Merchant Magazine June 2024

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REDESIGN YOUR LUMBERYARD • E-COMMERCE & TECH TIPS FOR LBM DEALERS June 2024 THE VOICE OF LUMBER MERCHANTS AND BUILDING MATERIAL DEALERS & DISTRIBUTORS IN THE WEST — SINCE 1922 Digital Edition Sponsored by Now the beauty of a home lasts as long as the love for it. Siding: SQUARE EDGE PANEL Trim: VARIOUS SIZES 800.417.3674 | The TruWood Collection, manufactured by Collins Products LLC WUI Approved | Ask us about our FSC® products | FSC-C002971 TruWood leads the way in beautiful, long-lasting engineered wood siding and trim. And thanks to EcoGuard® – a naturally occurring additive – our products resist fungal decay and termite damage decade after decade. So you can protect your family, as well as your investment. TruWood. Engineered to perform. Designed to protect. Contact Visit and discover what’s Tru to you. Get Tru.

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS Send address label from recent issue, new address, and 9-digit zip to address below. POSTMASTER Send address changes to The Merchant Magazine, 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. J3, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. The Merchant Magazine (ISSN 7399723) (USPS 796-560) is published monthly at 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. J3, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 by 526 Media Group, 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®2024 by 526 Media Group, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. We reserve the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it. Opinions expressed are those of the authors or persons quoted and not necessarily those of 526 Media Group, Inc. Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or business management advice.

Volume 103 • Number 6

4 • the merchant magazine • June 2024 SUBSCRIBE TODAY OUR MARKET MOVES QUICKLY—SO DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND! The Merchant is available on a qualified requester basis to senior management of U.S.-based dealers and distributors specializing in lumber and building materials, and to others at the rate of $22 per year. Subscribe now at SUBSCRIBE NOW AT WWW.BUILDING-PRODUCTS.COM/SUBSCRIBE THE MERCHANT MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE PRINT, DIGITAL, ENEWSLETTER & MORE! The LBM supply chain’s leading publication for qualified industry decision makers! • Update your subscription • Sign up key colleagues • Enroll multiple locations
6 • the merchant magazine • June 2024 ------------| CONTENTS June 2024 STAY CONNECTED ON SOCIALS: @BPDMERCH THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF PROUD SUPPORTERS OF VOL. 103 • NO. 6 |-----------DIGITAL EDITION CHECK OUT THE WWW.BUILDING-PRODUCTS.COM REDESIGN YOUR LUMBERYARD E-COMMERCE & TECH TIPS FOR LBM DEALERS June 2024 Now the beauty of a home lasts as long as the love for it. TruWood leads the way beautiful, long-lasting engineered wood siding and trim. And thanks to EcoGuard naturally occurring additive our products resist fungal decay and termite damage decade Designed to protect. Contact Visit and discover what’s Tru to you. Get Tru DEPARTMENTS 08 ACROSS THE BOARD 26 TRANSFORMING TEAMS 28 NEWS BRIEFS 32 MOVERS & SHAKERS 48 DATE BOOK 44 NEW PRODUCTS 48 IN MEMORIAM 49 ADVERTISERS INDEX 50 FLASHBACK 24 OLSEN ON SALES FEATURES 14 INDUSTRY TRENDS What lumberyard operators want in their forklifts 22 INDUSTRY TRENDS Equip your LBM business for future success with the latest retail technology 18 MARGIN BUILDERS Third-party management solutions help dealers improve their bottom lines 20 MANAGEMENT TIPS Keys to consider when diving into e-commerce 47 EVENT RECAP Western Wood Products Association presents Master Lumberman Awards during annual meeting 10 FEATURE STORY
ABC’s of redesigning your lumberyard 14 22 10


DOES EVERYONE look for “signals” as much as I do? Of course, I know the adventures of my past lives have conditioned me to always be surveying the landscape looking for the next sign of a storm approaching. But as adults, aren’t you always trying to avoid the storm in search for long stretches of calm water?

To say we live in interesting times these days is an understatement. We are “involved” in two global conflicts, raising duties on our largest trading partner, interest rates remain high, and no matter who wins this election, we will be left with half of the nation who is pissed off believing it is the end of our nation. Yet, the stock market is on a historic run, mergers and acquisitions continue at a rampant pace, unemployment remains low, and it seems the demand for lumber will not ease in my lifetime.

Have the world and times changed so much that the normal indicators of a storm no longer apply? Are we to believe that everything is fine? I ask this question honestly because I am no longer confident in my ability to see the storm. I think I see clouds, but those in positions of leadership and communication perhaps are just saying that gray is the new color of the sky and it isn’t a storm at all.

However, I look at our industry and it calms me. Demand for product continues to be strong and the pace of mergers and acquisitions tells me that people are confident in investing in future growth. I attend industry events and each time, the ratio of “us old guys” and new, young members of our industry continues to shift. Even in our own business, while the echoes of “media and print are dead” remain, our circulation, requests for print publications, expansion of digital, and investments from advertisers promoting to reach our audience has never been higher.

From this, we too are looking at pathways toward

how we can grow and serve our audience in deeper and more valuable ways. As we speak, initiatives are underway to develop tools that can bring more market intelligence to your fingertips. We are developing vehicles that deliver more of the information that you want, in the way you want it, when you need it. We are even exploring a few non-traditional ways of being your trusted resource for things you wouldn’t typically associate with a media company!

Next month, we will unveil something completely new that I promise, almost all of you will rely on to start your day, every day!!! Like everything we do, it was a simple idea, though not an easy one! But like you, we are gazing out onto the horizon looking for storms, as well as for new ways to serve our friends with something they can trust and that they need. Don’t even bother trying to guess what it is, but like everything we do, it is meant to serve you with what you need!

Regardless of how confusing the signals are, or how stormy or sunny the horizon is, I take comfort in being a part of this great industry. I have learned that in this business, when we refer to it as “our industry,” it means that we are in this together. We understand that for us to be successful, we all must be successful. Those who are experiencing good times help those who have hit bumps in the road and together, we oversee this industry to make sure it is filled with good people and ethical business leaders.

Keep scanning the horizon, looking for calmer waters, and especially stay tuned for our exciting new adventure next month! Thank you all for the honor of serving this industry!

8 • the merchant magazine • June 2024 ------------| ACROSS THE BOARD



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PRODUCT PACKED to the rafters? New SKUs and no place to put them? Will you be forced to expand your facilities? Or maybe, just maybe, you can better utilize the space you already have.

How do you know when it’s time, if hidden opportunities may exist, and where do you begin? BPD asked three experts in the field—CT Darnell/Sunbelt Racks’ Clint Darnell, Johnson Design Services’ Ron Johnson, and Krauter Auto-Stak’s Chris Krauter.

Q: Are there signs to tell operators that their lumberyard could greatly benefit from a redesign?

Clint Darnell: The major signs we see over and over again include:

• High Cull Rates – Typically, excessive cull is due to damage from weather and improper storage and handling. This could be lumber stored outdoors on the ground, millwork propped up against walls wherever there is space for it, or storage systems that make it

difficult to load and unload product.

• Poor Flow – The two biggest contributors to flow problems are the layout of the outdoor and indoor spaces and poor product organization. Ideally, you want to avoid slowdowns in foot and vehicle traffic and optimize efficiency in locating products for both employees and customers.

• High Labor Costs – When a facility is inefficient, it drives up labor costs because it takes more employees or more time to get the job done. Sometimes, inefficiency is also a matter of safety, and some operators can see excessive employee injuries, as well.

Most operators have a sense of their yard’s inefficiencies. But often, they don’t realize how much there is to gain by making improvements, or they assume the improvements would be cost-prohibitive.

Ron Johnson: Five issues generate a redesign:

• Run out of space and cannot add land as the town/

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YARD LAYOUTS must be well organized to maximize efficiency. (Photo by CT Darnell)

city has grown around them.

• Need more covered space for finished lumber, drywall and millwork.

• Desire to at least place a roof over the lumber, especially treated to protect from the sun.

• Loading docks! Every yard that does have loading docks seeks them to improve the handling of doors, windows and cabinets. Truck depressions are the easiest to add and least costly.

• Stack carts for millwork. They save on damages from multiple handling and add efficiency as you can lift 20 pre-hung doors at a time.

Chris Krauter: A lot of times the lumberyard operator has a flow-through mentality passed down over the generations with wood bins, that type of thing. But how much time are you spending loading and unloading? Breaking backs? Pulling in and backing out? There are new systems, like Auto-Stak, that allow fewer employees to do more.

Q: What are the greatest methods for improving efficiency?

Krauter: To maximize efficiency, the first thing lumberyards need is organization—a continous flow of more and more SKUs.

You’ll see a lot of lumberyards that, over the years, kept tacking one new building onto the old ones, to cre-

ate a cacophony, a series of buildings with no flow.

The most important thing is to be able to get in and out quickly through another way, and facilitate a more efficient flow of materials. Number two is to be able to get customers in and out quickly.

As well, a lot of buildings that are old are not very tall. It’s the verticality that you want to maximize. We see a lot that are 12, 14, 16 ft. tall. We like storage to reach 24 or 26 ft. tall at the eaves.

Darnell: When you organize your inventory, store it properly, and make it easier and safer to handle or load and unload. Then you’re going to see more efficiency.

Good design checks all those boxes, as well as reduces cull. This means a facility layout that’s right for that particular business, and storage solutions that are right for the inventory. Sales are likely to increase too because you’re providing a better customer experience.

Johnson: First, product layout that is “clustered” by the shipping order of a house package saves significant drive time. An example, the first shipment consists typically of treated sill, studs, sheathing and underlayment, floor joist and related hardware. Set the materials together with studs and sill next to plywood next to floor joist with the hardware close by. This stack configuration is about 100 ft. long. Think of a standard layout where the studs are with the lumber, the sill is with the treated and the plywood is in a warehouse or shed, the June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 11

CONVERTING to an Auto-Stak system can dramatically increase storage space. According to Chris Krauter, “A 100-ft.-wide cantilever rack can hold 32 SKUs, of which 16 can be accessed. A 100-ft. AutoStak holds 80 SKUs, of which you can pick them all.” (Photo by Krauter Auto-Stak)

floor joist is with the engineered. The distance a forklift will travel to pick the initial order is several hundred feet vs. 100’. It is advantageous to have a roof over the stacks either a “T” shed or three sided shed. It’s the single most impactful action a yard can take to reduce operational costs!

The same approach to drywall, drywall accessories, and insulation together, roofing and roofing accessories together, and so on. Easiest way to assemble the list is by reviewing pick tickets; they quickly identify what products always ship together.

A drive-thru enables this approach; it serves the on-site customer with the inventory merchandised traditionally. Both DIYers and pros love the way it works; you drive up the material you want, load yourself or be helped and every item is in the building except lengths over 16’ or non-weather sensitive products like rebar, blocks and pipe/culverts. And you pay on the way out! The most appreciated feature will be that it allows the lumberyard to add merchandise and spend less time on-site. We already mentioned the docks and stack carts!

Final major point: keep it simple in regards to racking and forklifts, cantilever racking, pallet racks, lay-

down rack constructed from pallet racks and standard forklifts with one exception, a narrow-aisle lift for millwork, even that can be used in any warehouse.

Q: Where do they start?

Krauter: Swallow hard and get a new plan. The big question is can you gut out and still maintain your flow of business? For many yards, that’s the tough part.

Darnell: Every lumberyard is different. So, when we work with an owner or operator, we always start by looking at their current facility and documentation and then asking a lot of questions. Where are they now and where do they want to be? What are their concerns with their current situation?

Then we get to work on costeffective solutions that address all the issues. This could be a mix of changes in layout, new storage sheds, racking systems that better suit their products and use space more efficiently.

A complete redesign is not always what’s needed. Improvements could focus on just specific areas, such as a better way to store windows and doors, or figuring out how to efficiently incorporate new products.

Johnson: First, contact the design firm you are considering. I recommend visiting sites and calling owners who have been through the process.

I provide a list based on the issues you wish to solve. I recommend a five-year or 10-year master plan; this places you on a path of steady improvements that you can budget for and avoids “undoing” something you have done. One year is always more expensive, but it is an option for those who do not feel comfortable going “all in” immediately.

The process involves plot plans, building plans, goals, budgets, inventory sales reports and staff interviews. With Zoom and Google Earth, we can avoid costly site trips, but that is available if you prefer.

Q: What kind of savings/improvements can operators expect?

Darnell: The specific gains will depend on the nature and scope of the redesign, but operators should see improvements across the board: reduced cull, better flow, and lower labor costs due to increased efficiency. Some of the customers we’ve worked with have reported:

• A 50% reduction in the time it takes to pick trim orders

• A 15% increase in SKU count

• A nearly one-third reduction in shipping fleet while delivering $8 million more in product

• A 20% increase in sales with a 35% reduction in labor costs

We’ve also heard that employee morale has gotten a boost. It may not be quantifiable, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

Johnson: Typically you will reduce operating costs by 20 to 30%, greatly reduce loss due to handling and theft, plus increase sales as the redesign creates opportunities to add more products. Retail 101: “If you want to sell more, have more to sell!”

One thing to add: a lumberyard is a distribution facility, not a storage facility. Plans that add racking to increase capacity do not impact efficiency. It is all about the merchandising! MM

12 • the merchant magazine • June 2024

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WITH OPTIONS APLENTY, lumberyards are increasingly looking for particular features when they purchase new forklifts. Among the most in-demand are:


Lumberyards are boosting efficiency by choosing forklifts that integrate the latest technology, including regenerative braking systems, advanced energy management systems, onboard diagnostics, and telematics systems.

Dell White, sales/marketing manager for Sellick Equipment, says a big seller has been the ability to hydraulically position the forks. “Every time you have to manually change the fork position, such as from accommodating pallets to trusses, you lose capacity,” White explains. “Being able to hydraulically position from the operator’s seat saves times, reduces the possibility for injury, and increases productivity. We offer it on every model of every forklift, including truckmounted forklifts.”

Many warehouses are even turning to automated forklifts. Mitsubishi Logisnext’s advanced autonomous forklifts utilize laser-guided systems to navigate warehouse layouts and employ obstacle-detection technology for seamless operation.

Augmented reality technology is also being employed to improve forklift operation before employees

are even operating a forklift. Trainees can use AR headsets to simulate driving a forklift in a virtual environment, allowing them to practice driving and managing techniques safely.


Ready or not, the age of electric forklifts has arrived and, according to a new study by Adroit Market Research, electric held a dominant 65% share of the global forklift market in 2023. Once considered unable to stand up to the challenges of lumberyard environments, electric vehicles are stronger and more durable than ever before.

Yard operators are moving to electric due to their lesser emissions, reduced noise levels, and minimum operating costs compared to traditional diesel, propane or gasoline-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) forklifts. Every year, regulations designed to reduce CO2 emissions are becoming more stringent across various industries, especially in areas such as California that are pushing for zero-emission vehicles.

The Kalmar Heavy Electric Forklift is designed to lift 18- to 33-ton loads with zero emissions at the source.

In addition, electric forklifts are often more powerful and faster at accelerating than internal combustion engine forklifts.

Combilift’s new Combi-CB 155E is reportedly the

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most powerful compact electric multidirectional forklift to date, combining next-gen performance with extensive battery life and exceptional ergonomics. According to CEO Martin McVicar, “The increased capacities that we are offering in our electric range will answer the demand for ever more powerful products which at the same time help companies to achieve their aims for more sustainable operations.”


The growth of electric has run alongside the widespread adoption of lithium-ion batteries, which offer extended lifespans, reduce the need for replacements, and minimize waste. Faster charging times enhance operational efficiency, allowing for more daily working hours. For example, Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas group has introduced its novel Triathlon Lithium-ion battery and charger offerings for the UniCarriers product range.

At the same time, hydrogen fuel cell technology is gaining some momentum as an alternative power source. It provides faster refueling times and extended operating ranges compared to electric forklifts.

“Electrification in heavy-duty applications—like the lumber industry— requires innovative solutions like lithium-ion batteries with opportunity charging or hydrogen fuel cells capable of supporting multi-shift applications that have traditionally relied on internal combustion forklifts,” notes Kaushik Ravichandran, product planning manager for Toyota Material Handling. “We believe it is our responsibility, as a full-line material handling solutions provider, to develop versatile new offerings that meet the needs of customers wanting to make the transition to electric without sacrificing throughput.”


A continuing focus on safety measures has led to further advanced safety features in forklifts, such as collision detection systems, proximity sensors, and automatic emergency braking. These inventions help reduce the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.

“Customers are looking for new ways to build a safety culture for forklift operators as well as pedestrians,” Ravichandran explains. “While there is no replacement for operator safety training, we have launched a portfolio of features under the Toyota Assist umbrella to make our products smarter than ever before. One example is Toyota’s SEnS+ Smart Environment Sensor Plus, which is exclusively designed for forklifts to detect objects and pedestrians in the detection range. The system supports your operation by notifying the operator with a warning buzzer and warning lights. In addition to the system notifications, the system can control the traveling speed and slow down the truck for pedestrians and objects in specific conditions.”

Operator Comfort

Forklift manufacturers are incorporating more features than ever before to help create a pleasant, stress-free in-cab environment. Innovations include more spacious

cabs, ergonomically designed seating and controls, generous glazing for excellent all-round visibility, hydraulic steering, and a tilting steering column.

Combilift recently developed the Auto Swivel Seat, which automatically engages and swivels the seat and armrest 15° to the right or left to accord with the direction of travel selected by the operator—reducing driver strain, particularly when traveling in reverse.

Sellick’s White notes that an increasing number of lumberyard operators are ordering forklifts with air-conditioned cabs. “It may sound crazy, but operators can be in there eight hours a day. If you have good drivers, you want to keep them happy and productive. Good equipment helps retain good employees.”

Material handling equipment manufacturers will continue to pioneer new technologies so long as their customers keep striving to make their operations more efficient and productive. MM June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 15
COMBI-CB 155E from Combilift incorporates many of the latest features lumberyard operators are looking for.


THE SUPPLY CHAIN and logistics industry has experienced a technological transformation in recent years, with the development of innovative solutions impacting nearly every aspect of the supply chain. However, yard management is one area that is often neglected and a bit behind compared to the rest of the industry. Yard management is traditionally a paper-driven process, which, while once effective, can now hinder operators’ ability to efficiently manage resources. This leads to inefficiencies and increased costs,


and in turn, frustrated employees and customers.

The supply chain shows no signs of slowing down and businesses are turning to third-party logistics providers (3PLs) for yard management solutions. 3PLs offer innovative solutions to organize yard operations and implement technology-driven tools like yard management systems (YMS). YMS provide real-time visibility into yard activities, enabling businesses to reduce costs and enhance customer satisfaction by improving service levels. The global

market for YMS systems is currently estimated at $5.2 billion and is expected to reach $11.9 billion by 2030. This exponential growth is expected as companies realize the benefits of YMS and warehouse management systems (WMS) and learn to capitalize on these emerging solutions to optimize their logistics operations.

The importance of efficient yard management

Numerous challenges arise if a yard is poorly managed. A paperbased process lacks real-time visibility into yard activities and inventory. In addition, it can create an inefficient use of space, resulting in congestion and disorganization. These key issues are a result of ineffective coordination and communication between warehouse, transportation, and yard operations, complicating the tracking and management of trailer movements and detention times.

This organizational deficiency leads to operational inefficiencies, wastes resources, and brings up potential compliance issues concerning industry regulations and safety protocols. Over time, these shortcomings can negatively impact a business’ reputation and they risk a dissatisfied customer.

How using a 3PL for yard management can help

By harnessing a 3PL’s YMS, lumberyards can overcome these

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TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN TOOLS like yard management systems can provide real-time visibility into yard activities, enabling businesses to cut costs and improve service to customers.

challenges. At a high level, engaging with a 3PL for yard management enhances customer service by ensuring on-time deliveries, minimizing lead times, and improving order accuracy. With optimized yard operations, meeting customer expectations becomes more achievable, fostering greater satisfaction and bolstering loyalty.

One specific solution is RFID tagging, GPS tracking, and automation to optimize yard space utilization. This provides real-time visibility into yard activities, with accurate and timely information on inventory levels, trailer movements, and overall operations. This heightened visibility empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions, enhance planning, and quickly adapt to changing conditions.

Automated scheduling and task assignment solutions streamline trailer and cargo movements, resulting in expedited turnaround times and heightened productivity. This delivers several benefits including reduced detention times, minimized labor expenses through automation and optimized workflows, and decreased transportation costs due to improved trailer utilization and turnaround times, which ultimately results in cost savings.

Enlisting the support of a yard management provider presents opportunities for scalable growth. A keen provider tailors their solutions to evolve alongside their clients’ changing needs, whether it involves expanding operations, adjusting for seasonal fluctuations, or integrating emerging technologies.

Measuring ROI of third-party solutions

When investing in a new technology or partner, businesses must consider the return on their investment. Is the expense worth the outcome? Effective yard management delivers reduced congestion, reduced idle time for assets, and ultimately, higher operational efficiency. Lumberyards can calculate savings from reduced detention times, enhanced space utilization, and lowered labor expenses. In addition, businesses can track improvements in inventory accuracy and order fulfillment rates.

Partnering with a 3PL ensures access to experts wellversed in all aspects of yard management, implementing strategic processes, tools, and staffing to establish more efficient and seamless operations. MM

Brian Kelly currently serves as VP of support services for Premier Transportation ( His expertise spans carrier and 3PL consolidation, pool distribution, cross dock, layout optimization, carrier management, multi-functional P&D and distribution fleets, and leading in supply chain investigations, security, loss prevention, and asset protection. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 19


E-COMMERCE IS EXPANDING in the building materials industry, as it helps businesses attract more customers. For those looking to grow their online presence with an e-commerce site, it can be tough to know where to start. This article will cover some of the key elements to focus on when setting up e-commerce for your business.

Customers have come to expect 24/7 access to their orders and tracking information. However, it’s not just about access, but the ease and speed of finding the information they need. An engaging and user-friendly website should be easy to navigate, responsive, and appealing to the target audience. It should showcase the product and service offerings in a way that is easy for customers to understand.

A poorly designed website can deter potential customers and harm the reputation of the business. On the other hand, a well-designed website can provide a seamless self-service experience for customers and enhance a business’ reputation for quality service. It’s worth spending the extra time during set-up to focus on the user experience.

Here are some tips and best practices to help you get started. High-quality images and videos can showcase different angles, close-

ups, and special features of the product. Find out if your vendors have a product catalog with images you can use to save time setting up your site.

Videos can also enhance the customer experience by demonstrating the features and benefits of the product. To test effectiveness, you can start by making a few videos for some of your top-selling products. Then, track the sales to see if the videos increase customer engagement. If you see positive results, you can invest more time in creating videos for your other products.

Typography (fonts and size of the text) should be easy to read, consistent, and supported by most web browsers. Keeping your fonts the same throughout the site will help the customer focus on the product. The contrast between text and background colors should be high enough that it is easy to read.

Call-to-action buttons (CTA) should use clear and concise verbiage like “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now.” This will encourage immediate action from your customers. Give explicit directions about where users need to click and what to expect. Rather than a button marked “Account,” stating “Check my Account Balance” gives a clear understanding of where this button will take them. The call-to-action buttons should use contrasting

colors, appropriate sizing, and be consistent across the website.

Feedback is essential for improving your e-commerce site and adapting to your customers’ needs. Adopt a growth mindset and look for opportunities to improve or adjust your strategy. There are various ways to collect and analyze data from your site, such as using free tools like Google Analytics or asking your customers for their opinions. If you aren’t confident interpreting your results, hire a local marketing agency to provide you with actionable insights. Based on the data, you can make changes to your site that will enhance the customer experience and increase your sales.

To create a successful e-commerce site, you need to prepare, plan, and maintain it with the customer experience in mind. A user-friendly site that meets your business goals and customer needs will help you grow your online presence and sales. MM

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TAMARA SUTTON Tamara Sutton is the director of product design at DMSi (



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THE RETAIL INDUSTRY, especially within the traditional lumber and building materials (LBM) sector, is facing major changes that are reshaping how small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) operate and compete in a world tied to internet connection and mobile devices. Ultimately, this means changing business practices to meet new buyer demands and better compete against peers, online giants and big-box stores.

There’s a silver lining for LBM dealers. The rise of retail technology is not a threat but an opportunity to meet modern customer expectations, compete on a level playing field and thrive in this new era.

Understanding the Shift: The New Retail


Where yesterday’s retail success depended on home centers and service counters combined with phone orders and the in-person shopping experience, today’s focus includes digitalization and online channels.

It’s critical for dealers to not only service their existing business as buyer preference adapts to new technology but additionally improve customer satisfaction. LBM dealers who have not begun the journey toward digitalization need to act quickly because buyer behavior typically leans toward convenience and if your business is the only one not online, you are potentially at risk. The good news is online technology can do a lot of heavy lifting to help dealers compete and grow.

Embracing Technology: The Path to Continued Competitiveness

One of the most important steps for LBM dealers is simply to embrace the need for change. While digital engagement from a business software system directly to customer account holders, like contractors and perpetual DIY accounts, has been around, the surge in ecommerce as a channel to individual markets is now table stakes. Dealers need to grasp

the complexity of managing multiple solutions to address their business.

Finding the right tech designed specifically for pulling all business aspects into one system is critical for improving efficiency and getting comfortable with technology. Choosing the right business management software for the unique needs of an LBM business can be daunting enough, let alone the complexity of a deeply integrated digital engagement portal and ecommerce presence. However, the right choice in a modernization strategy will put your business in a stronger competitive position and allow you to service your market in a more convenient and efficient manner.

Digital technology empowers dealers to more efficiently service their market, manage trade accounts and acquire new customers—faster and easier. These tools open opportunities to create highly personalized shopping experiences by focusing on customers’ unique needs and prefer-

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ences, creating further loyalty. Data analytics break down buyer behavior into actionable steps LBM dealers can take to improve their operations and evolve marketing strategies.

The BOPIS Revolution: Optimizing Phone-In Orders

One example of how technology can enhance the customer experience and business efficiency is the Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) model that’s only possible with an industry-focused ecommerce platform. Research highlights a notable increase in buyer preference in the BOPIS model, which puts the customer first, combining physical shopping with the ease of online browsing. The benefits don’t end there, as dealers report additional in-store purchases from customers when BOPIS is available.

The success of BOPIS in the U.S., as highlighted by “The 2023 Global Digital Shopping Index,” which showed a significant increase in BOPIS usage from 23% in 2021 to 32% in 2022, only reinforces this growing trend.

For LBM dealers looking to stay ahead of their competition, applying digital practices and modern technology tools can also increase customer loyalty and boost sales. Plus, it’s much easier to create an engaging and efficient shopping environment for their customers while delivering convenience, speed and flexibility. Think of the efficiency of order placement via ecommerce as an alternative to telephone orders which are much more difficult to scale in volume, each phone order requires a staff person on the other end. Online BOPIS orders are created at the source by a single individual and flow directly into your business fulfillment operation process.

A Continuous Journey to Ensure Success

Integrating point of sale and order management technology into LBM businesses has been ongoing for over 40 years. As customer needs, trends and technologies change, LBM dealers need to stay informed and continue to adapt. Working digitalization into the mix, investing in employee training, exploring new replenishment and fulfillment models and putting customer needs first are

key strategies for today’s LBM businesses. Additionally, dealers looking to the future can strengthen their succession plans—whether they’re looking to pass on their successful business to the next generation or sell to someone new—technology is a great strategy for creating value and longevity.

Today’s retail technology tools present opportunity for traditional LBM dealers to level the playing field in a competitive space, create a buying experience that feels familiar, and get into the habit of pulling usable

insights from the data. As a result, there’s opportunity to grow, improve and prosper. All in all, the future is looking bright for LBM dealers. MM

One. Stop. Shop.

Storing millwork can be tough. Size variation, custom orders, temperature sensitivity—all can add to the challenges suppliers face as they seek efficient onsite storage solutions. That’s why Greg Zuern decided to try something completely different. Together with CT Darnell and Sunbelt Rack, Zuern Building Products consolidated all their millwork into one reimagined building for maximum efficiency. The results speak for themselves. Thanks to this change, they saw:

50% faster pick times

$8MM more in deliveries with fewer trucks and drivers

Maximized inventory efficiency and increased SKU count by over 15% June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 23
John Maiuri is president of ECI Software Solutions’ LBMH Division (
Scan for the full story and video © WTD Holdings, Inc., 2024. All rights reserved. • • 800-353-0892 CTD_ZuernAd-full-Horiz-050724.indd 1 5/7/24 11:25 AM


IN GENERAL, we want to match our customer’s volume, pace, tone and demeanor when communicating with them. That said, sales is a transfer of emotion more than information. Information is important, but by itself, especially in the competitive world of sales, information alone will rarely win the day.

If you work for Apple and your customer only wants Apple products, then you are not really in a competitive sales situation. But if we are selling a commodity or products that are similar, how the customer feels about us as a person will be the difference between getting or losing the business the majority of the time.

Life is a mirror, so how we treat people is how they are going to treat us. There are the exceptions—the Grumpasaureses of the world or adversarial buyers—and even these buyers can be converted over time, but in most cases customers will respond to us as we treat them. Remember that difficult customers are a gift from above because they keep most salespeople away. I love converting grumpy or difficult customers.

Below are four ways I see Master Sellers interact with customers that lead to their success:


I am not talking about unctuous overly servile, or solicitous niceness that comes across as fake and does not inspire confidence. I am talking about a relaxed open friendliness. Many sellers are too nervous to act friendly. Others are ashamed of being salespeople, so they think that being friendly will make them seem insincere, so they are too officious in their

approach. Introverted sellers will have to push themselves to be more open.

Some salespeople are too aggressive, although this is a small percentage. The number one fear of salespeople is the fear of being too pushy, so many are too passive which does not come across as friendly. Master Sellers speak to customers as they do with their friends. A Master Seller I know said, “All my customers are my friends and if I lost them all tomorrow I would go out and make more friends.” Great advice.


Warm and friendly are similar, but warm is a more real, personal friendliness, and humans can feel the difference. I know a Master Seller who says some bold things to customers. I always wonder, “How does he get away with that?” The answer is his warmth. He sincerely cares about his customers, and it comes across in his speech. He speaks to his customers as he would to his favorite aunt or uncle, and they respond in kind.


If we are nervous or aggressive in our approach, customers will feel uncomfortable and will do their best to end our interaction as soon as possible and will unlikely buy from us. Sellers that are nervous or unprepared do not have a calm demeanor and customers feel it—even if the feeling is subconscious. Calm sends the message, “Everything is going to work out great.” (When you buy this).

One caveat of calmness is to not overdo it. We don’t want to be so calm that we appear indifferent. Calm enthusiasm may seem like an oxymoron

but that is what we are shooting for as salespeople.


Master Sellers have the belief that they will win the business. Winning the business is inevitable. This is part of pre-call preparation. We must convince ourselves before we make the call that the customer is going to buy from us and then talk like that from the first moment of the sales call until the final closing of the deal.

Just like being calm can be overdone, too much confidence will be perceived as arrogance which is not attractive and does not lead to business. “Command presence” and “quiet confidence” is what we are aiming for.

Just like Baby Bear’s porridge in the fable of Goldilocks, getting the right mix of friendly, warm, calm, and confident can be difficult to get just right. We all will have challenges in getting the mixture correct. Few of us possess all of these attributes naturally, but it is possible to improve these interpersonal skills. Over the years, I have watched many of my students do the same. Product knowledge (information) is important, but being relatable is much more important in our world of sales. MM

James Olsen is principal of Reality Sales Training, Portland, Or., and creator of Call him at (503) 5443572 or email

24 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
------------| OLSEN ON SALES

#1 Inventory Management Profit Strategy:

Stock No More Than Needed to Properly Service Demand

This practice is crucial to profitability. Here’s why:

n Every day that excess inventory is owned, it is either costing interest on borrowed money, which increases expense, or it is preventing the earning of interest on owned money, which decreases income. Whether capital is borrowed or owned, excess inventory is always eroding profitability.

n Let’s say a yard has sales volume of 110,000 BF/month. If brought in all at once by car, the inventory can turn once a month if needs are correctly projected. But if metered in by truck in 27,500 BF increments at one load per week as actually needed, that inventory will turn 4 times per month – and tie up only 1/4 as much cash.

n Now suppose this yard pays for the car 10 days after shipment and delivery takes 3 weeks. It paid for 4 times the inventory it needed, and won’t see any of it for 11 more days. But if it buys by truck with quick delivery, every stick could be sold before the invoice even comes due. In fact, three truckloads could be sold this way before the car could even have arrived, again using only 1/4 the capital.

n This strategy dependably multiplies turns and GMROI, dramatically improves cashflow, cuts carrying costs and frees up both capital and space for more profitable use. Margins are maintained through market moves and downside risk is significantly reduced because the inventory is turning faster than price changes can affect its value. There’s less inventory to count, and stock stays fresher, too. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 25 (800) 654-8110
Maximize your profit with this safe and efficient strategy. Call Idaho Timber for highly-mixed trucks and just-in-time delivery.


THE GREAT RESIGNATION is over, the red-hot recruiting market has cooled a bit, and inflation is down. That’s some of the good news for employers in 2024. But don’t relax too much—compensation is still important. In a recent Compensation Best Practices Report published by Payscale, a majority of employers reported compensation as their biggest challenge—a bigger challenge than either recruitment or retention. And 53% of those employers reported that they would increase focus on development of a compensation strategy for 2024.

To address these challenges, it is time, as an employer, to ask some questions.

Is It Time to Develop Salary Ranges?

Salary ranges, also called salary bands or pay ranges, establish the pay parameters for a job role or group of roles. Salary ranges are based on market information in conjunction with the organization’s compensation strategy and philosophy. Pay ranges typically include a minimum, midpoint, and maximum amount.

If your organization is small, market pricing for individual positions can work well. But as a company grows, especially if it expands to multiple locations, finding market information for every job and location becomes difficult.

Salary ranges also provide the framework to promote consistency in offers to new hires and promotions and salary increases for existing employees. In the past, many organizations offered starting salaries to new hires based on salary history, but it is now illegal in 22 states to ask about an applicant’s salary history. And it’s likely more states will adopt this type of regulation.

Salary ranges can also help to address issues such as salary compression (when salaries of new hires equal or

exceed those of experienced employees in the same or similar role), pay equity (equal pay for equal work or work of comparable value), and pay transparency. More about the last one below.

How Will My Organization Address the Issue of Pay Transparency?

Pay transparency is defined by World at Work as “the degree to which employers are open about what, why, how and how much employees are compensated.” Pay transparency is often driven by legal requirements. Pay transparency laws vary by state, but generally focus on requirements that employers list salary ranges on job postings for open positions.

Compliance with legal requirements often means that current employees find out about pay ranges for their positions from job postings or external applicants. That can certainly cause problems. The same Payscale Best Practices survey noted above reported that 14% of responding employers have lost employees because those employees saw posted job ranges. And legal penalties can be significant. In the state of Washington, which allows remedy through the court system (as opposed to enforcement by a government agency), one law firm filed over 30 class action suits in one week.

But pay transparency is more than compliance. It’s about being proactive in your communications about compensation. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone gets to see everyone else’s salaries. That happens in some tech companies, but it’s not common or required. What it does mean is that employees should understand how they are compensated and the rationale that determines their pay. That might include variables such as:

26 • the merchant magazine • June 2024

• Compensable factors (skills, knowledge, education, certification, etc.)

• Performance

• Depth and breadth of experience

• Seniority and length of service

It’s time to be proactive about pay transparency. Even if there aren’t legal requirements in the locations where you do business, you need a compensation strategy that allows you to make offers to candidates and reward current employees within a fair, consistent framework.

What Do Managers and Supervisors Need to Know About Compensation?

In my consulting practice, I’ve often had managers and supervisors tell me that they don’t have an understanding of their organization’s compensation policies and practices. Sometimes the CEO is responsible for compensation decisions and doesn’t effectively communicate the rationale to anyone. That puts managers and supervisors in the awkward position of not being able to answer employees’ questions about their pay.

There are steps you can take to help your managers and supervisors. These include:

• Documenting and distributing your compensation philosophy, policies, and procedures

• Training managers to provide them with the skills and knowledge to answer employee questions and communicate consistently about compensation

• Maintaining an open-door policy to discuss compen-

Q. What do I need to know about hiring a summer intern?

A. If you plan to pay your interns at least minimum wage, you’re in good shape. If, however, you are planning to offer an unpaid internship, there are a few things you should consider.

Federal and state governments are cracking down on the use of unpaid interns, arguing that not paying interns for their labor violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Even if you and your intern agree that the work experience is sufficient compensation for the labor, you must satisfy the requirements for it to be “bona fide” and thus qualify as an unpaid internship.

You may be subject to wage and hour penalties and back wages under the FLSA if you fail to pay your summer interns appropriately.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71 offers help for determining whether your intern is entitled to minimum wage or overtime pay and can be found at

For the record, we are strong proponents of internships, particularly as a means of identifying and developing new talent and future employees. Good luck!

sation questions and concerns with all employees (and encouraging your managers to do that too)

• Empowering your managers to make compensation decisions for their new hires and current employees

Managers and supervisors are ultimately responsible for the success of any organizational program or initiative. It’s essential that they understand their role and responsibilities in order to guarantee that success.

Do Employees Understand Their Total Compensation?

Total Compensation (also known as Total Rewards) includes not just base salary and other cash payments, but also the value of all employee benefits and perquisites that can be quantified. For many organizations, the cost of benefits, including healthcare premiums, retirement plan contributions, and paid time off can easily amount to 30%–35% of an employee’s salary. That means the total compensation for an employee making $100,000 would be $130,000–$135,000.

A 2023 survey conducted by beqom (a provider of total compensation management software) revealed that nearly half of surveyed employees don’t understand their total compensation.

Organizations generally do a pretty good job of communicating total rewards when posting positions or interviewing candidates—after all, those are great marketing opportunities. But these same organizations often don’t do a very good job of communicating total compensation to their current employees.

One way for an organization to improve total compensation communications is through a total rewards statement. A total rewards statement is an extremely effective tool to help employees understand the true value of working for the organization. Statements are personalized and typically produced and distributed once a year.

In the past, these types of statements have focused on quantifiable information. That includes financial information about base salary and bonus/incentive payments, and benefits information including medical plan contributions, PTO, 401(k) contributions, etc. But there is now a current trend to include non-quantifiable information in these statements. That might include things like opportunities for remote or hybrid work, flexible and in-advance scheduling, and educational opportunities.

Growing your business means recruiting and retaining top talent. That means developing compensation plans that are both fair and competitive. It’s a tough landscape to navigate, but answering these questions will help you get off to a good start MM

at (877) 660-6400 or June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 27
SUSAN PALÉ Susan Palé, CCP, is vice president for compensation with The Workplace Advisors. Reach her


After 110 years in San Diego, Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers is opening its first location in Orange County, Ca.—at the former site of Ganahl Lumber in Dana Point.

Later in the year, Dixieline will also be adding a location in Palm Springs, Ca.

A division of Builders FirstSource, Dixieline operates nine locations in San Diego County, from Chula Vista to as far north as Solana Beach.

Dixieline has traditionally served areas outside of San Diego, including Orange and Riverside counties, but through outside salesmen rather than from physical locations.

The property in Dana Point had been operated by Ganahl from 1995 (when it was acquired from Capistrano Lumber) until Aug. 4, 2023, when Ganahl relocated to a new,

larger facility in nearby San Juan Capistrano. Dixieline is sprucing up the older yard.

Dixieline began hiring sales personnel in March and started advertising positions for supervisory and yard workers in April. Already hired to outside sales are: Kurt McFall, formerly with Pella Corp.; Aaron Castaneda, previously with ARDEX and Jones Wholesale Lumber; and Gabe Quesada, Jr., ex-Ganahl. The opening is expected some time in June.

According to Dixieline, “This marks an exciting new chapter for our company as we bring our expertise and commitment to excellence to the vibrant communities of Orange County. We look forward to serving and connecting with our new customers in this thriving region.”


Kodiak Building Partners, Englewood, Co., has acquired Valley Lumber & Rental, a prominent provider of hardware and building supplies in Victor, Id., and surrounding areas.

“Our partnership with Kodiak opens exciting opportunities for growth and innovation,” said Valley Lumber & Rental president Whitney Gardiner. “We’re eager to leverage Kodiak’s expansive network of resources to enhance our services and meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

Established in 2003, Valley Lumber & Rental has been a cornerstone business in Teton Valley, Id., for over 20 years, surviving economic challenges and remaining a well-known anchor in the community. Through donations to non-profits, participation in construction industry education programs, and its status as the largest business of its kind in the area, Valley has contributed mightily to the local community and construction landscape.

“Our acquisition of Valley Lumber & Rental underscores Kodiak’s commitment to growth and investment with great partners in thriving markets like Teton Valley,” said Kodiak CEO Steve Swinney.

“By partnering with Valley Lumber & Rental, we’re positioned to tap into the force in the universe that makes things happen—all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the bear.”

As Kodiak and Valley Lumber & Rental begin to work together, they will focus on empowering Valley Lumber & Rental to build on its success and continue delivering excellent service and products to its customers. With Kodiak’s partnership, Valley Lumber & Rental aims to expand its market reach with greater outside sales support, enhance retail sales and leverage shared industry knowledge to improve efficiency.

Whit Gardiner will continue to lead Valley Lumber & Rental, which will become a part of Kodiak’s growing Northwest region.

Founded in 2011, Kodiak Building Partners is a leading acquisition firm specializing in acquiring and supporting locally owned and operated building materials companies. Kodiak’s operation employs thousands of people across the country to serve contractors, builders, remodelers and consumers.

, Parr Lumber, Hillsboro, Or., broke ground on a new location in Damascus, Or.—its 47th in the Pacific Northwest.

Parr also completed the expansion of its Ridgefield, Wa., yard, increasing the space from 5 to 7 acres and adding two optimization saws.

84 Lumber relocated its western team headquarters from Phoenix, Az., to Dallas, Tx.

K-119 Tools & Equipment, San Bruno, Ca., has closed after more than 45 years with the retirement of owner Joseph Chien.

Highland Lumber Sales, Anaheim, Ca., purchased a 48,235sq. ft. warehouse in Fullerton, Ca., for $13.35 million from Omni Metal Finishing, Fountain Valley, Ca.

Second Chance Building Supply, Lynden, Wa., has been opened by thrift store Second Chance.

Capital Lumber in Tacoma, Wa., and Woodburn, Or., is now distributing a full range of UFP-Edge siding and trim in Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, and Alaska.

Hall Forest Products, Puyallup, Wa., has added EvaLast’s Infinity decking products to its existing Apex inventory.

Kohler has begun production at a new kitchen/bath products manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Az.

OX Group Global of the U.K. has acquired woodworking clamp/ jig manufacturer Armor Tool, San Diego, Ca.

AZEK’s TimberTech Advanced PVC Vintage and Landmark are the first composite decking lines to be designated as Ignition Resistant by California’s State Fire Marshal.

Avon Plastics has launched a new Armadillo Builder Rebate Program, designed to simplify the process for contractors to get sizeable rebates for brand loyalty to Armadillo products.

Starfire Lumber Co., Cottage Grove, Or., has partnered with the Cottage Grove Community Medical Center Foundation to start a Community Health Fund, helping to ensure healthcare access and accessibility in South Lane County.

28 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
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On May 14, Builders Alliance opened a Frontier Millworks showroom next to its Frontier Building Supply yard in Freeland, Wa.

The new showroom features curated displays and on-hand millwork specialists to answer questions and guide visitors through the selection process.


This month, Stimson Lumber Co. will wind down operations at its mill in Plummer, Id., as it exhausts its remaining log inventory.

Stimson CEO Andrew Miller attributed the closure to a lack of a dependable source of supply. As well, several key employees are retiring. At its peak, the mill employed more than 100; it’s now 22. Current workers at the mill reportedly will be offered positions at Stimson’s other five facilities in Idaho and Oregon. Production, which used to reach 100 million bd. ft. a year, had dwindled to about 35 million bd. ft. annually.

Stimson has leased the facility from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe since taking over for Plummer Forest Products in 2006.

The mill, while “highly efficient,” produces studs (primarily for big box stores) made from smaller tress, 4-7” in diameter.

The mill site will continue to be used as inventory storage and railroading facility for nearby mills in St. Maries and Priest River, Id.


Nation’s Best, Dallas, Tx., has added its 57th location, and second in the state, with its purchase of Gambles Hardware in Hotchkiss, Co., adding to its growing national footprint of locally-focused home improvement stores.

“When owner Kimberly Shay expressed an interest

in selling her family’s hardware store so she could refocus her efforts on her other businesses in town, we stepped in to take a closer look at Gambles Hardware knowing that store could be a great fit within the Nation’s Best model,” said Tina Green, regional VP of operations for Nation’s Best’s West Region. “She and her late husband built up a solid store that aimed to serve all the community’s needs. The store is clean, welcoming, well-organized, and broad in its mix of diverse products across its 7,000 sq. ft. of retail space.”

Founded in 1942, Gambles Hardware has built its 82-year reputation as the first-choice source for home improvement goods and services in Hotchkiss. They are known for their strong selection of plumbing & electrical products, gardening, and paint, as well as authorized dealers for in-demand brands.

Robert Debs, who oversees acquisitions for Nation’s Best, noted that the company intends to remain active on the acquisitions front this year. “Nation’s Best has no plans to slow down. With almost 60 stores now in operation under the Nation’s Best family of over 30 distinct brands, we have honed our winning formula for success. We are looking forward to continuing to demonstrate the value and relevance of independent home improvement across the country,” he adds.

As part of Nation’s Best’s strategy, Gambles Hardware will maintain operations under their existing name with its key management team overseeing company operations alongside Nation’s Best, which will provide the strategic and financial support necessary to drive optimal growth and profitability. Nation’s Best will also lease back the property from the owners, an approach that they have found favorable to both parties.


US LBM, a leading distributor of specialty building materials in the United States, has acquired Better Built Truss, a top manufacturer and supplier of structural roof and floor components in Northern California.

Founded in 1964, Better Built Truss operates two facilities in Oakdale and Ripon, Ca. Primarily, Better Built Truss designs, manufactures and supplies roof and floor truss components to contractors, developers and multifamily, commercial and residential builders in Northern California.

Jeff Qualle, who has led the business since 1996, will continue to run day-to-day operations.

With this acquisition, US LBM now operates 12 locations in Northern California, including three structural component manufacturing facilities; the company also operates Homewood Truss, which is located north of Sacramento, Ca.

“The team at Better Built Truss has great relationships with area builders in California, and a long history of providing exceptional service and solutions,” said US LBM President and CEO L.T. Gibson. “We continue to see demand for structural building components in Northern California, and the addition of Better Built Truss allows us to increase our capabilities and expand our customer base in the area.”

30 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
FRONTIER Building Supply now has a sister millwork showroom in Freeland, Wa.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA NOVEMBER 13-15 Join NAWLA to connect with leading buyers and suppliers at the 2024 Traders Market: 2 0 2 4


Amy Warren, ex-Weyerhaeuser, has joined International Wood Products, Clackamas, Or., as vice president of marketing. She succeeds Edy Schaller who, as she prepares for retirement, will serve as senior vice president–special projects.

Robert Gordon, ex-Southeast Building Supply Interests, has been named president of Direct Lumber and Door of Colorado, Denver, Co.

Amanda Fiocchi has been promoted to retail supervisor at Builders FirstSource, Forest Grove, Or. Wyatt Martin is now field millwork buyer for BFS in American Fork, Ut. Marcin Jasinski is new to outside sales in Simi Valley, Ca. Donny Weesner, Builders FirstSource, Auburn, Wa., has been promoted to buyer.

Kari Rollason, ex-Cornerstone Building Brands, is new to OrePac Building Products, as San Diego, Ca., territory sales mgr. Lance Brown is now operations mgr. in Wilsonville, Or.

Jordan Worthington, ex-Ziggy’s Home Improvement, is now plant mgr. of Parr Lumber’s door shop in Liberty Lake, Wa.

Travis Kincaid has been promoted to general mgr. of Plywood Supply, Kenmore, Wa.

Dan Graham, ex-Friedman’s Home Improvement, has joined Gold Beach Lumber Yard, Eugene, Or., as director of merchandising & marketing.

Caitlin Chambers, ex-Fred Tebb & Sons, is a new lumber trader at Patrick Lumber, Portland, Or.

Brian Chaney has been promoted to senior vice president of Wood Products for Weyerhaeuser Co., Seattle, Wa. He takes over for Keith O’Rear, who retired from the position on June 3 and will serve as a strategic advisor to the company through the end of 2024. Emma Mayfield, ex-Gold Beach Lumber, is a new buyer & material mgr. for Weyerhaeuser, based in Eugene, Or. Ramon Rosas is new to outside sales from Fresno, Ca.

Richard Ecraela, ex-American Home & Floor, has joined the millwork division outside sales team at Honsador Lumber, Honolulu, Hi.

Lance Girtman is new to inside sales at Capital Lumber, Woodburn, Or.

Kevin Ordean was promoted to director of forest operations for Restoration Forest Products, Bellemont, Az.

Ryan Hunt, ex-Grainger, is now distribution center mgr. of Cameron Ashley Building Products, Salt Lake City, Ut.

Jason Butterfield has been promoted to associate VP of Wasatch Timber Products/Sunpro, Heber City, Ut.

Jessica Bauman is new to Peterman Lumber, Fontana, Ca., as manufacturing project mgr.

Roger Dankel, executive VP, North American sales, Simpson Strong-Tie, Pleasanton, Ca., will retire June 30, 2025, after 31 years with the company. He will continue in his current role through the end of this year and then stay on as an executive advisor for the first half of next year. Udit Mehta is Simpson Manufacturing Co.’s new chief technology officer.

Chris Forrey has been promoted to VP, finance & investor relations at Boise Cascade, Boise, Id.

Lauren Benson has joined Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers, San Diego, Ca., in sales support & marketing.

Prithvi “Prith” Gandhi, ex-TAMKO, has joined Beacon, Peabody, Ma., as executive VP and chief financial officer.

32 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
Wood lasts longer with GREEN’S COPPER-GREEN® Wood Preservative For use wherever wood meets water or soil. PREVENTS DETERIORATION FROM: TERMITES • ROT • DECAY • FUNGUS Seals wood, kills termites and wood-eating insects. Recommended for NEW or OLD construction. FOR EXTERIOR USE ONLY TM We’re looking for stocking partners! For a great product in your store, contact: Hal Harlan or Guy Woods – 510.235.9667 •

Tiffany Brown, ex-Elite Floor Coverings, has moved to the outside sales team at Intermountain Wood Products, Seattle, Wa.

Jan Twamley, market mgr., Beacon Building Products, Anaheim, Ca., has retired after more than 30 years with the company.

Keith Eibel, director of chips and of Roseburg’s Coos Bay, Or., shipping terminal, is retiring July 31 after 16 years with Roseburg. John Holte will succeed him in both roles.

David McElroy has been promoted to director of operations for Central Valley, Woodland, Ca.

Jennifer Doty is a new design consultant with Meek’s Lumber, Chico, Ca.

Rob Wickens was appointed operations mgr. at Westcoast Moulding & Millwork, Surrey, B.C.

Eric Knox has been promoted to director of LBM sales for Do it Best, Fort Wayne, In. Jared Hufford was appointed director of strategic initiatives. Ben Schwartz is a new forest product trader.

Mark Aromi has been promoted to director of commercial sales for Kebony North America. He is based in Atlanta, Ga.

Norman Willemsen, ex-Kebony, has been named CEO of MOSO, succeeding founder and former CEO René Zaal.

Susanne McGinnis is now marketing mgr. for Clubhouse/ TruNorth Decking.

Álvaro Gonzalez has been named CEO of Garnica, Wilmington, De.

Mark Taggart, chairman, Toyota Industries Global Commercial Finance, is now also chief financial officer for Toyota Material Handling North America, Columbus, In.

Bill Staley, CEO of Belco Forest Products, Shelton, Wa., was named the recipient of a 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award by The Vistage Group, the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses.

Marsha Dimes is overseeing charitable contributions at Mungus-Fungus Forest Products, Climax, Nv., report co-owners Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 33
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CRENSHAW LUMBER, Gardena, Ca., was honored for 75 years in business by buying group LMC. (Left to right) Colin Klein, LMC’s western regional manager, who presented an award to Crenshaw’s Lindsay Olson, James Cederholm, Larry Olson, David Olson, and Ethan Olson.


Zootown Hardware & Garden, Missoula, Mt., has been opened by Damon Leishman, who will also serve as general manager.

A week after “soft opening,” the store held an official grand opening on April 12.

Stocked through Do it Best to maximize buying power, the store carries about 15,000 SKUs across its 5,000-sq. ft. showroom and 10,000-sq. ft. garden center. It has a staff of 16.

After he spent more than 20 years serving in the U.S. Army, Leishman and his family were ready to return to their Montana roots.

With an Ace Hardware and big-box home centers on the other side of town, Leishman wants to position his business as a “complement” more than competition, focusing more on professional products, including lumber, tools, paint, concrete and garden supplies. A rental department will offer higher-skill equipment.

Until the 1990s, the location at the Southgate Mall had served as an Ernst Home Center, after which the mall converted it to a storage facility.


One year after announcing a $700 million investment in its manufacturing operations in Southern Oregon, Roseburg Forest Products reports that construction at two new plants in Dillard, Or., is well underway.

Dillard Components will be the first of the new plants to come online, with startup expected in late summer 2024. The plant will convert specialty medium density fiberboard (MDF) panels manufactured at Roseburg’s MDF plant in Medford, Or., into Armorite Trim, a finished exterior trim product for residential and shed use. This is an innovative new product that Roseburg recently introduced to the market.

Dillard MDF will use wood residuals from Roseburg’s

local mills and other regional suppliers to manufacture standard MDF panels, as well as thin high density fiberboard (HDF), often used in cabinetry, doors, and other applications. The plant will produce panels with a thickness range from 2 mm to 28 mm.

Once fully operational, the two new plants will employ approximately 120 people in the community where Roseburg was founded nearly 90 years ago.

“As equipment orders arrive and construction progresses, it’s exciting to see our plans for these investments take shape and become reality,” said Tony Ramm, senior VP of manufacturing. “Roseburg was first established in this area in 1936, so investing in these projects at home is especially meaningful to the company. We look forward to seeing how they contribute to the future of the company and our team members, and the economic health of Southern Oregon.”

The two plants together will be capable of producing the following:

• MDF panels: 175 million sq. ft. per year on a 3/4” basis, or 310,000 cubic meters per year

• Primed Armorite exterior trim: 70 million sq. ft. per year on a 3/4” basis, or 124,000 cubic meters per year

• Interior moulding: 90 million ft. per year

Roseburg currently owns and operates three MDF plants in North America.

The two new Dillard plants represent a significant portion of Roseburg’s $700 million investment in its Oregon manufacturing assets. The investment also includes improvements at existing Roseburg plants in Oregon, such as significant upgrades at our plywood plant in Riddle, Or., including two new lathe lines and a new hardwood plywood line, and a new dryer at our plywood plant in Coquille, Or.

Founded in 1936, Roseburg Forest Products, based in Springfield, Or., is a privately-owned company and one of North America’s leading producers of medium

34 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
LONG-AGO site of an Ernst Home Center in Missoula, Mt., is a home improvement store once again, now the independent Zootown Hardware & Garden.

density fiberboard, softwood and hardwood plywood, lumber, LVL and I-joists. The company owns and sustainably manages more than 600,000 acres of timberland in Oregon, North Carolina and Virginia, as well as an export wood chip terminal facility in Coos Bay, Or. Roseburg products are shipped throughout North America and the Pacific Rim.


RWC Building Products, Phoenix, Az., has acquired New Mexico Plaster & Supply, a leading supplier of plaster and concrete materials based in Albuquerque, N.M.

The acquisition, effective May 1, marks another strategic expansion for RWC Building Products, following its purchase of Henry Products Inc. in 2021.

Founded in 1987, New Mexico Plaster & Supply has established itself as a mainstay in the Albuquerque community, known for its unparalleled service and expert advice in the plaster and concrete industry. The company has been instrumental in providing contractors and homeowners with top-quality materials and guidance.

Tommy Montgomery, president of RWC Building Products, voiced his excitement about the new partnership, stating, “The acquisition of New Mexico Plaster & Supply not only strengthens our capabilities in the stucco market but also expands our geographic reach. We are excited to uphold the legacy of this respected company as a wholly-owned subsidiary while

aligning it with RWC’s broader strategic objectives.”

RWC Building Products has been a cornerstone in the building materials industry since 1958, growing from a local supplier to a major distributor of roofing, stucco, and hardscape materials with a presence across California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. The company’s commitment to quality service and community engagement remains unwavering.

“We are ready to continue our mission of excellence and community support, solidifying our pledge to be ‘Here for Good,’” Montgomery added. “We look forward to the positive impact this acquisition will have on the communities we serve, ensuring long-term benefits for our customers and partners.”


Maranatha Ace Hardware, Bakersfield, Ca., held a grand opening celebration April 19-21 to welcome locals to the new hardware store.

The store, managed by Cindy Henson, served lunch on the first two days and treated the first 200 customers on day two to a “Bag Sale.”

The store stocks brands like Stihl, Yeti, DeWalt, The Green Egg, Milwaukee, Craftsman, Toro, Benjamin Moore, Traeger, Echo, and many more. Professional services include paint color matching, glass and key cutting, screen repairs, and more.

The storefront, which sits next door to an 84 Lumber distribution center, was formerly occupied by Maranatha Landscapes. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 35 McMinnville, OregOn • (503) 474-4446 • elkcreekfOrest.cOM McMinnville, OregOn • (503) 474-4446 • elkcreekfOrest.cOM


Westlake Ace Hardware has signed an agreement to open a new store in San Leandro, Ca.—which will be its 22nd in the state.

Ace Hardware of San Leandro will feature approximately 15,000 sq. ft. of retail space. A soft opening is tentatively planned for the fourth quarter of 2024.

Westlake Ace owns and operates nine other locations in northern California: Chico, Northeast Fresno, Livermore, Mountain View, Pinole, Pleasant Hill, Santa Rosa (Guerneville Fulton Ace Hardware), Turlock, and Woodland. A new store in San Jose is scheduled to open soon.

In addition to selling lawn and garden supplies, fasteners, tools, plumbing, and electrical supplies, the new location will feature many leading brands, including Stihl, Ego and Milwaukee outdoor power equipment; Benjamin Moore and Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines paints; Milwaukee, DeWalt and Craftsman power tools; Weber, Traeger and Big Green Egg grills and accessories; Scotts lawn care products; and Yeti coolers and accessories. It will also offer such services as key cutting, automotive key fob replacement, and a propane tank exchange.

“Westlake Ace Hardware has been providing reliable service, helpful advice, and leading products to our customers in Northern California since 2019,” said Joe Jeffries, president and CEO of Ace Retail Holdings, the parent company of Westlake Ace Hardware.“San Leandro is a fantastic community. We are looking forward to showing our new neighbors how we live the Ace Helpful Promise every day.”


Owens Corning has completed its acquisition of Masonite International Corp., a leading global provider of interior and exterior doors and door systems. All outstanding Masonite common shares have been acquired by Owens Corning for $133 per share, with an implied transaction value of approximately $3.9 billion.

“The addition of Masonite to Owens Corning marks a significant milestone for our company, as we further strengthen our position as a market leader in building and construction materials,” said Brian Chambers, chair and CEO of Owens Corning. “Over the past several years, Owens Corning has been on a journey to transform and grow our company through strategic choices and strong execution. The completion of this acquisition represents the start of an exciting next chapter that allows us to leverage

our proven commercial, operational, and innovation capabilities to increase our offering of highly valued branded building materials for our customers. We are excited about expanding into this new growth platform and for the opportunities ahead.”

Founded in 1925, Masonite is a leading global provider of interior and exterior doors and door systems serving both repair and remodel and new construction demand. Masonite operates 64 manufacturing and distribution facilities, primarily in North America, and has over 10,000 employees globally.

With the completion of the acquisition, Owens Corning’s annual revenue grows to $12.5 billion, with adjusted EBITDA of $2.9 billion on a synergized basis and reduced ongoing capital intensity. Owens Corning expects to achieve approximately $125 million of runrate cost synergies and for ROIC to exceed its cost of capital by the end of year three.

Owens Corning has named Chris Ball as president of its Doors business. Ball previously served as president of Masonite’s Global Residential business. He will report directly to Chambers and serve as a member of the company’s executive committee.

“We are pleased to welcome Chris to the Owens Corning executive team. His proven track record of growing businesses and developing talent, as well as his strong commercial execution, operational knowledge, and customer focus, will be instrumental as he leads this business into the future,” said Chambers. “Today we are combining two highly talented teams with a shared focus on keeping each other safe, helping our customers win and grow in the market, and delivering value for our shareholders. We look forward to working together with Chris and all of our new colleagues from Masonite.”

Ball joined Masonite as president of its Global Residential business in September 2021. Previously he held leadership roles at several Fortune 500 companies. He was president of the Americas for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., where he led the North America, Latin America, and Global Commercial Truck Tire business units. He joined Cooper Tire from Whirlpool Corporation, where he served in various roles including global VP for the company’s KitchenAid small appliance business and general manager of the North America Laundry unit, Whirlpool’s largest business. He has also worked in sales leadership roles for General Mills, Inc.


GMS Inc., Tucker, Ga., has acquired Howard & Sons Building Materials, Inc., which distributes wallboard, steel framing, and complementary products from a single location in Pomona, Ca.

With established strong manufacturer partnerships, Howard & Sons offers a wide array of products to its customer base in Southern California. The newly acquired company will transition to operate under existing GMS brand, J&B Materials.

The deal closed May 1.

Founded in 1971, GMS operates a network of over 300 distribution centers with extensive product

36 • the merchant magazine • June 2024

In addition,


MHBG (Manufactured Housing Buyers Group), an association of independently managed producers of manufactured/modular housing, is joining forces with buying group LMC.

The combination marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of enhancing purchasing power and leveraging collective resources for the mutual benefit of all the cooperative’s members. A new division will be created at LMC, called the Modular Building Division, to support this manufactured housing channel. The team at MHBG will join the LMC team in this new division.

Aligning with LMC provides MHBG members with an expanded product line opportunity as well as access to the services LMC provides, in addition to preserving the purchasing strengths MHBG has with its current product focus.

Paul Ryan, LMC president and CEO, said, “This is a great opportunity for both organizations. The MHBG members will form the core of our new Modular Building Division, along with certain existing LMC members. This will strengthen our business in this market segment and will improve our collective purchasing power for all LMC members. We welcome the MHBG members, the team, and their supplier partners as we work

to drive opportunity and growth for everyone.”

“We are extremely excited to announce our partnership with LMC,” said David Jessup, chairman of MHBG and owner of Jessup Housing, Waco Tx. “This collaboration represents a pivotal moment for our members, as it enables us to amplify our purchasing capabilities and deliver greater value through access to premium suppliers, favorable pricing, and innovative procurement strategies.”

Jay Wilson, MHBG’s chief negotiator, said, “LMC is a very strong fit for our members, who are very independent-minded entrepreneurs. I’m personally honored to go to work with the LMC team to create an environment for our members that allows them to compete at the highest levels with large scale enterprise companies.”


Interfor Corp., Burnaby, B.C., plans to reduce its lumber production by approximately 175 million bd. ft. between May and September of 2024, representing just under 10% of its normal operating stance.

The temporary curtailments will impact all of Interfor’s operating regions, including the U.S. , through a combination of reduced operating hours, prolonged holiday breaks, reconfigured shifting schedules and extended maintenance shutdowns. The curtailments are in response to persistently weak market conditions.

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GMS operates more than
tool sales, rental and service centers to serve residential and commercial contractors across the U.S. and Canada.


The Home Depot is opening a new distribution center in southern Los Angeles, Ca., to stock large, bulky merchandise like lumber, insulation, roofing shingles, and more. With a network of distribution centers stocking a variety of product types, pros can order job lot quantities of the products they need to complete their entire projects, delivered directly to their job sites. The new distribution centers are expected to open in the first half of the year.

The L.A. location is one of four new pro centers Home Depot is readying, with others in Detroit, Mi.; San Antonio, Tx.; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Adding to its pro capabilities, Home Depot recently acquired Construction Resources, a leading distributor of design-oriented surfaces, appliances and architectural specialty products for pro contractors focused on renovation, remodeling and residential home building. With showrooms across the East Coast and Southeast, Construction Resources allows Home Depot to expand the capabilities it offers pro customers, many of whom rely on showrooms as part of their consultative approach to complex renovation and remodel jobs.

Home Depot also offers a ProXtra loyalty program, which gives pros specialized perks, business tools to manage and grow their businesses, exclusive sales and events in stores and online, paint rewards, and more. The company has a variety of fulfillment options with delivery and prioritization for pros, plus value-added offerings like tool rental, quote center and more.


Visitors stepping into LMC’s headquarters in Wayne, Pa., will now be welcomed by a breathtaking handcarved eagle, a symbol of strength and unity within the lumber and building industry. The piece depicts a 5-ft.-high eagle with its wings outstretched. The piece was hand carved by craftsman Edward Halbert from Kansas City.

A fitting medium for one of the largest co-operatives in the lumber and building industry, the eagle is also a symbol of LMC’s position in the industry.

“It not only pays homage to LMC dealers, who stand as pillars of leadership in the industry, but it also symbolizes their collective strength and the commitment of the entire LMC team,” said Fran Monk, VP of marketing. “Like eagles soaring high, we are dedicated to providing exceptional service to our members.”

LMC asked their entire dealer base to suggest a meaningful name for the new addition to LMC HQ. Several returned the name “Buckley,” which ultimately won the vote of LMC staff.

The name is derived from LMC cofounder James L. Buckley, who initially pitched the idea of a lumber co-operative to Fred Kessler, the president of Central Lumber Company in 1935.

LMC acquired the eagle through a silent auction at the 2023 Pro Dealer Industry Summit in October 2023. Brett Hanson of Tristate Building Center, Sisseton, S.D., donated the eagle to the auction. Proceeds from the auction supported the National Lumber and Building

now welcomes guests to its headquarters with a breath-taking, 5-ft.tall, hand-carved eagle.

Material Dealer Associations Political Action Committee (LUDPAC), which lobbies for lumber and building material dealers and promotes the industry’s agenda on Capitol Hill.


Following a brief uptick in new home sizes in 2021, the average size of a new home continues to inch smaller—dropping from 2,479 sq. ft. in 2022 to 2,411 sq. ft. in 2023, the smallest average size in 13 years—to match home buyer preferences for less square footage.

According to NAHB’s latest What Home Buyers Really Want study, home buyers are looking for homes around 2,070 sq. ft., compared to 2,260 20 years ago.

“It’s related to two factors that are linked,” said NAHB assistant vice president of survey research Rose Quint. “First, we’ve seen changes in home buyer preferences. Second, housing affordability has worsened in recent years.”

Builders are acting on this trend, with 38% indicating they built smaller homes in 2023 to help support home sales and 26% indicating they plan to build even smaller in 2024. They are also working to bridge the gap on housing affordability by cutting home prices, providing sales incentives and offering more afford-

38 • the merchant magazine • June 2024

Sierra Pacific to Acquire Seneca

cally reject such an offer. As a result, the buyers face ‘adverse selection’—the only sellers who will accept $750 are those unloading lemons.

Sierra Pacific Industries, Anderson, Ca., has agreed to acquire Seneca, Eugene, Or., and affiliates, combining two complementary, family-owned forest products businesses with strong historical roots on the West Coast.

able finishes. Median new homes prices dropped to $427,400 in 2023—down 7 percentage points from 2022, a drop not seen since 2009—while existing home prices continued to rise to $394,600, marking a 1 percentage point increase over the prior year.

“Smart buyers foresee this problem. Knowing they could be buying a lemon, they offer only $500. Sellers of the lemons end up with the same price they would have received were there no ambiguity. But the peaches all stay in the garage. “Information asymmetry” kills the market for good cars.”

• Energy Star appliances

• Walk-in pantry

Home buyers are not only shifting their preferences on size; they’re shifting their overall design preferences as well, placing higher value on personalization and authenticity. “Our homeowners are looking to personalize their homes,” said Donald Ruthroff, AIA, founding principal at Design Story Spaces LLC. “They want to it feel like it was made just for them and be significantly different than their neighbors’ homes.”

Structural wood panel buyers rely upon qualified inspection and testing agencies like the APA to routinely test and certify the quality of the products they buy. This creates an incentive for individual panel producers to “push” the standard. A passage from Ackerloff’s famous paper:

Founded in 1953, Seneca operates a 175,000-acre sustainably-managed tree farm, sawmills, and a biomass plant in Oregon. SPI, a leading lumber producer that manages over 2.1 million acres of timberland in California and Washington, as well as manufactures millwork, windows, and renewable energy. The combination of two highly complementary businesses with deep expertise in forest products will result in increased efficiency and significant benefits to employees and customers.

This is reflected in the upgrades buyers incorporate into their homes, whether it’s an island that looks like a piece of furniture, higher quality cabinets, or more expensive flooring. Features that remain at the top of buyers’ wish list include four outdoor features, two kitchen features, and two related to energy efficiency:

“Aaron Jones and Red Emmerson are both icons of the wood products industry. They were also friends and had a deep mutual respect for each other as industry leaders,” said Seneca CEO Todd Payne. “This proposed transfer makes so much sense given the companies provide complementary products, and have shared family values and company culture.”

• Laundry room

“There are many markets in which buyers use some market statistic to judge the quality of prospective purchases. In this case there is an incentive for sellers to market poor quality merchandise, since the returns for good quality accrue mainly to the entire group whose statistic is affected rather than to the individual seller. As a result there tends to be a reduction in the average quality of goods and also the size of the market.”

long, frigid winter climate, coupled with a short summer season, produces hardwoods with very tight growth rings. This creates lumber with outstanding color and fine texture, which is ideal for applications ranging from furniture, cabinetry and doors to flooring, paneling and more.

• Patio

This region supplies nine primary, widely used species, including: ash, basswood, cherry, hickory, hard maple, red oak, soft maple, white oak and walnut.

• Energy Star window

• Exterior lighting

Appalachian Region: Superior Quality

• Ceiling fan

• Garage storage

Both SPI and Seneca have a strong focus on sustainable tree management, also managing their timberland for thriving wildlife, healthy watersheds and soils, and world-class recreation. As Payne explained, “At Seneca, we grow more than we harvest annually. We have 92% more timber on our land today than we had 25 years ago. SPI also grows more than they harvest. Under their forest management plan they expect to have more large trees on their timberlands 100 years from now than they have today.”

• Front porch

Spanning several states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, the Appalachian region produces a wide range of hardwoods species—all with one thing in common: superior quality.

• Hardwood flooring

• Full bath on the main level

The companies also share a company culture that recognizes employees as their most valuable asset, values the support of the communities they operate in and serve, and

Thanks to the region’s climate conditions—warm summers that assist with tree growth, and cooler spring

When the industry is young, industry production technologies vary little and raw materials are relatively homogeneous (e.g., OSB), this isn’t a major problem. But it is a serious problem when the inspection and testing agencies find it difficult or impossible to keep up with a very rapidly changing industry. An example would be today’s overlaid Douglas fir plywood industry. There are rapid changes underway on both the demand side (e.g., much higher alkalinity concrete mixes are now essentially “pulping” conform panels) and on the supply side (e.g., much reduced

gives back by being dedicated to education and administering scholarship programs.

• Landscaping

supplies of small-knot, dense, Douglas fir veneers). The “market for lemons” is likely having a major effect on the size of this market today.

Overcoming the Market for Lemons

and fall seasons with cold winters, which allow that growth to be gradual—hardwoods from the Appalachian region feature tight growth rings, strong fibers, and consistent colors and grain textures. This leads to strength, durability and beauty in the lumber, in addition to excellent width and long length characteristics.

• Table space in the kitchen

Technology features are becoming increasingly popular, most notably security cameras, wired home security systems, programmable thermostats, video doorbells, multizone HVAC systems, and energy management systems.

How can individual panel producers overcome this “lemons market” problem, their industry’s “race to the bottom,” and depressed industry sales levels? They can offer company-specific product performance guarantees

Primary species include ash, cherry, hard maple, red oak, soft maple, white oak, basswood, beech, birch, walnut, poplar and hickory, which are great for high-end furniture, millwork, cabinetry, doors, flooring and paneling, and more.

“Seneca is known for its commitment to its people and communities, sustainable forest management, innovation in manufacturing and quality wood products,” said SPI president George Emmerson. “As a family-owned forest products company with similar values, SPI appreciates the opportunity to continue the legacy started by Aaron Jones and carried on by the Jones sisters. Seneca’s culture and operations are a natural complement to Sierra Pacific. We look forward to bringing together our shared expertise which will result in increased efficiency and benefits to employees and customers.”

No matter the region they come from, there are many North American hardwoods species to choose from. The decision as to which one to use comes down to the application and overall quality and look of the project.

The transaction is expected to finalized by the end of the third quarter.

Other home features that have seen strong growth in popularity over the past 10 years include: quartz or engineered stone for kitchen countertops, lighting control systems, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, built-in kitchen seating, and exposed beams.

Another approach is to more aggressively brand products. In either case, the mill’s products need to be clearly differentiated from their competitors’; as we discovered earlier, industry-wide, third-party quality certification is important but not sufficient. Like car buyers, panel buyers won’t chance paying peach prices when they may actually be buying a “dressed up” lemon.

– Don Barton is vice president of sales and marketing for Northwest Hardwoods, Tacoma, Wa. (

Ganahl Breaks Ground at Long Last


Teal-Jones Group, Surrey, B.C., has filed for bankruptcy protecton from its creditors.

For some structural panel producers, product differentiation requires a major change in company culture. For instance, it is very difficult to produce innovative, differentiated products for the end use market if the company doesn’t also adapt a different supplier-buyer mindset. Supplierpartners are often critical to the structural wood panel producer’s differentiation.

Ganahl Lumber Co., Anaheim, Ca., expected to begin construction in August on a new hardware store and lumberyard in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. The facility will replace its nearby Capistrano Beach location.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gordon Weatherill granted the multi-generational company a reprieve to raise the cash it needs, such as by selling land and other assets.

Escrow on the 17-acre Lower Rosan Ranch property, which Ganahl Lumber purchased from the city for $5 million, closed in late spring, following more than four years of planning, negotiations and applications. Ganahl portion will use about nine acres of the site for its new store and yard.

As industry competition comes to focus more and more upon only one of the “4P’s of marketing”—price— “lemons” tend to proliferate and industry sales volume tends to decline.

Teal-Jones, which owns three mills and has more than 400 employees, points to plummeting lumber prices, lower demand, rising labor costs, and sky-high interest rates. Reportedly, the cash crunch was made worse because it forced them to scale back operations starting in March.

General manager Alex Uniack said the journey has been “a challenging and complex process to get to this point, and we are excited to move the project into the construction phase.”

Home Depot, among others, had spent nearly 15 years attempting to purchase the property before the city zeroed in on Ganahl in 2017.

CHERRY is among the major hardwoods of the Appalachian Region.

–Roy Nott is president of Surfactor Americas LLC, Aberdeen, Wa., a German-owned producer of overlays, glue films, and press cleaning films for the global wood panel industry, with manufacturing operations in Finland, Germany and Malaysia. Reach him at

The beauty of the forest is yours to sell

Big Creek Lumber’s sawmill, in Davenport, CA, produces a wide variety of redwood lumber products to independent wholesalers, stocking distributors, and remanufacturing facilities. Big Creek is well known for producing high quality redwood products and providing an outstanding level of personalized service. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 39
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Washington State University researchers have received a twoyear grant to make more resilient and durable housing materials from thermally-modified cross laminated timber (CLT) and recycled carbon fiber.

The researchers are collaborating with Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) in Port Angeles and Construction Engineering Research Laboratory to explore ways to use advanced thermally-modified CLT material in deployable structures, with a goal of extending its application to single- and two-story residential buildings.

As part of the project, the researchers will analyze the structure and materials and evaluate the possibility of mass-producing these panels—a one-of-a-kind initiative in the Pacific Northwest.

“One primary objective of this project is to develop methods for connecting the panels together, facilitating the construction of modular and deployable structures,” said researcher Pouria Bahmani. “We utilize steel connections and will conduct thorough testing to ensure the safety and durability of these structures.”

CLT is an engineered wood product typically used for construction. It consists of layers of wood boards stacked in alternating directions and bonded together with structural adhesives. This cross-lamination technique enhances the strength and stability of the timber panels,

allowing them to bear heavy loads and resist deformation.

CLT is renowned for its sustainability, as it is often made from fast-growing trees. It offers several advantages over traditional construction materials, including faster construction times, reduced environmental impact, and excellent thermal properties. The wood product has gained popularity worldwide as a versatile and eco-friendly alternative to concrete, steel, and other conventional building materials. Because it’s lightweight compared to other construction materials, using CLT in modular construction and building projects

can also save energy during transportation.

The CRTC has been developing advanced CLT timber that uses thermally modified western hemlock in its formulation. Thermal modification makes the wood more resistant to decay and increases its durability.

The researchers have been working to strengthen the thermally modified wood by adding repurposed carbon fiber composites to the CLT panels. Carbon fiber composite materials are used in many modern products, from aircraft parts to wind turbine blades to fishing rods.

40 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
RESEARCHERS Matthew Clark and Hui Li produce CLT panels with thermally modified wood at the Research & Technology Park at Washington State University.
------------| INDUSTRY TRENDS

“We are currently focused on exploring the thermal modification process for western hemlock species to create modular, durable, and deployable structures constructed from thermally treated CLT panels,” he said.

The $360,000 grant is from the CRTC under their award from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Corps of Engineers. Bahmani has also recently received a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to work on modular mass timber construction to increase housing affordability in the United States. MM


After dropping from near-record highs in 2021 and 2022, inflation has plateaued at around 3% in North America and Europe. What that means for the global economy in general and the engineered wood products industry in particular, is revealed in the 2024 Structural Panel & Engineered Wood Yearbook

The Yearbook focuses on factors impacting the demand for engineered wood products.

Updated information in the 2024 Yearbook includes:

• Historical and current production statistics for structural panels (oriented strand board and plywood).

• North American product import and export levels.

• U.S. and Canadian residential construction statistics, including new and repair/remodeling.

• Demand and production for engineered wood products, such as glued laminated timber, I-joists and laminated veneer lumber.

Economic growth exceeded analysts’ expectations in 2023, thanks to strong consumer spending and incentives for business investment in manufacturing facilities. This was especially true with plants for producing chips, semiconductors and electronics, and government spending on defense and infrastructure. Homebuilders used mortgage buydowns to counteract rising mortgage rates, which supported greater new home sales than expected a year ago.

With low unemployment, strong investment in artificial intelligence and continued incentives to drive sales by homebuilders, the economy and single-family housing starts are expected to grow in 2024. An upward revision to the outlook for U.S. single-family starts provides a slight lift for structural panel and engineered wood product demand in 2024.

The entire 2024 market forecast, including all market segments and production outlook, as well as statistical data, is included in APA’s 2024 Structural Panel & Engineered Wood Yearbook, Form MKO-E189.

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FirePro® brand re retardant treated wood is treated with a patented formulation that contains no phosphates and has been shown to exhibit exceptional re performance properties without compromising other critical engineering properties such as strength, durability, corrosivity, and hygroscopicity. FirePro treated wood is also backed by a 50 year limited warranty*.

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FINDING TALENT right now is hard, and those difficulties are well documented. But when it comes to hiring sellers, some companies making it even harder on themselves.

The problem? Hiring sellers is simply a completely different—and unique—challenge from any other position in your organization. There are three obstacles that only exist in the selling role that get in the way. Unfortunately, traditional methods of hiring aren’t going to overcome them, and can actually make things worse.

Understanding the way that sellers think and act can lead to finding better applicants and making fewer hiring mistakes. Here are the three unique obstacles:

1. No Other Position Is Designed for a Fight

Other positions in your company have challenges to overcome. But no other position is expected to deal with others actively working against them.

Sellers must compete for business. They see everyone around them as competition, and they expect you, as employer, to see it that way, too.

One recent candidate was approached by a company that offered enormous commissions based on the second and third sales, after a small initial purchase. The problem? Those follow-on sales were the responsibility of an inside team, not the seller being hired.

When you’re constantly observing the world around you trying to take away your sale, that’s an unattractive offer. Despite potential on-target earnings in the high six figures, the candidate didn’t even ask for the interview.

“They can dream up those numbers all they want,” she said, “But it just doesn’t work like that. I’m not putting my income in someone else’s hands.”

2. No Other Position Is Designed to Be Ignored

Most positions get lots of feedback. Work is subject to review. Customers let you know what they think. One of the main functions of management is to let people know how they’re doing and enabling them to do better.

Sellers? Not so much. When they miss the mark, they’re met with silence. That may sound like an attractive proposition, but imagine a world in which self-improvement is largely left entirely up to you, alone. Doesn’t sound so great now, does it?

In fact, the internet has fundamentally changed selling. No longer do prospects need information early on in the sale. It’s made buyers ignore salespeople until the very end of their journey. They only engage after they’ve done all their research on their own.

This is why big offers alone don’t attract high-quality sellers. To the candidate, every dollar is the same, but not every earning opportunity is. Without the right tools

42 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
------------| MANAGEMENT TIPS

and structure in place, they’re left on an island. There’s too much to figure out and not enough time to hunt down business.

To employers, offers without this structure can be seen as “lots of freedom.” But to the candidate, it seems like the employer is relying on them to figure everything out. That’s unattractive, especially in a world where they’re already ignored more and more.

3. No Other Position Is All in Its Head

Think about the interview most of the people in your company had, before they were first hired. Their manager almost certainly was looking for either formal education or years of experience in order to consider them for the job. Not sellers. The vast majority started selling at some point in their career without any formal education, and with little experience. And that’s a problem, because unlike other professionals, whose work you can point to and say “that’s incorrect” with selling, it’s different.

The soft-skill nature of selling, combined with very little formal education, creates a space in which self-limiting beliefs can come into play. Hiring companies who don’t understand these hurdles are doomed to making bad hires more often.

The Costs Are Too High to Miss

The cost of missing a sales hire is so much higher than in any other position. They command some of the highest salaries in the organization. When they miss deals, those opportunities don’t come back around. The worst hires can even damage reputations.

A bad hire in management could cost a company tens of thousands of dollars. A bad hire in sales could cost that same company hundreds of thousands—or more.

Yet time and time again, companies are tossing up “We’re Hiring” posts and expecting their revenues to improve in six months or less.

The best sellers are already working somewhere else. They’re not looking for new roles. And employers who can’t understand their world aren’t going to get their attention. Instead, those employers are going to attract the wrong kind of talent that won’t move the needle.

If you want to hire the best sellers, you have to understand the reality they’re facing. Show them how you’ll help them compete. Show them how you’ll prepare and equip them. Search for the ones with the right mentality it takes to earn deals.

This is the only way to make certain you don’t bear the cost of a bad hire in sales, one where neither employer nor employee are enjoying their brief time together. MM

Sara Wesche is the director of customer enablement for Revenue Path Group, where she helps B2B sales companies develop their seller and business development talent and equip their teams to sell the way modern prospects buy (


The Softwood Lumber Board recently published its 2023 Annual Report, which details the organization’s impact generating more softwood lumber demand by expanding new and emerging markets and protecting existing markets.

“Through its direct investments and the efforts of our funded programs—the AWC, Think Wood, and WoodWorks—the SLB delivered another strong year for demand growth and impact for the softwood lumber industry, generating 1.9 billion bd. ft. in incremental demand in 2023,” said SLB president and CEO Cees de Jager.

Since 2012, the SLB and its partners have cumulatively generated more than 13.7 billion bd. ft. in incremental demand; this equates to an average return of 86 incremental bd. ft. for every $1 invested. Since 2015, the SLB’s efforts have created a net carbon benefit of 33.8 million metric tons of avoided and stored carbon dioxide emissions.

In 2023, the SLB continued to target investments across its key program areas of codes, communications, conversions, and education through its funded programs, partnerships, and initiatives.

In 2023, the SLB continued to target investments across its key program areas of codes, communica-

tions, conversions, and education through its funded programs, partnerships and initiatives.

Key accomplishments include:

• 10 new states adopted the IBC 2021 code provisions in 2023 with AWC support, bringing the total to 29. Code adoption in those states represents 1.1 billion bd. ft. of incremental lumber demand.

• Think Wood and WoodWorks co-nurtured leads that led to 51 projects breaking ground in 2023, representing 73.6 million bd. ft. Think Wood continues to nurture and produce sales qualified leads (SQLs) for project support, qualifying 352 SQLs last year.

• WoodWorks directly converted 470 light-frame and mass timber buildings and influenced 1,700 projects to choose wood, resulting in 842 million bd. ft. of incremental lumber in 2023. Sixty-six percent of the projects WoodWorks supports continued to be lightframe construction; 34% used mass timber, up from 26% in 2022.

• The SLB and funded program delivered more than 156,300 hours of education to architects, engineers, designers, developers, contractors, and code officials.

For the full report, visit report. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 43


Frame it All’s Riviera Privacy Fence provides homeowners seeking full privacy with a touch of elegance. It features tongue-and-groove boards with no gaps in between, ensuring complete privacy. The versatile composite boards can be installed either vertically or horizontally, offering flexibility in design.

Crafted to mirror the natural beauty of wood, the boards feature multi-chromatic colors and a woodgrain texture. The 360-cap coating on each board provides superior protection against rot, termites, mold and fading. The durable composite material, made from recycled plastic and sustainably sourced hardwood fibers, never requires painting or staining, and comes in five stylish colors.



Cornerstone Building Brands upgraded its Simonton MaxView and Ply Gem Perspective Multi-Slide Vinyl Patio Doors. New features include co-extruded exterior black and bronze color options with a white interior and expanded sizes of up to 10’ in height or 30’ in width. Applied using co-extrusion that will retain its color and character, the new color options offer all-season durability; complete, consistent coverage; scratch, scrape and scuff resistance; heat and cold resistance; and easy maintenance.


PLYGEM.COM (800) 746-6686 (888) 975-9436


Feeney has introduced DesignRail Modern, a sleek, modular aluminum railing system designed with the modern homeowner in mind.

Engineered for simplicity, components easily snap and screw together, making installation a breeze for anyone with basic DIY skills. Its hidden fasteners are tucked under a flat handrail for a polished, clean aesthetic. Additionally, the minimalist look is further enhanced by eliminating the bottom rail and offering long spans of up to 8 ft., significantly reducing the need for additional posts. Robust 6000 series aluminum posts and rails come pre-drilled for easy assembly. The system is available in Black and Textured Black, 36” and 42” high.


(800) 888-2418


As the fastest cutting circular saw in its class, Milwaukee’s new M18 FUEL 6-1/2” Circular Saw delivers up to 20% more power and 40% faster cut speed. The saw allows professionals to cut through dimensional lumber, sheet goods, and engineered wood, and deliver rip, cross, miter and bevel cuts.

Its PowerState Brushless Motor spins the blade at 6,000 RPM, maintaining high speeds underload even in demanding applications. RedLink Plus Electronics maximize tool performance and protection from overload, overheating and over-discharge.

Weighing 6.1 lbs, the tool has an arbor lock for easy blade changes, and depth and bevel adjustment levers for the most accurate cuts.

MILWAUKEETOOL.COM (800) 729-3878

44 • the merchant magazine • June 2024 ------------| NEW PRODUCTS


Grip-Rite’s new RED System hand-carry compressor combines versatility, performance and quietness. Operating at less than 60dB, it helps provide a quieter work environment without compromising performance.

Powered by an efficient 1 hp induction motor, the compressor provides fast pump-up time and recovery and weighs just 34 lbs.

With easy-to-use controls, quick-connect couplers, and a low AMP draw, it can be used to power all types of pneumatic nailers and staplers.

GRIP-RITE.COM (800) 676-7777



Combilift’s range of multidirectional forklifts, pedestrian reach trucks, straddle carriers and container loaders will allow you to maximise the capacity, improve efficiency and enhance the safety of your facility.


To find out how Combilift can help you unlock the safest operations.


StaCool Vest Core Body Cooling System’s fully adjustable over-vests provide all-day comfort, keeping workers cool and productive despite the summer heat.

Velcro straps at the shoulders, chest and stomach provide a comfortable fit and unparalleled mobility for wearers of all body types and sizes. Advanced cooling technology provided by ThermoPaks keeps body temperatures at safe levels for hours of use. A spare set of ThermoPaks is included with each vest. Each gel-packed cell works independently for extended cooling time.

Weighing just 6 lbs. when full hydrated, the vest is constructed of stain-resistant Denier Nylon Diamond Ripstop material. It comes in black, safety yellow, orange and green.

STACOOLVEST.COM (866) 782-2665 June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 45 ,
The Merchant Magazine & Building Products Digest 7 x 4 5-8.indd 1 13/05/2024 16:53:51



Sacramento Hoo-Hoo Club – Oct. 25, guest speaker meeting, The Officers Club, McClellan, Ca.;

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

World Millwork Alliance – Oct. 8-12, convention & show, Indianapolis, In.;

Fastmarkets – Oct. 9-11, 38th annual Forest Products North America Conference, Hyatt Regency, Boston, Ma.;

Western Wood Preservers Institute – Oct. 29-Nov. 1, annual meeting, Adero Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale, Az.; www.

Pacific Northwest Assn. of Rail Shippers – Oct. 10-11, fall meeting, Seattle Marriott Waterfront, Seattle, Wa.;

Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – Oct. 13, Don Gregson Memorial Golf Tournament, Los Serranos Country Club, Chino, Ca.; www.

Hardlines Conference – Oct. 16-18, Chateau Whistler, Whistler, B.C.;

Senco designed a new retail pack for its fasteners that features new sizing, a fresh design, and intuitive iconography. The updated packaging design is aimed at enhancing visual merchandising on dealer shelves. Customer-intuitive, colored gauge icons help customers identify the precise fastener they need. The new retail pack boasts a total of 77 SKUs.

North American Young Lumber Employees – Oct. 16-20, timber tour, Whitefish and Missoula, Mt.;

SENCO.COM (800) 543-4596

West Coast Lumber & Building Material Assn. – Oct. 18-20, annual convention, Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego, Ca.;

Environmentally friendly manufacturing process

• Made from American hardwoods

• JEM™ (Joint End Matched) Machined End Joints

• Thermal modification stabilizes the wood, making it 7 times less likely to warp, check, bow, cup, twist, expand or contract

• Class 1 durability rating


Processing Technologies for the Forest & Biobased Products Industries Conference – Oct. 30-Nov. 1, King & Prince Bach & Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, Ga.;

GlassBuild – America Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga.;

Western Building Material Association – Nov. 1-2, Build Your Competitive Advantage conference, Tulalip Resort, Marysville, Wa.;

West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association – Nov. 3, NorCal 2nd Growth Sporting Clays Shoot, Birds Landing Hunting Preserve, Birds Landing, Ca.;

Pomona Fall Home Show – Nov. 3-5, Pomona, Ca.;

LMC – Nov. 6-8, LMC Expo, Philadelphia, Pa.;


North American Wholesale Lumber Association – Nov. 8-10, annual Traders Market, Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Oh.;

Digger Specialties Inc.’s new Westbury Sorrento Mesh Railing is designed to provide a sophisticated, contemporary style that enhances the visual appeal of decks, balconies and porches.

Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association –Nov. 9, Build Your Competitive Advantage seminar; Nov. 10, annual Brewfest, Mile High Station, Denver, Co.;

It features unmatched long-term durability and resistance to the elements.

Westbury Aluminum Railing is available in 12 standard powder-coated colors with smooth or textured surfaces.

Heart of the Valley Home & Garden Show – Nov. 10-12, Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center, Salem, Or.;

Bay Area Home Show – Nov. 11-12, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, Ca.;


Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club – Dec. 2, holiday dinner, Zov’s, Tustin, Ca.;


Designed to perform and weather like an outdoor exotic hardwoods, MOSO Bamboo N-durance Rain-shed decking featured a warm, amber color that is finished with decking oil that prevents fast weathering and limits surface fungi development.

It features a solid, outdoor-density board made from compressed bamboo strips that has performance and weathering properties similar to outdoor-rated exotic hardwoods. The boards’ convex top drains water off the surface, keeping them drier and cleaner. It is available in a 1x6x6 with a double groove profile, and is covered by a 25-year warranty.

MOSO-OUTDOOR.COM (855) 343-8444

46 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
88 • the merchant magazine • OctOber 2023
------------| DATE BOOK 888-807-2580 Bend, OR DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS Colton / Fontana / Modesto / Salinas / Stockton, CA PRODUCTS & SERVICES Framing Lumber / Pallet Stock / Industrial Lumber / Softwoods Hardwoods / Cedar / Fencing / Decking / Redwood Custom Cut Stock / Treated Lumber / Tile Battens 3-Hole & Slotted Vents / Custom Cutting / Remanufacturing Heat Treating / Fire & CCA Treating “Focused on the future with respect for tradition” Since 1980 Mount Storm Forest Products 5700 Earhart Ct., Windsor Ca. 95492 Fax 707.838.4413 • Mill Fax 707.838.9690 • Phone 707.838.3177 Also in Stock: Domestic & Imported Hardwood Lumber & Plywood • Custom Moulding & Flooring Hardwood S4S • Solid Wood Glued-Up Panels & Countertops The Most Stable & Beautiful Hardwood Decking & Cladding Available •

Ace Offers Extra Mile Guarantee

Ace Hardware is rolling out its Extra Mile Promise, a guarantee that Ace has the expert advice and supplies needed to help consumers successfully tackle any paint project


product is present in the basements of about 2,200 houses in various stages of construction in limited markets. Most of the houses are not yet occupied.

Traditional mechanically-attached housewraps still make up more than two-thirds of all housewrap and WRB materials installed, but alternatives are making inroads.

Weyerhaeuser will cover the cost to either remediate or replace affected joists. It has halted production, sales and shipments of the product, and is collecting unused product

Combination WRB and structural sheathing panels, such as Huber’s ZIP System and Georgia-Pacific’s ForceField, now make up about 10% of this market among new homes. Self-adhered membranes are now approaching 10% of the market, as well. Fluid-applied membranes now constitute about 3% of new home housewrap/WRB installations.

Approximately $9 million of the product has been sold since December 2016. Weyerhaeuser expects to spend $50-

Alternatives to traditional housewrap are found more extensively on higher-end homes and multifamily buildings.

Windows & Doors Keep Growing

Ace Rebranding Handyman Division

Ace Hardware Corp. has completed the acquisition of Handyman Matters, franchisor of home repair, maintenance and improvement services based in Denver, Co.

Housewraps, Weather Barriers

John Venhuizen, president and CEO. “We know this isn’t the case, so to assuage these misperceptions, we decided to stand behind our large paint assortment with the Extra Mile Promise. Our objective is simple: to be known as the #1, best, most convenient, most helpful and most credible store for paint in the neighborhood.”

Residential window shipments increased 5.7% in 2016, amounting to more than 43.2 million units shipped across the nation. Looking forward, national growth is expected to increase another 5.6% in 2017 before trailing off somewhat in 2019 to 4.6% growth, according to a new Window & Door Manufacturers Association study.

Early next year, Handyman Matters will be rebranded as Ace Handyman Services and operate as a new stand-alone, subsidiary of Ace Hardware.

Trending in Residential Market

Weyco Recalls Coated I-Joists

Housewrap preferences are gradually evolving, according to a recent presentation at the Housewrap 2019 conference on builder and consumer practices by Ed Hudson, Home Innovation Research Labs.

Hudson shared that about 60% of all housewrap and weather-resistant barrier (WRB) material is installed on new homes; the remainder is installed primarily on homes being re-sided.

WESTERN WOOD Products Association recognized its new class of Master Lumbermen during the group’s annual meeting April 14-16 at the Hotel Indigo, Vancouver, Wa. [1] 2024 Master Lumberman recipients (left to right) Jeff Hahn, Idaho Forest Group; Tracey Row, Humboldt; Hank Spears, Sierra Pacific Industries; Chris L. Cannon, Woodgrain; and Joseph D. Krauss, Bright Wood Corp. [2] The Master Lumberman Awards were

Ace Offers Extra Mile Guarantee

Weyerhaeuser is recalling a batch of TJI Joists with Flak Jacket Protection, after linking an odor in certain newly constructed homes to a recent formula change in the coating that included formaldehyde-based resin. The issue is isolated to Flak Jacket product made after Dec. 1, 2016, and does not affect any of the company’s other products. Flak Jacket Protection is a coating applied to I-joists to enhance fire resistance, and it is not widely in use. The

DuPont’s Tyvek continues to dominate with nearly half the housewrap and WRB installations in new homes. DuPont established leadership in technology and education early and have maintained that leadership for decades.

Ace Hardware is rolling out its Extra Mile Promise, a guarantee that Ace has the expert advice and supplies needed to help consumers successfully tackle any paint project with just one trip to the store.

Available at participating stores nationwide, the vow was created to address and relieve the frustration consumers deal with when faced with the proposition of yet another trip to the store as a result of forgotten items or not enough paint. Ace is so confident in its one-trip guarantee that it will provide free delivery to consumers who may be in need of additional paint supplies.

In 2016, shipments of side-hinged entry doors increased by 6.1% to 9.7 million units on the national level, alleviating any concerns over the decrease in units shipped between 2014 and 2015. Based on the analysis of the data, annual growth is forecasted to climb to 5.9% in 2017 before declining to a modest 5.2% growth in 2019.

Handyman Matters is a franchise organization comprised of locally owned and operated and company-owned locations that offer professional and multi-skilled craftsmen, trained to handle a homeowner’s to-do list in addition to larger projects. On-site services to consumers and small businesses include carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting and flooring. It currently has 57 franchisees who collectively employ about 250 handymen and women in 121 territories across 23 states.


Architectural interior flush doors recovered from a decline the previous year by growing 4.5% in 2016 with nearly 2.9 million units shipped, while stile and rail doors continued its upward trend with a 6.6% increase with nearly 0.44 million units shipped. Annual growth of flush doors is forecast to be 4% in 2017 before declining to 1% in 2019. Stile and rail doors are also predicted to grow 4% in 2017 and decline to 1% by 2019.


Andy Bell, the founder and CEO of Handyman Matters, will continue to lead the day-to-day business operations for Ace Handyman Services from its headquarters in Denver. Integration and re-branding initiatives are currently underway with a target completion in first quarter 2020.

Traditional mechanically-attached housewraps still make up more than two-thirds of all housewrap and WRB materials installed, but alternatives are making inroads.

product is present in the basements of about 2,200 houses in various stages of construction in limited markets. Most of the houses are not yet occupied.

7 celebration in San Luis Obispo, Ca., that was attended by nearly 1,000.

Housewraps, Weather Barriers Trending in Residential Market

“While it hurt our pride to learn this, the truth is that while consumers trust Ace as the Helpful Place, far too many of them believed that our speedy sized stores didn’t have enough product to complete their paint project,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO. “We know this isn’t the case, so to assuage these misperceptions, we decided to stand behind our large paint assortment with the Extra Mile Promise. Our objective is simple: to be known as the #1, best, most convenient, most helpful and most credible store for paint in the neighborhood.”

Housewrap preferences are gradually evolving, according to a recent presentation at the Housewrap 2019 conference on builder and consumer practices by Ed Hudson, Home Innovation Research Labs.

Weyco Recalls Coated I-Joists

Weyerhaeuser is recalling a batch of TJI Joists with Flak Jacket Protection, after linking an odor in certain newly constructed homes to a recent formula change in the coating that included formaldehyde-based resin. The issue is isolated to Flak Jacket product made after Dec. 1, 2016, and does not affect any of the company’s other products.

Hudson shared that about 60% of all housewrap and weather-resistant barrier (WRB) material is installed on new homes; the remainder is installed primarily on homes being re-sided.

DuPont’s Tyvek continues to dominate with nearly half the housewrap and WRB installations in new homes. DuPont established leadership in technology and education early and have maintained that leadership for decades.

Flak Jacket Protection is a coating applied to I-joists to enhance fire resistance, and it is not widely in use. The

Combination WRB and structural sheathing panels, such as Huber’s ZIP System and Georgia-Pacific’s ForceField, now make up about 10% of this market among new homes. Self-adhered membranes are now approaching 10% of the market, as well. Fluid-applied membranes now constitute about 3% of new home housewrap/WRB installations.

Weyerhaeuser will cover the cost to either remediate or replace affected joists. It has halted production, sales and shipments of the product, and is collecting unused product from customers.

Approximately $9 million of the product has been sold since December 2016. Weyerhaeuser expects to spend $50$60 million resolving the issue.

Alternatives to traditional housewrap are found more extensively on higher-end homes and multifamily buildings.

e P l y w o o d

Windows & Doors Keep Growing

• H a r d w o o d M o u l d i n g ( a l d e r , c h e r r y ,

Ace Rebranding Handyman Division

m a h o g a n y , M D F , m a p l e , r e d o a k , p a i n t

g r a d e , p e c a n h i c k o r y , w h i t e o a k , w a l n u t ,

b e e c h )

• M i l l i n g ( m o u l d i n g p r o f i l e s , S 2 S , S L R 1 E ,

Residential window shipments increased 5.7% in 2016, amounting to more than 43.2 million units shipped across the nation. Looking forward, national growth is expected to increase another 5.6% in 2017 before trailing off somewhat in 2019 to 4.6% growth, according to a new Window & Door Manufacturers Association study.

Ace Hardware Corp. has completed the acquisition of Handyman Matters, franchisor of home repair, maintenance and improvement services based in Denver, Co.

Early next year, Handyman Matters will be rebranded as Ace Handyman Services and operate as a new stand-alone, subsidiary of Ace Hardware.

S L R 2 E , & r e s a w n l u m b e r )

• W o o d w o r k i n g A c c e s s o r i e s ( a p p l i q u e s ,

o r n a m e n t s , b u t c h e r b l o c k s , c o r b e l s , e t c )

• W o o d w o r k i n g S u p p l i e s ( d e f t f i n i s h e s ,

c o l o r p u t t y , a d h e s i v e s , e t c )

In 2016, shipments of side-hinged entry doors increased by 6.1% to 9.7 million units on the national level, alleviating any concerns over the decrease in units shipped between 2014 and 2015. Based on the analysis of the data, annual growth is forecasted to climb to 5.9% in 2017 before declining to a modest 5.2% growth in 2019.

Ou r p r o d u c t s a r e w i d e l y u s e d i n i n t e r i o r f i n i s h c a r p e n t r y , f u r n i t u r e ,

Handyman Matters is a franchise organization comprised of locally owned and operated and company-owned locations that offer professional and multi-skilled craftsmen, trained to handle a homeowner’s to-do list in addition to larger projects. On-site services to consumers and small businesses include carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall, painting and flooring. It currently has 57 franchisees who collectively employ about 250 handymen and women in 121 territories across 23 states.

c a b i n e t r y a n d h u n d

Architectural interior flush doors recovered from a decline the previous year by growing 4.5% in 2016 with nearly 2.9 million units shipped, while stile and rail doors continued its upward trend with a 6.6% increase with nearly 0.44 million units shipped. Annual growth of flush doors is forecast to be 4% in 2017 before declining to 1% in 2019. Stile and rail doors are also predicted to grow 4% in 2017 and decline to 1% by 2019.

Andy Bell, the founder and CEO of Handyman Matters, will continue to lead the day-to-day business operations for Ace Handyman Services from its headquarters in Denver. Integration and re-branding initiatives are currently underway with a target completion in first quarter 2020. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 47 34 n The Merchant Magazine n October 2019 20 n The Merchant Magazine n August 2017 R E E L 1321 N. Kraemer Blvd. (Box 879), Anaheim, Ca. 92806 Fax 714-630-3190 ( 7 1 4 ) 6 3 2 - 1 9 8 8 • ( 8 0 0 ) 6 7 5 - R E E L 3518 Chicago Ave., Riverside, Ca. 92507 (951) 781-0564 w w w. r e e l l u m b e r. c o m L U M B E R S E R V I C E A t R e e l L u m b e r S e r v i c e , w e s u p p l y d o m e s t i c a n d f o r e i g n h a r d w o o d s . O u r p r o d u c t s a n d s e r v i c e s i n c l u d e : • H a r d w o o d L u m b e r & P i n e • H a r d w o o d P l y w o o d & V e n e e r s • M e l a m i n
r e d s o f i n d u s t r i a l a n d m a n u f a c t u r i n g a p p l i c a t i o n s W e s t o c k a c o m p l e t e l i n e o f c o m p l e m e n t a r y p r o d u c t s t o c o m p l e t e v i r t u a l l y a n y w o o d w o r k i n g o r m i l l w o r k p r o j e c t W
h o l e s a l e
n d u s t r i a l L u m b e r
A t R e e l L u m b e r S e r v i c e , w e s u p p l y d o m e s t i c a n d f o r e i g n h a r d w o o d s . W h o l e s a l e d l b
Merchant 8-17 Layout.qxp_D SigNov03-1-8,41-48 7/25/17 1:18 PM Page 20
4 3 2
TO MARK Hayward Lumber’s centennial, CEO Bill Hayward sliced the birthday cake Hayward style—with a chain saw—during a Sept.
5 1 6 7
presented WWPA director Quality Standards Pete Austin [3] WWPA president Ray Barbee. [4] WWPA chairman Todd Payne. [5] Chairman’s Safety Award for Interfor was presented to Rick Robertson by Troy Little. [6] Chairman’s Award for Hampton Lumber Mills, accepted by Rodney Trammel. [7] Chairman’s Award for Western Forest Products, presented to Rich Frazer by Little.

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

Global DIY Summit – June 11-13, Rome, Italy;

West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association – June 13, Northern California golf tournament, Chardonnay Golf Course, Napa, Ca.;

National Lawn & Garden Show – June 17-19, Hyatt Regency, St. Louis, Mo.;

PCBC – June 19-20, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Ca.; www.

Western Wood Preservers Institute – June 23-25, summer meeting, Santa Fe, N.M.;

Window & Door Manufacturers Association – June 25-27, technical & manufacturing conference, Minneapolis, Mn.;

Bridge City Hoo-Hoo Club – June 28, 61st annual Bridge City golf tourney, Glendoveer Golf Course, Portland, Or.;

Riverside Home & Backyard Show – July 12-14, Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Ca.;

Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – July 17, speaker meeting/golf, Los Serranos Country Club, Chino, Ca.;

West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association – July 1819, 2nd Growth summer conference, Rancho Mirage, Ca.; www.

Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association – July 24, annual golf tournament, Denver, Co.;

Umpqua Valley Lumber Association – July 30-Aug. 1, Customer Appreciation Event, Umpqua Valley, Or.;

Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – Aug. 2-3, ladies weekend, Hilton, Palm Springs, Ca.;

Orgill – Aug. 5-18, fall online buying event;

International Woodworking Fair – Aug. 6-9, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga.;

Ace Hardware – Aug. 8-10, fall convention, McCormick Place, Chicago, Il.;

Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association –Aug. 15, annual clay shoot, Denver, Co.;

American Wood Protection Association – Aug. 21, summer executive committee meeting, Grand Rapids, Mi.;

Independent Home Improvement Conference – Aug. 27-29, JW Marriott Resort, Marco Island, Fl.;

National Hardwood Lumber Association – Aug. 28-30, intro to hardwood grading course, Memphis, Tn.;

Heiman Cheim, co-owner of Union Lumber Co., Marysville, Ca., passed away on May 6. He was 86.

Heiman graduated from Westminster University, Salt Lake City, Ut., in 1958. He spent much of his young adulthood working with his father and uncles at Union Lumber—the beginning of his 64-year career with the company. He would eventually buy the company from his uncles and continue the family-owned tradition with his son, Harry.

Robert Lynn Delaney, 84, retired president of Montana Lumber Sales, Missoula, Mt., died on Feb. 18.

Through his high school years, Bob worked in various positions at the Elkhorn Lumber Mill, a part of the family business. When Bob was 20 years old, his father passed away and he assumed active management duties for the family lumber mills. In 1964, Bob became president of Montana Lumber Sales in partnership with his mother and brother, Donald L. Delaney. In 1970, the lumber mills were sold along with the timber rights in 1973.

Bruce R. Palmer, 79, Pacific Northwest lumberman, died on April 14, seven months after being diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer.

Following his service in the U.S. Air Force as a nuclear weapons specialist, Bruce attended Oregon State University and earned a degree in forestry. He spent his career working in the forest products industry. In 1972, he joined the Duraflake division of Willamette Industries, Albany, Or., rising from sales to management.

Grace Meyers, former co-owner of Meyers Hardware, Marysville, Ca., passed away on Feb. 4 at the age of 102. While growing up, her parents, Loyal and Alma Tipton, owned Home Lumber Co., Yuba City, Ca. Grace and her husband, Fred Meyers, co-owned Meyers Hardware with her sister, Ruth Anderson, and brother-in-law, Robert Anderson. Grace later worked for her brother-in-law, George Meyers, and his wife, Mardel, at Meyers Roofing.

Oscar W. “Red” Nelson, 93, retired Colorado lumber broker, died on April 2.

He operated O.W. Red Nelson Lumber Co., Wheat Ridge, Co.


48 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
------------| DATE BOOK
------------| IN MEMORIAM
1 1/2” to 12” Diameter in Stock. June 2024 • the merchant magazine • 49 PAGE 19 All-Coast Forest Products Cover III Allweather Wood 16-17 Atlas 39 Big Creek Lumber 48 C&E Lumber Co. 45 Combilift 23 CT Darnell 33 Diamond Pier 7 Disdero Lumber 3 Doman 35 Elk Creek Forest Products 32 Green Products Co. 11 Huff Lumber Co. Cover III Humboldt Sawmill 25 Idaho Timber 37 Krauter Auto-Stak 46 Mount Storm Forest Products 31 NAWLA Cover IV Orgill 33 Pelican Bay Forest Products Cov. II, 29 Redwood Empire 47 Reel Lumber Service 41 Royal Pacific Industries 13 Simpson Strong-Tie 21 Swanson Group Sales Co. 7 Sylvanix Outdoor Products Cover I TruWood 9 Western Woods, Inc. 5 Weyerhaeuser Co. | ADVERTISERS INDEX Storing millwork can be tough. Size variation, custom orders, temperature sensitivity—all can add to the challenges suppliers face as they seek efficient onsite storage solutions. That’s why Greg Zuern decided to try something completely different. Together with CT Darnell and Sunbelt Rack, Zuern Building Products consolidated all their millwork into one reimagined building for maximum efficiency. The results speak for themselves. Thanks to this change, they saw: 50% faster pick times $8MM more in deliveries with fewer trucks and drivers Maximized inventory efficiency and increased SKU count by over 15%
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One. Stop. Shop.


NINETY-EIGHT YEARS ago this month, The California Lumber Merchant covered the final “log drive” in Minnesota. Before the proliferation of trucks, trains and coast-to-coast roadways, logging companies would commonly dump timbers into nearby rivers and have a team of “log drivers” keep watch and guide the logs as they floated towards the sawmills downstream.

The process was time consuming, not always efficient (timbers were frequently lost to the shallows at the river’s edge, especially during jams), and dangerous (the drivers had to stand on the floating logs and jump between them, especially while responding to jams; many fell and were crushed between the mighty timbers).

The state of Minnesota recognized the passing of history and commissioned a camera crew to film the state’s last big log drive “for historical reference and use by the state schools, forestry department, and

Minnesota Historical Society.”

The drive began five miles from north of Floodwood, Mn., where a lumber company had completed the cutting of 6 million ft. of Norway and white pine. The wood was floated down the Whiteface River to Cloquet, to be milled.

As the decades passed, log drives became less common across the country and finally came to an end, due to environmental concerns, in the 1970s. America’s final log drive reportedly took place in 1976 along the Kennebec River in Maine. Highlights of the wood’s six-month journey, as it traveled south from Moosehead Lake, were also filmed for historical purposes.

* * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, in San Jose, Ca., a local lumber dealer found his own way to make headlines. As The Merchant reported in June 1926:

Few Lumbermen Can Afford This Stunt

Ray Hicks has so much money that on next Friday afternoon he’s going to stand on a street corner and give it away! But there’s a catch: you’ve got to answer his questions first.

Hicks, who is a wealthy lumberman, is incensed at the ignorance of his fellow citizens when it comes to civic matters. It all began four days ago when he made an experiment. He stood on the post-office steps and asked the first 13 people who came along where the post office was.

“Only seven of them could tell me,” he said.

So he made up his mind to lead his townsmen into better ways, and decided to hold a personal educational campaign.

“I want to stand on a street corner and give away dollar bills for correct answers to my questions,” he said.

The city council voted unanimously to let Hicks stand at First and San Fernando streets from noon to 1:00 and from 4:00 to 5:00 next Friday afternoon. “I will give away at least $150—maybe much more,” said Hicks. “But they’ve got to answer my questions first.”

The questions will pertain to civic affairs. MM

50 • the merchant magazine • June 2024
The cover of the June 1926 issue featured Schumacher Plastic Wall Board. At the time, drywall was just catching on, having been invented 10 years earlier by U.S. Gypsum. LOG DRIVERS in Minnesota were soon to be out of work—a fate that would befall their brethren in other states over the next 50 years.
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