there making things happen! A big portion of our sense of worth and our personal identity is dependent on being busy. At some level in our self image, being busy means that we really are important. One of the worst things that can happen to us is to have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and nothing going on. So, we latch onto every task that comes our way,

regardless of the importance. For example, one of our customers calls with a back-order problem. “Oh good!” we think. “Something to do! We are needed! We can fix it!” So, we drop everything and spend two hours expediting the backorder. In retrospect, couldn’t someone in purchasing or customer service have done that? And couldn’t they have done it better than you? And didn’t you just allow something that was a little urgent but trivial prevent you from making some sales calls? And wouldn’t those potential sales calls be

a whole lot better use of your time? Or, one of our customers hands us a very involved “Request for Quote.” “Better schedule a half-day at the office,” we think. “Need to look up specifications, calculate prices, compile literature, etc.” We become immediately involved with this task, working on this project for our customer. In retrospect, couldn’t we have given the project to an inside salesperson or customer service rep to do the leg work? Couldn’t we have just communicated the guidelines to someone and then reviewed the finished proposal? Once again, we succumbed to the lure of the present task. That prevented us from making sales calls and siphoned our energy away from the important to the seemingly urgent. I could go on for pages with examples, but you get the idea. We are so enamored with being busy and feeling needed that we often grab at any task that comes our way, regardless of how unimportant. Each time we do, we compromise our ability to invest our selling times more effectively.

2. The comfort of the status quo

A lot of salespeople have evolved

to the point where they have a comfortable routine. They make enough money and they have established routines and habits that are comfortable. They really don’t want to expend the energy it takes to do things in a better way, or to become more successful or effective. This can be good. Some of the habits and routines that we follow work well for us. However, our rapidly changing world constantly

demands new methods, techniques, habits and routines. Just because something has been effective for a few years doesn’t mean that it continues to be so. This problem develops when salespeople are so content with the way things are, they have not changed anything in years. If you haven’t changed or challenged some habit or routine in the last few years, chances are you are not as effective as you could be. For example, you could still be writing phone messages down on little slips of paper, when entering them into your contact manager would be more effective. This is a simple example of a principle that can extend towards the most important things that we do. Are we using the same routines for organizing our work week, for determining who to call on, for understanding our customers, for collecting information, etc.? There is no practical end to the list. Contentment with the status quo almost always means salespeople who are not as effective as they could be.

3. Lack of trust in other people in the organization

Salespeople have a natural tenden-

cy to work alone. After all, we spend most of the day by ourselves. We decide where to go by ourselves, we decide what to do by ourselves, and we are pretty much on our own all day long. It’s no wonder then, that we just naturally want to do everything by ourselves. That’s generally a positive personality trait for a salesperson. Unfortunately, when it extends to those tasks that could be done better by other people in our organization, it turns into a real negative. Instead of soliciting aid from others in the organization, and thereby

making much better use of our time, many salespeople insist on doing it themselves, no matter how redundant and time-consuming the task. The world is full of salespeople who don’t trust their own colleagues to write an order, to source a product, to enter an order in the system, to follow up on a back order, to deliver some sample or literature, to research a quote, to deliver a proposal, etc. Again, the list could go on and on. The point is that many of these tasks can be done better or cheaper by someone else in the organization. The salespeople don’t release the tasks to



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 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

them because they, the salespeople, don’t trust them to do it. Too bad. It’s a tremendous waste of good selling time and talent.

4. Lack of tough-minded thoughtfulness

Ultimately, time management begins with thoughtfulness. That means a sufficient quantity of good quality thought-energy invested in the process. I like to say that good time management is a result of “thinking about it before you do it.� Good time managers invest sufficiently in this process. They set aside time each year to create annual goals, they invest planning time every quarter and every month to create plans for those times, they plan every week and every sales call. Poor sales time managers don’t dedicate sufficient time to the “thinking about it� phase of their job. Not only do good sales time managers invest a sufficient quantity of time, but they also are disciplined and tough-minded about how they think. They ask themselves good questions, and answer them with as much objectivity as they can muster. “What do I really want to accomplish in this account?� “Why aren’t they buying from me?� “Who is the key decision-maker in this account?� “Am I spending too much time in this account, or not enough in that one?� “How can I change what I am doing in order to become more effective?� These are just a few of the tough questions that good sales time managers consider on a regular basis. They don’t allow their emotions or personal comfort zones to dictate their plans. They go where it is smart to go, do what it is smart to do. They do these things because they have spent the quantity and quality of thoughttime necessary. Of course, there are hundreds of other time-wasting habits. These four, however, are the most common. Correct them and you’ll be well on your way to dramatically improved results.

– Dave Kahle is a leading sales educator and author of nine books, including his latest, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime. He can be reached at (800) 3311287 or via

Tembec Finalizes Sale to Canfor

Tembec Inc., Montreal, P.Q., finalized the sale of its wood products assets in British Columbia to Canfor Corp., Vancouver, B.C. Canfor purchased Tembec’s Elko and Canal Flats sawmills and the associated Crown tenures, approximately 1.1 million cubic meters of combined Crown, private land, and contract annual allowable cut. The transaction also includes a long-term agreement to provide residual fiber supply for Tembec’s pulp mill in Skookumchuck, B.C. Tembec anticipates using the cash proceeds to pay down revolving operating debt and for general corporate purposes.

bringing jobs back to America. It really is a win-win idea.” Powell said that the website——is a searchable database, not just a list of products and services. Its goal is to connect and showcase American-made products to builders and designers.

New Website Touts Made-inAmerica Building Products

Dudley Powell and Gary Rackliff, two businessmen from Orlando, Fl., have launched a new website dedicated to rebuilding America with products made in the U.S. “I’ve talked to a lot of building contractors and architects who love the idea of buying American,” said Powell. “These two industries have been devastated in recent years, and people are excited about boosting our economy while

ACE HARDWARE presented Vendor of the Year Awards during its recent spring convention in Atlanta, Ga. Accepting the awards were (l-r) Greg Costello, First Alert; Terry McConnell, Cargill; Brad Corbin, Vanco; Lindsey Honick, Flanders; Chris East, Camco; Joanne Fillius, Procter & Gamble, and Bruce Fischer, Werner Ladders.



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April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


OVER THE Counter By Mike Dandridge

Never be second


that customers understand when you fall short. You may want to believe that they sympathize when you’re short-handed at the counter because someone called in sick, or that they’ll be patient when a call-in order isn’t ready because you’ve been busy, or that they don’t mind being placed “on hold.” While it would be nice if customers did cut you some slack during challenging times, the hard fact is that regardless of how the economy performs, customer expectations of how suppliers perform continue to escalate. It’s business evolution. Some dealers and wholesalers fail during unstable times, while others emerge stronger than before. The strong see opportunities to turn loyal customers EVER ASSUME


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

into advocates and to gain market share from weaker competitors. If that stronger distributor is you, there are several things you know you must do. For starters, ramp up your knowledge of your customers. Find out where they are hurting and how you can help. Determine your firm’s strengths and flaws, and be aware of competitors’ competencies. And recognize that there are several things you must avoid doing altogether.

1. Never think, “Our customers are different.” One of the biggest mistakes a wholesaler makes is buying into the idea that customers in the construction industry are somehow different from customers in the retail world, or that B2B customers are different from

B2C. They’re not. The contractor at your counter today will buy something from a retailer this week. He may take his truck in for an oil change and enjoy complimentary cookies and beverages while relaxing in a comfortable waiting room. He might take his 5-yearold for ice cream where an enthusiastic scooper turns a double-dip cone into a juggling act worthy of a Disney entertainer. When your store is closed, he’ll go to a d-i-y box and a knowledgeable greeter will eagerly welcome him. High-performing retailers like Starbucks, Apple and Amazon establish the expectations of today’s customers. These expectations aren’t lowered just because a customer is dealing with a wholesaler.

2 . Never engage in a price war.

Identify brands that still command and get full price. Then stock them according to customer demand. Focus on keeping margins healthy. Avoid the “how cheap do we have to be to get this order” mentality. Have a little faith in your own reputation as a solution provider.

3. Never mention “The Economy.” It’s easy to commiserate with customers and share in the doom-andgloom headlines from the twitchy news people who seem committed to spreading fear. Don’t participate in that conversation. As Warren Buffet points out, “Fear is very contagious. You can get fearful in five minutes, but you don’t get confident in five minutes.” Do you really want to make your customers afraid to buy? Be confident, not fearful. 4. Never promise exceptional ser-

vice. “The customer is king,” “best service in town,” and “service after the sale” are clichés and hype. If your customer hears you make these empty claims, they probably won’t believe you. Instead, offer facts that can be quantified and substantiated. “We

average a 97% fill-rate on all orders.” “Local deliveries made within two hours, guaranteed.” “On call 24 hours a day.” Never make a claim you can’t substantiate. Facts, statistics and specs are more believable than broad sweeping generalities.

5. Never share internal problems. Recently a customer told me about a layoff at a competitor of mine. When I asked a friend who worked at the business in question, he verified the exact information that the customer had told me. The only reason the customer even knew about it was because someone at the company told him. Customers talk to each other. Sharing negative information about your company with one customer can instill panic in your entire account base. Keep “family business” in the family.

6 . Never preach what you don’t practice. Persuading your customer to buy the latest “green” product is difficult when you’re using last century’s technology and products. If you’re going to target the green market, you have to practice sustainability within your own business. And the same goes for any market you want to penetrate. Use the products you’re promoting.

7. Never assume your customer’s loyalty. Your most loyal customers are typically your most profitable, especially when you consider lifetime value. They’re most likely to refer other customers to you, increase spending as they grow, and provide an invaluable resource of information. Find out why they buy from you and what you can do to reward their loyalty. Consultant Clive Humby says, “Customer loyalty isn’t about customers being loyal to you. It’s about you being loyal to your customers. You earn loyalty by giving it.” Companies that avoid these pitfalls discover a business landscape that is more rewarding, less competitive, and less crowded. Look at Starbucks, Apple, Amazon. Each occupies a position in the business stratosphere that transcends commodity and comparison. And when you transcend commodity and comparison, your customers will say, “I’d never take my business anywhere else.” – Mike Dandridge is an industry speaker, founder of consulting firm High Voltage Performance, and author of Business Turnaround. Reach him at (254) 624-6299 or

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April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


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

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


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

ALL-WOOD SKYSCRAPERS are the subject of a new B.C. study. (Artwork courtesy of mgb ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN, Equilibrium Consulting, LMDG Ltd, and BTY Group)

Designers Use EWP to Push for Worldʼs Tallest Wood Building

What’s expected to be the tallest wood building in North America—and possibly the world—will be built using new construction methods and engineered wood products, rather than traditional concrete and steel. More than 30 firms have expressed interest in designing and constructing the proposed 10-story Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, B.C. The building would be used as a teaching and research center for developing innovative wood products. “I think the opportunities around non-residential, tall building construction as it relates to softwood is the first really good value-added industry opportunity I’ve seen,” said Jobs Minister Pat Bell. For the engineered wood building industry to be successful, he said, it has to develop technical expertise, create production capacity, and change outdated building codes that don’t contemplate using wood beams instead of steel or concrete. One champion of the project is architect Michael Green, who heads his own firm in Vancouver, B.C., and co-wrote The Case for Tall Wood Buildings, which was released last month. He maintains that up to 30-story skyscrapers can be safely built with “mass timber”: cross laminated timber, laminated strand lumber, and laminated veneer lumber. “The report describes a new structural system in wood that is the first significant challenger to concrete and steel structures since their inception in tall building design more than a century ago,” said Green. “It’s the first to show how to do it in a predominantly wood way at the scale we are talking about.” He sees tall wood buildings as a way to tackle climate

change and increase sustainability in urban areas. “Concrete production is responsible for 5-8% of the world’s carbon emissions,” he said. “Steel production eats up 4% of the world’s energy.” Combined with responsible and sustainable harvesting of natural resources, he said, wood is a costeffective, practical, and responsible material for structural use in mid-rise and tall buildings. Another issue is cost. According to Green, the cost of building a 12-story wood building would be the same as for concrete, about $283 per sq. ft. A 20-story wood tower would cost marginally more than concrete, at $300 per sq. ft. versus $294. “For the idea of tall wooden buildings to be viable they have to be cost effective,” Green said. “We can show that wood structures are dollar for dollar or cheaper compared to other buildings.” According to experts, there’s a worldwide trend toward taller wood buildings. In Norway, a 17-story wood building is being considered. Austria is contemplating a 30-story hybrid wood and concrete building. “We’re at the stage where we’re able to show what’s possible, a bit like that Eiffel Tower moment,” he said. “That was built when no one used or understood tall structures, but it showed what could be done and, just as importantly, it stretched the imagination.”

DuraLife Decking Revived

Former CorrectDeck executives have formed Integrity Composites LLC to acquire the DuraLife composite decking line and Biddeford, Me., production facility from GAF Building Materials, Wayne, N.J. GAF acquired the bankrupt Correct Building Products plant and other assets in 2009, but decided to discontinue them late last year. Integrity will again manufacture decking, railing, porch and dock products at the 100,000-sq. ft. plant. “We are extemely pleased to be manufacturing and shipping state-ofthe-art decking products to our customers and to have the opportunity to work with key personnel, some of whom have been employed at the facility since its inception,” said general manager Jeff True. True had been c.o.o./v.p. of Correct. Integrity chairman Matt Bevin was president and chairman of Correct.

Engineered Wood Products

Quality Engineered Wood Products for today’s builder® Lyle Lee has been building custom homes for over 20 years. Here is what he has to say about Roseburg’s Engineered Wood Products. “When building a quality home, it’s important for all the framing materials to match. In other words come together as specified in the design plans. If the framing is off by even a ¼ of an inch, it can cost me thousands of dollars in time and materials. I find Roseburg’s RFPI®-Joist and RigidLam® LVL to be very consistent in width and depth. When I use Roseburg’s RFPI®-Joist, my floors are more level, stiffer and truer, making my job much easier. This home is 6,000 square feet so I used I Joist and LVL from several different units and the manufacturing consistency was exactly the same. If you want to maximize your profit, I would recommend using Roseburg’s Engineered Wood Products”. Lyle Lee L. Lee Building Company

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April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


NEW Products

Coated Deck Screws

Deckfast epoxy-coated screws by Starborn Industries are now available with a star recess in additional colors: gray, green, red, and tan. The epoxy-based polymer resin coating over zinc plate provides corrosion resistance in many types of decking, including ACQ-treated lumber.



 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Fire-Resistant Joists

Weyerhaeuser’s TrusJoist line now includes Flak Jacket, which has a specialty coating that enhances fire resistance. The coating allows one-hour floor/ceiling assemblies that meet 2012 fire protection requirements for both single- and multi-family projects. Builders can cut and drill the joists as usual and assemble with standard hangers.

 WOODBYWY.COM (888) 453-8358

Easy-to-Choose Exterior Finishes

The new Storm System line of exterior finishes from California Paints reportedly makes choosing the right product easier than ever before. The finishes are organized in five easy-to-understand categories that utilize familiar color-coded weather symbols and conditions. Category 1 “Clear” transparent finishes (natural oil finish, wood life extender, waterproofer) provide basic moisture protection. Cat 2 “Light” toned and semi-transparents (oil finishes, pentrating oil finish, latex stain) offer moisture and light UV protection. Cat 3 “Moderate” semi-solids (alkyd linseed oil finish) supply moisture and moderate UV protection. Cat 4 “Heavy” solid-color finishes (alkyd linseed oil) provide moisture and heavy UV protection. And, Cat 5 “Extreme” primers (acrylic latex, quick-dry oil) are formulated for extreme conditions.

 STORMSYSTEM.COM (800) 225-1141

Combination Housewrap

HydroGap drainable housewrap from Benjamin Obdyke combines a water-resistant barrier and drainage system into a single application. The product has a tri-laminate substrate, with the moisture barrier protected between two non-woven layers. A spacer on the surface creates a 1mm gap between sheathing and cladding materials to promote faster drainage.

 BENJAMINOBDYKE.COM (800) 346-7655

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


Recycled Plastic Decking

Lumberock decking is manufactured with at least 75% post-consumer recycled plastic and a mineral additive. Available in nine colors, the boards are warranted against cracking, rotting, peeling, and fading.

 LUMBEROCK.COM (800) 480-2327

More Green Studs

In response to market demand, Rosboro has expanded its green stud product line to include 3x and 4x green studs. Available dimensions are 3x4, 4x4, and 4x6 in lengths of 8’, 104-5/8”, 116-1/4”, and 10’, with special trim lengths upon request. All products are S4S and are available in #1&better or #2&better, and are 70-75% FOHC. Each grade is stamped separately to avoid confusion on the jobsite.

 ROSBORO.COM (888) 393-2304

WD-40 Branches Out

TWD-40 has introduced five new products for specialized jobs. The new line includes a rust-release spray, a rustremover soak, water-resistant silicone lubricant, protective white lithium grease, and a long-term corrosion inhibitor.

 WD40SPECIALIST.COM (888) 324-7596


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Wood-Like Asphalt Shingles Laminated asphalt shingles from T AMKO offer the look of wood shakes. Heritage Woodgate is designed with a wider cut, a unique blend of color, and enhanced shadow line.

Double layers of fiberglass mat impart strength, while a ceramic mineral topping provides weather protection.


(800) 641-4691

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


Adjustable Headers

Adjustable header kits from Focal Point promise to simplify finishing of windows and doors. Each kit contains two crosshead halves that can be cut to exact size needed, a keystone to cover the cut, and easy installation instructions. Made of lightweight polyurethane, the headers are resistant to water, rot, mildew and insects.



 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Colorful Fiber Cement Panels

Illumination Series fiber cement panels from Nichiha are now available in an array of custom colors, rather than just five stock colors. Using its new Color Expressions system, the company can match any paint manufacturer’s standard colors in a satin finish.

 NICHIHA.COM (866) 424-4421

Cellular PVC Decking

Trailways cellular PVC decking from Gossen Corp. is available in five colors: sierra walnut, summit grey, acorn brown, alpine grey, and shoreline sand. Made in America with recycled vinyl, the dualextruded boards are protected against swelling, cracking, warping, and splintering.

 GOSSENCORP.COM (800) 558-8984

Wholesale Industrial Lumber



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Engineered Wood Flooring

ProLength Plankfloor is pre-jointed and ready to install. Made by Owens Flooring, a division of Quanex Building Products, the engineered wood planks combine a composite base with a solid wood wear-layer. Seven species are available in six stains.

 QUANEX.COM (713) 961-4600


t Reel Lumber Service, we supply domestic and foreign hardwoods. Our products and services include: • Hardwood Lumber & Pine • Hardwood Plywood & Veneers • Melamine Plywood • Hardwood Moulding (alder, cherry, mahogany, MDF, maple, red oak, paint grade, pecan hickory, white oak, walnut, beech) • Milling (moulding profiles, S2S, SLR1E, SLR2E, & resawn lumber) • Woodworking Accessories (appliques, ornaments, butcher blocks, corbels, etc.) • Woodworking Supplies (deft finishes, color putty, adhesives, etc.)


ur products are widely used in interior finish carpentry, furniture, cabinetry and hundreds of industrial and manufacturing applications. We stock a complete line of complementary products to complete virtually any woodworking or millwork project. April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


WWPA ANNUAL MEETING Photos by The Merchant

WESTERN WOOD Products Association held its annual meeting March 11-13 in Portland, Or. [1] Steve Brandt, Jim Moses, Mike Burns, Kip Burns. [2] Darrel & Hope Pederson. [3] Connie & Frank Stewart. [4] Tom & Kay Dahlke, Lori & John Dalke. [5] Niklas Karlsson, Rick Palmiter. [6] Laurie Creech, Allan Trinkwald. [7] Tim Cornwell, Erol Deren, Ted Roberts. [8] Bob Shepherd, Bert Fackrell. [9] Brad Hatley, Bob Miller. [10] Ken Rankin, Gary & Pam Mathews. [11] Gregg Andrews, Thomas D. Love. [12] Sam Pope, Art Andrews. [13] Peter Johnson, Jamie Trenter, Jeff Romo. [14] Bill Briskey, George Emmerson. [15] Steve


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Schmitt, Jim Vandegrift. [16] Craig Larsen, Grace Tam. [17] Scott Zimmerman, Mark Mitchell. [18] Sheldon Howell, Joshua Tyler. [19] Cyndee Johnson, Chuck Roady. (More photos on next page) WWPA elected new board members to three-year terms during its annual meeting— Thomas Temple, Potlatch, Spokane, Wa.; George Emmerson, Sierra Pacific, Redding, Ca.; Steve Swanson, Swanson Group, Glendale, Or., and Thomas Lovlien, Boise Cascade, Boise, Id.

MORE WWPA (continued from previous page) in Portland, Or.: [1] Steve Swanson, Ken Tennefoss, Mike Phillips. [2] Chuck Balsano, Scott Elshon. [3] Ashlee Tibbets, Rich Geary, Natalie Macias. [4] Howard Zosel, Eric Schooler. [5] Brad Hatley, Debbie & Duane Vaagen. [6] Kevin & Adrienne Binam.

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


LACN’S 2ND GROWTH Photos by The Merchant

LACN’S 2nd GROWTH group met March 1 in Buena Park, Ca. [1] Jean Henning, Terry Rasmussen. [2] Jason Rutledge, Allan Pantig. [3] Steve Lawrence, Doug Willis, Chris Skibba, Tim Hummel. [4] Chris McConnell, Mike Caputo, Betty Bendix, Nick Larr, Marc Spitz. [5] Steve Mitchell, Paul


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Corso, Jason Croy. [6] Danny Sosa, Miguel Gutierrez, Dan Croker. [7] Bruce Huewe, Mike Bland. [8] Jay McArthur, Nate Freeman. [9] John Mayhew, Al Reed. [10] Jarrett Deschenes, Joe Allotta. [11] Lovell Williams, Walter Frederick. [12] Daniel Martinez, Bill Ferguson. [13] John Davis, Joe McGuire. [14] Janeece Lowder, Natalie Allen. [15] Scott Whitman, David Jones. [16] Mark Huff, Troy Huff. [17] John Pasqualetto, Tianna Cash. [18] John Neel, Jennifer Buford, Shawn Knight. [19] Jim Nicodemus, Randy Jackson, Gerry Perez.

CHEMONITE COUNCIL Photos by Huck DeVenzio

CHEMONITE COUNCIL gathered for its annual meeting Feb. 22 in Portland, Or. [1] Bob Palacioz, Darrell Smith, Marcus Smith. [2] Sande Lavino, Tim Carey. [3] Huck DeVenzio, Bob Gruber. [4] Bob Baeppler,

Barry Haugen, Grady Brafford. [5] Rich & Joanne Hufnagle. [6] Jerry Farley, Kyle Nowatzke. [7] Peter Osborne, Steve Shields, Alex Flores. [8] Rob Denison, Don Bratcher. [9] Eric Lummus, Randy Baileys.

Help your builders start smart, finish strong. Choose Universal as your key building products supplier. Universal has been a key supplier in Southern California for years. With the broadest lineup of lumber and specialty products in the area, it’s no wonder why dealers look to UFP as a key supply partner.

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April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 



Umpqua Valley Lumber Association is reviving its Mill Week this summer for the first time since 2009. The event begins Aug. 2 with tours of participating mills (Roseburg, Dillard; C&D Lumber, Riddle; D.R. Johnson Lumber, Riddle; Riddle Laminators, Riddle; Swanson Group, Roseburg, and Douglas County Forest Products, Roseburg, Or.—and capped by an industry dinner. A golf tournament follows Aug. 3 at Myrtle Creek Golf Course, Myrtle Creek, Or. For more info, contact Alice Briggs

( or Lindsay Eggleston (

Western Building Material Association, following a successful 108th annual convention in Tulalip, Wa., announced that next year’s 109th annual will return to Portland, Or., at the DoubleTree Lloyd Center. Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association kicks off its next WOOD Council golf tournament July 17 at Ranch Golf

& Country Club, Westminster, Co. Lumber Association of California & Nevada is preparing for its annual 2nd Growth summer conference July 19-20 at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, Ca. Western Wood Preservers Institute holds its summer meeting June 24-26 at Ritz Carlton-Bachelor Gulch, Avon, Co.

Southern Oregon Lumberman’s Association will enjoy a golf tournament and barbecue July 26-27 at Rogue Valley Country Club, Medford, Or.

Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club hosts its annual election night June 14 at Moreno’s Mexican Restaurant, Orange, Ca.

North American Wholesale Lumber Association has booked Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, the subject of Moneyball, to speak at its annual conference April 29-May 1 at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Co. The meeting will be kicked off by motivational speaker Vince Lombardi Jr., followed by Lt. General Russel L. Honore, commanding officer of Task Force Katrina, addressing crisis management, and Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky discussing generational challenges in today’s workplace.

IN Memoriam

Richard F. “Dick” Jackson, president and c.e.o. of Pacific Wood Preserving Cos., Bakersfield, Ca., died March 15 in Vacaville, Ca., after a three-year battle with cancer. He launched PWP in 1972, expanding to five treating plants in Arizona, California, Nevada and Oregon, and a manufacturing facility in Texas. He was an active member of the American Wood Protection Association, which plans to honor him with an Award of Merit Recognition at its upcoming annual meeting. His wife, Elaina Jackson, now heads PWP as chief operating officer.

Donald R. “Don” Deardorff, 83, chairman of Eagle Veneer, Grants Pass, Or., died March 15. He began his career in the late 1940s at Fir Manufacturing Co. and worked Edward Hines Lumber and


 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Weyerhaeuser, before joining the Douglas Fir Plywood Association as quality supervisor in 1958. In 1962, he became superintendent and later production manager of Nordic Plywood, Sutherlin, Or. Two years later, he joined Agnew Plywood, Grants Pass. In 1972, he and three co-workers bought Agnew’s assets and formed Fourply. He served as president and in 1980 became sole owner. He founded Eagle Veneer in 1984. He served on the boards of the American Wood Council, National Forest Products Association (as president in 1982-83), and APA board of trustees from 1970 to 1998, including as chairman from 1979 to 1981.

Richard D. Procarione, 78, former co-owner of Chintimini Forest Products, Albany, Or., died of pancreatic cancer Feb. 20 in Eugene, Or. After graduating from the University of Washington and serving in the Army, he became a chemist at Martin-Marietta, Seattle, Wa. In 1964, he joined Gossett Resins & Chemicals as president. He went on to Cascade Resins, Umpqua Plywood, Continental Resins, and Minnesota Resins. In 1980, he joined Brand S. Corp.,

Corvallis, Or., as secretary, treasurer, and a director, while also serving, starting in 1986, as executive v.p. of sister companies Chintimini and Diamond-B Lumber, Philomath, Or. He retired in 2009 as chief operating officer of Sustainable Forest Systems, Miami Beach, Fl.

John O. Weaver, 85, c.e.o. of Weaver Forest Products, White City, Or., died March 15 in Medford, Or. After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II, he graduated from the University of Kansas. With his wife, Lois, he founded Weaver Forest Products in 1975.

James Doherty, 92, former general manager of El Cerrito Mill & Lumber, El Cerrito, Ca., died March 22. He served as a first sergeant in the Army during World War II. He retired in 1983.

Dean “Joe” Bloxham, 84, retired owner of Downey Lumber, Downey, Id., died Jan. 27 in Pocatello, Id. In 1956, he and Gail Boam purchased Anderson Lumber, Downey. He bought out his partner nine years later and renamed the business Downey Lumber Co.

Del Garber, 73, owner of Coast to Coast Ace Hardware, Gig Harbor, Wa., died of cancer Feb. 28. He opened the store in the late 1970s, eventually adding a store on Bainbridge Island, Wa., and a second in Gig Harbor. He was Pacific Northwest Hardware Association chairman in 1997 and later president and a director of National Retail Hardware Association.

Settimo “Sam” Sarti, 89, retired supervisor for McCloud Lumber Co., McCloud, Ca., died Feb. 26 in Mount Shasta, Ca. A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he spent six months as a POW in Germany.

Don Raymon Kantas, 70, longtime Washington sawmill manager, died Jan. 30 in Shelton, Wa. After receiving a degree from Oregon Polytech, he began his 30+year career as a mill superintendent and manager, overseeing facilities for Louisiana Pacific in Wisconsin; Little Skookum Lumber Co., Shelton, Wa.; Mary’s River Lumber, Montesano; Bambee Mill, Renton, and Treesource, Spanaway and Tumwater, Wa.

April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 


Movers & Shakers (Continued from page 30)

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 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

Curt Stevens has been appointed c.e.o. of Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Nashville, Tn., effective May 4. He succeeds Rick Frost, who is retiring after seven years as c.e.o. Lance Clark is the new mgr.-membership & marketing for the International Wood Products Association. Alan Marquis has joined Alside, as territory mgr. for Denver, Co. Jason Clark, ex-MasterBrand Cabinets, is now Southern California territory mgr. for Norcraft Cos. Kevin, David and Brent Bradshaw, all ex-Taiga, have formed Sticks Building Products, Langley, B.C., wholesaling commodity lumber and panels. Gary Furst has been named v.p. of human resources, general counsel, and corporate assistant secretary of Do it Best Corp., Fort Wayne, In. Gary Nackers is now director of program development for LBM. Jason Peterson succeeds him as national sales & business development mgr. Shane Burnworth is assistant merchandise mgr.; Lauren Wilson, global sourcing assistant merchandise mgr.; Janice Koogler, merchandise coordinator, and Tom Mowery, outbound operations mgr. Jason Fraler, co-founder of Building Industry Partners, has launched LBM industry-focused merchant banking firm Anchor Peabody, New York, N.Y.

Answers on SP Design Values

Southern Forest Products Association facilitated a task group of industry leaders representing key customer groups to develop answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding Southern Pine Inspection Bureau’s new design values for visually graded southern pine lumber. The questions and answers have been posted at Answers address transition issues, how to obtain similar load-carrying capabilities, and why only some grades and sizes are currently affected. “The effective date of June 1 allows for an orderly transition to the new design values,” says SFPA’s Cathy Kaake. “These answers address the most common questions raised since the ALSC’s decision.” SFPA will continue updating the site as the June 1 changeover nears.


Listings are often submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with sponsor before making plans to attend.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association – April 10-11, spring meeting, Embassy Suites Portland Airport, Portland, Or.; (847) 303-5664;

Structural Insulated Panel Association –April 10-12, annual meeting & conference, Embassy Suites, San Antonio, Tx.; (253) 858-7472;

National Wood Flooring Association – April 10-13, conference & wood flooring expo, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Fl.; (800) 422-4556;

International Wood Composites Symposium – April 11-13, Red Lion, Seattle, Wa.; (509) 335-2262;

Lumber Association of California & Nevada – April 12, associates/dealers golf tournament, Black Gold Golf Club, Yorba Linda, Ca.; (800) 266-4344; North American Wholesale Lumber Assn. – April 12, regional meeting, Vancouver, B.C.; (800) 527-8258;

Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – April 18, dinner & meeting, Anaheim Hills Golf Course, Anaheim, Ca.; (760) 324-0842;

Olympic Logging Conference – April 18-20, Fairmont Empress, Victoria, B.C.; (360) 452-9357; Remodeling & Decorating Show – April 21-22, Civic Center, Santa Monica, Ca.; (818) 557-2950;

Transload Distribution Association – April 23-25, conference, Doubletree, Memphis, Tn.; (503) 656-4282;

National Kitchen & Bath Association – April 24-26, annual show, McCormick Place, Chicago, Il.; (800) 843-6522; Oregon State University – April 26-27, selling forest products course, OSU, Corvallis, Or.; (541) 737-4240;

Hoo-Hoo International – April 26-29, annual convention, Sanctuary Resort, Bunbury, Australia; (800) 979-9950;

Black Bart Hoo-Hoo Club – April 28, poker tournament, Burgess Horse Barn, Healdsburg, Ca.; (707) 889-0049;

American Wood Protection Association – April 29-May 2, annual meeting, Hilton Nashville Downtown, Nashville, Tn.; (205) 7334077;

Forest Products Society – May 1-3, international conference, Little America Hotel, Flagstaff, Az.; (608) 231-1361;

National Hardware Show – May 1-3, Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nv.; (888) 425-9377;

North American Retail Hardware Association – May 1-3, convention, Bellagio , Las Vegas, Nv.; (800) 772-4424;

Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America – May 2-4, woodworking conference, Delray Beach Marriott, Delray Beach, Fl.; (323) 838-9443;

Lumber Association of California & Nevada – May 3, 2nd Growth meeting, location TBD; (800) 266-4344; Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association – May 59, annual convention, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Miami Beach, Fl.; (847) 680-3500;

National Retail Federation – May 6-8, global supply chain summit, Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, Ga.; (800) 673-4692;

American Coatings Show – May 7-10, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, In.; (202) 462-6272;

Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club – May 10, ladies night, Orange Hill Restaurant, Orange, Ca.; (626) 445-8556;

Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – May 18, Don Gregson Memorial Golf Tournament, San Dimas Golf Club, San Dimas, Ca.; (760) 324-0842;

Remodeling & Decorating Show – May 18-20, South Town Expo Center, Sandy, Ut.; (818) 571-9012; Remodeling & Decorating Show – May 19-20, Orange County Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, Ca.; (818) 557-2950;

Do it Best Corp. – May 19-21, spring market, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, In.; (260) 748-5300;

Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association – May 20-23, annual convention, Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, Va.; (703) 2641690;

Willamette Valley Hoo-Hoo Club – June 1, golf tournament, Shadow Hills Country Club, Junction City, Or.; (541) 688-6675.

Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club – April 28, day at the races, Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia, Ca.; (626) 445-8556;

Composite Panel Assn. – June 3-5, spring meeting, Fountainebleau, Miami Beach, Fl.; (301) 670-0604;

North American Wholesale Lumber Association – April 29-May 1, leadership conference, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Co.; (800) 527-8258;

Lumber Association of California & Nevada – June 7, associates/dealers golf tournament, Rancho Solano Golf Club, Fairfield, Ca.; (800) 266-4344;

National Assn. of Home Builders – April 29-May 1, national green building conference, Nashville, Tn.; (800) 368-5242;

Forest Products Society – June 3-5, convention, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.; (608) 231-1361;


1 1/2” to 12” Diameter in Stock.


April 2012  The Merchant Magazine 



“What’s the best way to keep shoppers from straying?” is a question being asked in small towns across America. The owner of a hardware store in Uhrichsville, Oh.—population 5,500—believes one answer is an active merchant group that boosts local business. “There’s very little that you can’t find in Uhrichsville,” says Bob Baker, who started working at Twin City Hardware in 1974 and became owner in 2004. “Mako’s (a supermarket and pharmacy) is our anchor and why Uhrichsville has such a nice downtown.” Baker says about 40 mom-and-pop businesses operate in the four-block downtown area. Outside of this area are another 30. Baker admits that the idea of starting a merchant’s group has been discussed for years, but little came of it. Finally, he says, “I just got tired of talking; I want to try something.” With the help of a nearby copy store, he had flyers printed to advertise the first meeting of the merchant’s group and then handed them out personally. “Better than a phone call or mailing,” he believes. “Harder to ignore.” A few days later, about 16 business owners attended the meeting. Over coffee and cookies, they discussed ways to make residents more aware of what businesses in the city can offer. One concern is that “people have gotten so used to going north for shopping and entertainment that they instinctively do that,” says Baker. “We want to draw people in and let them know what we have.” The group’s first coordinated event will be a sidewalk sale the first weekend of May. Future events could include a “Midnight Madness” sale, a scavenger hunt, a parade, and a tree-lighting ceremony in December—similar to the one organized by Baker last year, which attracted about 200 people. “We had only talked about doing that for about a month in advance, but it turned out very well,” he says. “When we do these events, we’re promoting the city, not just the merchants.” Organizing a Merchant’s Group

Next Month in The Merchant: Our Biggest Decking Issue of the Year Plus NAWLA Special Section 54

 The Merchant Magazine  April 2012

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

Advantage Trim & Lumber []..........47 Ainsworth [] ................................................32-33

Allweather Wood Treaters [] ...............8

Arch Wood Protection [].........Cover I Boise Cascade []..................................................7 BW Creative Wood [] ........................37

California Cascade Industries []....44

California Timberline [] ............................4 C&E Lumber Co. [] ...............................53

Capital []................................44, Cover III Crawford Creek Lumber [].......28

Eco Chemical [] .......................................34

Exterior Wood [] .....................................26 Fontana Wholesale Lumber [].....35

Hoover Treated Wood Products [] .............Cover IV Huff Lumber Co. .............................................................................27

Humboldt Redwood Co. [] .........................8 J.H. Baxter []....................................................43 Keller Lumber Co............................................................................50

Krauter Auto-Stak []...........................13

LP Building Products [].....................................29

Manke Lumber Co. [].............................38

Master Mark Plastics []................................43

Maze Nails [].................................................23

McFarland Cascade [] ...................11 Norman Distribution Inc. [].......................35

Osmose [] ...............................................Cover II Pacific Wood Preserving Cos. [].............36 Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance [] .....31

Quality Borate Co. [] ..............................51

Redwood Empire []...................................5 Reel Lumber Service [] ..............................45

Rosboro [] ........................................................40 Roseburg Forest Products [] ..............................39 Royal Pacific Industries .................................................................41

Screw Products [] ..............................42

Simpson Strong-Tie [].....................................3 Snider Industries [] ...........................21

Superior Wood Treating [].......47 Swanson Group Sales Co. [].........25 Thunderbolt Wood Treating [] ....30 TMI Forest Products [] .....................................19

Universal Forest Products [] .......49 Utah Wood Preserving Co. ............................................................50

Viance [] ...................................................17




The Merchant Magazine - April 2012  

April 2012 issue of lumber industry's premier publication in the West.