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JUNE 2014




June 2014


 Volume 92  Number 12



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


Special Features 8 FEATURE STORY










You Buy Structural. We Throw In Beautiful.™

© 2014 Boise Cascade Wood Products, L.L.C. BOISE CASCADE, the TREE-IN-A-CIRCLE symbol, “Great products are only the beginning.” FILLER KING and “You Buy Structural. We Throw In Beautiful.” are trademarks of Boise Cascade Company or its affiliates.


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FILLER KING Structural Woods




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In Every Issue




32 SPECIAL FOCUS: SOUTHERN PINE CHANGE OF ADDRESS Send address label from recent issue, new address, and 9-digit zip to address below. POSTMASTER Send address changes to The Merchant Magazine, 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872. The Merchant Magazine (ISSN 7399723) (USPS 796560) is published monthly at 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660-1872 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Periodicals Postage paid at Newport Beach, Ca., and additional post offices. It is an independently-owned publication for the retail, wholesale and distribution levels of the lumber and building products markets in 13 western states. Copyright®2014 by Cutler Publishing, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. It reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it.

June 2014





TOTALLY Random By Alan Oakes

Tomorrow’s leadership


S WE NEAR the end of the first half of the year, I must admit to being a little puzzled as to where we all are. Based on my calls, there’s no doubt business is better and the industry is healthier, but housing starts are not quite where we expected them to be. At the end of the first quarter, starts were slightly up, but we do not seem on track for the 1.1 million starts most economists had projected for this year—although a bad winter surely had some impact. April’s numbers (1.05 million) are a little more promising, although growth clearly is multi- instead of single-family. Fingers are crossed for the second half. We are also seeing a spurt this year of mergers and acquisitions, as I had predicted earlier. Time will tell if this is good or bad. Last month (“What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?,” p. 6), I brought up the question of where our future leaders will come from. The same question should be asked a different way regarding how do you position yourselves for leadership if you are just starting out or wanting to move up the corporate ladder. As a business owner, and as I get older, I know that I sometimes tend to dwell on the past instead of embracing the future. Equally, managers of tomorrow perhaps must first understand why things are today what they are before they can understand where to go in the future. My own feeling is that some of the old business values we had are still valid in today’s world, whereas others have gone or may have to go the way of the dinosaur. Whether you want to be a leader in your current company or a new one in the future, perhaps even your own, I would urge you to learn to walk before you start running. Fully understand how a business grows, why it can sometimes die, and what it needs to be able to continue growing into the future. The best thing you can do for yourself is grab on to mentors (often developed from attending industry and association meetings, as well as from within your own company). Build a wide range of people you can call for advice or insight both in and out of the industry. Find people who can and will help you. This industry is studded with people only too willing to do that. You have to be trusted at every level of your organization. Keep to your words and live up to your and your company’s values. Stay away from the incessant downers present at many companies. Stick with people who are talented and have a great track record. With your customers (or those you interface with) learn all you can about their business—make it more of a partnership than a sale to a customer. I have learned that word partner bandied around, but in most cases it’s pure lip service. Be a real partner! Even in the bad times, stay optimistic (reasonably so) and keep those around you up there with you. Always see the bright side to a storm and keep your head open to change. I love that British song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Something I still struggle with is staying patient. But most good things do not happen overnight and it’s not generally of the real world for that to happen. Give people and new projects a chance to succeed. Slow, steady change and success will build confidence and, frankly, less worry than having a blockbuster success that cannot be managed. I am a career risk taker—sometimes good, sometimes bad. But on the plus side, I wouldn’t change even the bad decisions I’ve made. In business you need to have an instinct that can help predict success. That means doing your homework first, but also making mistakes. You can’t be right 100% of the time unless you take no risk. Perhaps the greater risk is taking no risk at all! I have worked for bosses who were ditherers. Make decisions promptly and don’t water them down to appease everyone. Push for the best solution. Often decisions, even if not quite the best solutions, can be modified as time goes on. Over the years, I have seen the wrong people get promoted or praised for ideas they had not thought of (nor ever could have dreamed). They were good at taking credit for someone else’s ideas and skills. Learn to document, document and document. Keep good records. Having a good trail makes perfect sense Lastly, learn everything there is to know about your competition—whether it be asking customers, observing them at trade shows, walking in their stores, listening at industry events. Do not be surprised by what they announce—try to know what they are doing so you are not in a defensive mode when the news hits. As the industry grows again, there will be opportunities unlike anything we have seen the past seven years. Be ready for when that phone rings and opportunity arises. Make sure it is you they call!




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June 2014

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FEATURE Story By Brandy Alexander-Wimberly

New technology may provide power from within the building envelope


continue to permeate our world, one disruptive technology may be changing the game all together—one that communicates without batteries or wires at all. By harnessing the power of existing radio waves, ambient backscatter technology may present an entirely new way of developing for the smart environment. This emerging communication system is being developed at the University of Washington in Seattle. It essentially enables tiny devices to use existing TV and cellular transmissions as their only source of power, eliminating the need for wires to communicate progressively extended distances S CONNECTED DEVICES

and in previously inaccessible places. “If you think about conventional radio like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, energy is taken from the mobile device’s battery, turned into radio signals and actively emitted by the device. But in ambient backscatter, we don’t actively emit any energy,” says Aaron Parks, a PhD student at the University of Washington who is on the development team and works under Prof. Shyam Gollakota and Prof. Josh Smith. “We use existing radio energy, and we reflect that existing energy towards nearby peer devices. It’s kind of like using a signal mirror to communicate with someone, so you can select whether you’re shining the

BUILDING MATERIALS with embedded ambient backscatter-enabled sensor tags may be used to monitor a building’s structural health, temperature and moisture without the need for wiring infrastructure or periodic battery replacement.


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June 2014

sun’s light at them or not, and you can communicate with someone on a distant hilltop without actively emitting any energy.” Parks says that ambient backscatter far exceeds similar technology in terms of power consumption: “We’re two to three orders of magnitude better than conventional active radio, because we don’t emit signals; we use existing signals. In the context of mobile devices, a pretty significant amount of energy goes to Wi-Fi or mobile communication, so we can essentially augment that with ambient backscatter technology.” Parks’ team is most excited about the potential the technology creates for battery-free communication devices. While the team says it is a ways off from making this commercially available to developers and manufacturers, it certainly has identified an abundance of use cases. In addition to the obvious applications like extending or augmenting battery life, are the possibilities of sensor networks that work within structures and environments with no power requirements. “We’ve done a lot in our lab with RFID sensors, which are battery-free and communicate with RFID readers, and I think ambient backscatter technology lends itself to sensing networks as well,” Parks says. “Imagine outfitting every tree in an orchard with moisture and humidity sensors that relay information on the tree’s health.” Ambient backscatter devices, dubbed “tags,” can be embedded within smart buildings as well. He explains: “One of the things that people have been excited about with

RFID sensors is putting strain gauges on big structures. Ambient backscatter tags can be embedded in concrete within a skyscraper, and since they don’t need power, they would be relatively maintenance-free. They could theoretically monitor strains and stresses and provide an estimate of structural health. For instance, after an earthquake, these sensors could quickly report if the building is safe for reentry.” J.R. Babineau, building scientist with Johns Manville, Denver, Co., says he can see the potential for multiple uses for ambient backscatter within the building envelope. “I could envision a builder wanting to include sensors with these devices installed as part of the roof. Maybe that even means their roofing guarantee costs less, because you would know well in advance if there were a problem. I could also envision us encouraging architects and builders to use this kind of technology, especially in key areas like simple sensors to detect moisture. I could even see this being used by the Department of Energy as a way to collect data easily that doesn’t involve stringing a bunch of wires, because today it’s kind of a big deal to try to instrument a building. If it would be possible to do it much less expensively, that would be a big improvement.” Parks says his team’s technology could be manufactured inexpensively. “There’s nothing about these tags that couldn’t be made the same way as a five-cent RFID tag. You don’t need a battery, you don’t need a solar panel,” he says. “So we can make these using a roll-to-roll process very cheaply and with tiny integrated circuits. We can maybe even make smart wallpaper that shares some sort of data throughout a room, for example. Sensing nodes that are built into walls is technically possible.” Babineau considers the technology unique and promising since it is both wireless and battery-less. “Today, in terms of instrumenting a building, I do not know of anything that you can do that is completely wireless,” he says. “Avoiding wires lends a huge amount of durability to this, because when you add sensors and wires there is a lot more opportunity for things to break (during construction). If you can bury something in a system, then maybe just one trade needs to know about it but everyone else can avoid it, then you’re good and you can move on.” Charles Cottrell, v.p. of technical

AMBIENT BACKSCATTER devices wirelessly communicate without batteries by reflecting existing ambient radio signals. Television towers, cell towers, and other ambient sources of radio waves provide power to the devices.

services for the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, also believes the technology looks interesting. “It looks like a very beneficial tool for building scientists to embed sensors that could transmit data out of walls, although (running wires) is not that difficult for most construction, but it certainly makes it tougher to bury things inside of walls,” he says. “This technology looks fairly similar to the key cards you use to get in and out of a parking garage.” So, will ambient backscatter technology get us one step closer to mass adoption of the connected building? Perhaps, and Babineau is confident that commercial construction will be first to integrate such a technology. “Commercial buildings are ahead of residential in terms of the smart building,” he says. “Commercial buildings have more margin for cost to implement systems, whereas on the residential side it’s so driven by cost with rare exceptions. Also, the smarter the structure, the smarter the people operating the building need to be and that’s also where a commercial building has the benefit of dedicated facilities managers that can be educated on how to properly run whatever the smart systems are, whereas with residential, it’s the general public.” Parks explains that another key differentiator for his team’s technology is the opportunity to reprogram the tags. “In conventional RFID tags, those are single purpose and they don’t have much in the way of smarts,” he says. “All they say is ‘here is my ID,’ kind

of like an IP address. With ambient backscatter tags, I think the most exciting version of that would be a wirelessly reprogrammable tag. In other words, a single chip that you could reprogram wirelessly from a nearby laptop or mobile phone that has an access point attached.” He says they’re currently working with computer science students on developing a platform and API. “We’re identifying where this would have the most benefit, whether that would be consumer electronics or commercial electronics,” Parks says. “We currently have research prototypes, so it’s difficult to say when this would be commercially available and what hurdles we’ll have to cross prior to commercialization. We’re developing a new radio communication standard and there are some hurdles there. Maybe by this time next year we’ll have something to talk with manufacturers about.” The future of ambient backscatter is not clear, but the University of Washington team establishes one thing. It isn’t designed to replace conventional Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but it does have the potential to augment and extend devices that also rely on battery life. – Brandy Alexander-Wimberly is an independent writer and part of the Interrupt team, a strategic marketing agency devoted to the building materials and home improvement space. To view the University of Washington team’s paper published last year, visit

June 2014

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PRODUCT Spotlight By Jonathan Wierengo, The Tapco Group

All photos by The Tapco Group

Boldness meets beauty Trends in alternative siding, roofing and trim


FASCINATING TREND has emerged in the world of exterior home products in recent years. Builders and homeowners alike, inspired by cable TV home shows and dazzlingly beautiful home-oriented websites, have grown increasingly bold. They are mixing exterior materials, cladding homes in previously unseen colors, and adopting dramatic new approaches to use of trim, among other initiatives. The exciting new era of experimentation has been welltimed to the ongoing improvement in exterior building products manufactured from man-made materials. These new products enable builders, remodelers and homeowners to create distinctive, exciting appearances. The result: homes with such gorgeous curb appeal become the envy of everyone in the neighborhood. Let’s examine some of the building materials leading this trend.

Composite roofing

The latest trends are elevating composite roofing to new heights in terms of installation ease, maintenance freedom, aesthetics, and fire-, hail- and wind-resistance.


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June 2014

Composite roofing materials’ lengthy list of benefits begins with the fact they are much lighter weight than slate, metal and some other traditional roofing materials. That’s a major advantage that translates to fewer handling and installation challenges. Composite roofing materials also require less upkeep and are much more durable than slate tiles, cedar shakes, and asphalt shingles. Composite roofing is so long lasting that a number of brands offer limited lifetime warranties. Tied to composite roofing’s durability are key safety attributes that have led to growing popularity in regions plagued by wildfire and severe windstorms. Composite roofing products with exceptional fire, wind uplift, and impact ratings are the logical and often only choice in areas of fire-ravaged California and storm-prone Texas. In addition, composite roofing is also favored in heavy snow country, where the product effectively holds and then sheds snow. Another quality, curb appeal, also adds to builder, remodeler and homeowner satisfaction. Outstanding aesthetics help ensure composite roofing products provide the crowning glory on a growing number of homes coast to

coast. Composite roofing brands offer many colors and an even wider variety of pre-mixed color combos. Also available is cool roofing, which increases home comfort and reduces energy costs.

Vinyl Siding

According to a recent report in Realtor Magazine, exterior replacement products place high on the list of the most cost-effective home improvements. Siding is one exterior product that delivers a substantial ROI, returning on average about 70% of replacement costs at time of resale. Among siding products, vinyl is growing as one of the best ways to add enormous appeal while reining in costs. Today’s vinyl siding has never been better, featuring much greater weather resistance and more attractive looks. Use of premium trim can make this appealing product even easier on the eyes. Another upside is that vinyl siding provides a head-turning fit with one of the newer trends in home exteriors, which calls for mixing different materials in a home’s elevation. This blending can infuse a tired façade with new aesthetic appeal, creating a much more visually interesting custom appearance. Home builders are incorporating vinyl siding that expertly mimics the appearance of wood, brick, stone and other materials as accents in home facades. And when it comes to color, no one has to feel limited by the traditional selection of eight to 10 vinyl siding hues, dominated by white, off-white, and gray. Technological advances in vinyl siding have expanded that palette to more than 20 colors, making possible far more striking hues that are winning growing favor with homeowners across the country.

PVC Trim

PVC trim is also gaining popularity. It can help transform an ordinary home’s exterior into a “home and garden” magazine-worthy showplace. Today’s PVC trim offers the

COMPOSITE roofing Inspire Aledora Slate features a Class A fire rating, 110-mph wind uplift rating, and Class 4 impact rating.

PVC TRIMBOARD with sealed edge technology, such as Kleer TruEdge, provides a smooth finish, while it resists staining, easily wipes clean.

benefits of easy installation and weather-resistance we’ve come to expect. And it does so with unprecedented beauty and versatility. Made with 100% high-density PVC, the newest generation of trim is as easy to work with and install as wood. Builders can nail, drill, glue and rout PVC trim boards using conventional tools, leading to faster completion of jobs. Yet it has none of wood’s natural disadvantages. Modern PVC trim and moldings are impervious to moisture, insects, rotting, splitting, swelling or cupping, even when up against the most challenging climactic conditions. They are a logical choice, for instance, in coastal areas characterized by moist salty air. Many PVC trim boards offer great surface durability, are UV-stable in unpainted form and, if desired, can be painted with 100% latex paints. Sealed edge technology is now also available to keep trim looking clean and beautiful. It resists dust and dirt during and after construction. The right trim can add eye-catching detail and character around the doors, windows and shutters of homes. Other common application areas can include corbels, cornices, cupolas, garden and patio structures, and soffits. Lighter trim on darker-colored homes is an emerging trend, driven by the fact lighter colors can draw the eye to the architectural nuances of a home. Uses of trim are limited only by the architect’s or homeowner’s imagination. In the years ahead, ongoing research and development, coupled with developments in manufacturing, should ensure a parade of exciting new exterior products. We’re finding ways to improve on the products Mother Nature gave us, to the delight of everyone who appreciates stunningly beautiful homes. – Jonathan Wierengo is vice president of marketing for The Tapco Group, Wixom, Mi. Reach him at jonathan_wierengo@ June 2014

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MARGIN Builders By Jerome Zenoby, Heartland Siding by ProVia

Selling siding in the digital age


HE WAY SIDING is sold today is vastly different than the way we did it 10 to 15 years ago. And yet, the core of this activity remains the same. It all boils down to human-to-human interaction. As sales trainer Brian Tracy once said, “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.” How can we apply this to siding? And what kinds of tools can we use today to do this most effectively? A careful blend of traditional approaches combined with new digital “cool tools” will not only help you sell more siding, but ensure you have happier customers too.

Cool Tools

We’re starting to see a shift where homeowners are self-educating using today’s digital tools. Many times, before they even talk to us, they’ve already been influenced by information they’ve found on websites, in discussion forums, via apps, and even through social media.

For siding buyers, whether they’re homeowners, builders, contractors, this is a reversal of mindset. Buyers today know they can self-serve the information they need to narrow down the selection process, without being dependent on salespeople to give them the information they’re looking for. Often, by the time a customer calls someone, they’ve already decided (or are pretty close to deciding) what they want. When selling siding, you could be in or out of the selection process without even knowing about it. To make sure you’re in the game, rely on your siding manufacturer to give you the ammunition you need. Most manufacturers now offer ingenious tools like online visualizing software. Heartland Siding by ProVia has a Visualizer on our website that allows people to virtually remodel their homes, without spending a penny or swinging a hammer! We also have our a Designer Collections look-book, a 52-page photographic catalog that features groupings of complementary color choices for vinyl siding, entry

PROVIA’S VISUALIZER allows prospective customers to virtually remodel their homes.


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June 2014

doors, and manufactured stone. By showing various combinations of harmonious color options for exterior building products, the look-book provides creative idea-starters for contractors and dealers to use with their customers. It’s available in a print version and also online, and helps people become a designer by empowering them with professionally chosen color palettes. Tools like visualizers and look-books help take the guesswork and risk out of making siding choices, helping ensure a satisfied customer.

Old Is Still Gold

As I’ve worked in the siding business, I’ve developed relationships with people and organizations across our industry, including other siding manufacturers. We all agree, old school is still working, and there’s a need for it. Sure, we have great digital tools that help to educate and influence the final purchase. However, that final purchase is usually not made without the buyer actually holding a product sample in their hands, or looking at it in-person on an installed home. So, in the final stages, decisions are not being made without seeing, touching and feeling the actual product. Digital tools add some desirable sizzle that makes the process exciting for the buyer. But the final decision is a human-to-human interaction. As a siding brand manager, I get a close-up view of what salespeople are using. We still see heavy ordering of traditional tools like hand sample boards, color fan decks, brochures, and showroom display materials. So today we blend old and new approaches to selling siding. We put a lot of thought into everything we do with our marketing and sales tools, such as our literature, website, visualizer, and look-book. Our goal is simply to help solve a problem or achieve a goal. You can’t go wrong if you do everything you can to simply provide quality tools, old school and digital, that help everyone have a successful outcome. Long before digital tools were available, Tom Hopkins, another great sales trainer, coined the phrase “getting people happily involved with your product.” Keep that as your focus and you’ll sell a lot of siding. –Jerome Zenoby is Heartland Siding and Heritage Stone brand manager for ProVia, Sugarcreek, Oh. Reach him at

June 2014

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INDUSTRY Trends By Jessica Arant, DMSi

RAD tools

What they are, who can use use, and why your business needs them A TYPE OF cloud computing, Platform as a Service or PaaS (pronounced “pass”), is changing the way business software is delivered. PaaS allows consumers to essentially rent easy to use, high-end development resources. Powerful tools are now available to an entirely new audience. Software users are becoming software producers, and they are creating business applications with unbelievable speed. This dramatic shift in the technology landscape is due in part to Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools. RAD tools have graphic interfaces with menus and buttons that let users build software with the click of a mouse. This reduces some of the timeconsuming coding work. When PaaS and RAD tools are combined, it reduces a lot of the coding work.

The tech company Progress says their RAD component, Rollbase, creates software with “80% drag-anddrop and 20% coding.” Not only do PaaS-based RAD tools dramatically speed up the development process, they are simple enough to be used by almost anybody. RAD tools often start with basic templates for several types of programs like a calendar, time clock, contact manager, etc. Users then customize the program by dragging and dropping different elements on the screen. For instance, an employee database could have fields for home address, email, phone number, birthday, nickname, SSN, and branch office. Users simply click on the fields they want to include. It really is that easy. If you can move icons around your desktop, then you can build a

RAD TOOLS start with basic software templates. Users then click on items from the “Components” menu to customize the programs. (Images courtesy of Progress Software)


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June 2014

custom calendar, online catalog, asset manager, or billing program.

Why you should care

PaaS-based RAD tools are revolutionary, but not because of the kinds of programs they build. There are already plenty of calendars, time clocks, and document storage applications available. RAD tools matter because now non-programmers can create customized software, and they can do it very quickly. This is a game-changer for business operations. Customized software offers benefits off-the-shelf software can’t touch. RAD tools can solve some fundamental business problems and shift the way a company thinks about technology.

Problem: You don’t work with your software, you work around it

The bar for “good” business software is pretty low. Most companies settle for applications that “almost” or “usually” perform as needed. Programs with lots of functions can be cumbersome to use and difficult to learn. There are too many clicks and too many screens required for basic processes. Despite the wealth of features, the software is still surprisingly limiting. Users come up with workarounds to find what they need. For instance, an employee might look up pricing for a job by searching for the account and then filtering by location. A RAD tool lets companies build

software around their existing processes. If employees want to look up orders by route number or “Ship To” location, then route number and “Ship To” can be made searchable values. Users can also create custom logic and workflows. For instance, a scheduling program can automatically assign tasks to employees with the lightest workload. Screens and menus can be arranged in ways that make sense for individual users. Customized software can eliminate the need for workarounds, because the most important functions can be brought forward and grouped together.

Problem: Too many options

Most people use multiple programs to do their jobs. There are separate applications for email, bookkeeping, scheduling, inventory management, etc. These programs usually aren’t connected and don’t share information. It’s an inefficient setup, especially if you need to switch between several screens to complete one task. Managers and admins may need to create separate employee databases for scheduling, payroll, and HR programs. The PaaS/RAD tool combination replaces individual software applications with a unified ecosystem of custom programs. Employees can access their email, work schedule, daily tasks, time clock, PTO (paid time off) requests, and company profile from one location. A custom system also makes life easier for administrators and system managers, because the programs pull from the same database. Messages, entered time, and performance reviews are all attached to the same employee record. This makes it easy to crosscheck PTO requests against a schedule, and there’s no worry about conflicting records in different systems. One of the best opportunities for a RAD tool to improve operations is within the sales team. Many sales reps and managers would like to tie their notes from site visits and phone calls to a customer’s order history, but most invoicing software doesn’t track anything other than sales. Businesses could use a RAD tool to build a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program that works with their sales order software. Reps could easily check recent discussions with a customer while on a sales call. The service team could view a log of all support requests tied to a specific order.

SALES REPS can update their custom CRM program’s display using their mobile devices.

Problem: Lost in translation

Some businesses use their IT department or an outside firm to customize or create in-house programs. It’s usually a lengthy and expensive process, and yields uncertain results. Miscommunication between users and programmers quickly increases a project’s cost. There can be a long delay between requesting a change and seeing the result, so misunderstandings aren’t discovered until it’s too late. This is a special concern for businesses trying to change their existing infrastructure or launch a new project like a customer self-service website. RAD tools reduce delays and mistakes by giving users a more active role in the development process. Instead of hoping the programmers will understand a list of requests, the people who actually use the software can update screens, rename fields, and customize functions to what they need. Then they can hand it off to the IT department to implement the changes. Allowing users to do a significant portion of the design work reduces the risk of miscommunication. RAD tools tee up the code for programmers and help control costs.

How to get your very own RAD

RAD tools are available in a couple of ways. Companies like Zoho and Workxpress have standalone options that let you build new applications from the ground up. Another option is to use a RAD tool attached to a larger software program, specifically a SaaS program. (Software as a Service programs are cloud-based applications. Web email services like Gmail and

hosted ERP systems are examples of SaaS products.) Some SaaS providers are starting to offer RAD tools with their main applications. These tools let users build new programs or customize parts of the “parent” software. This can be a great strategy if one of your central software products has a RAD tool available. Enhancing and improving your existing central processes can be preferrable to starting at square one. A quick note about names: not all providers call these sorts of programs “RAD tools.” Some use the term Graphic User Interface (GUI) builder or Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS). Zoho simply calls their Create program “a custom app builder.” When you’re researching this topic, look for PaaS products and app builders that use the phrases “drag and drop” or “point and click.” These terms distinguish the easy-to-use PaaS tools from those that require more programming knowledge. The PaaS/RAD tool combination is a proven technology that’s under-represented in the building materials industry. This is a window of opportunity for forward-thinking organizations. Start exploring the options and how they would fit in your business. Find out if any of your current software providers have a RAD tool or are developing one. Customized software offers huge operational and competitive advantages to businesses ready to embrace it. – Jessica Arant is the communications coordinator for DMSi Software. DMSi provides business and accounting software exclusively to the lumber and building materials industry. Reach her at

June 2014

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MARGIN Builders By Nick Nanton

5 keys to building and maintaining a powerful online presence



an online presence has become an absolute necessity for businesses, as society’s focus and attention shift to the digital arena. A carefully crafted website and fully-operational social media profiles can lay the framework for business success. Cautionary tales abound of businesses that merely established an Internet-identity, but failed to capitalize on their foray into the online market. Your website and social media outlets should serve as the technological extension of your face-to-face efforts. If the goods and services you provide are the award-winning entrée, your digital persona is the host that greets your patrons. Many a dining experience has been ruined by a poor first impression. The continuously evolving nature of the online world may appear daunting at first glance, but the good news is that today’s technology makes it easier than ever for a business to create and maintain a stout Internet presence. While getting up and running seems simple enough, there’s still a lot of work that goes into creating an appealing and engaging personal brand online. There are five key components to building and maintaining a powerful online presence. How are you doing with each of these?

1. Your website should be branded, interactive and engaging. It’s not enough for a business website today to simply contain a list of information, a description of goods and services, and contact information. An effective website must be engaging and compelling, and maintain the viewer’s attention to the point that they want to pick up the phone and find out more. That means understanding your target market enough to “hook” them—and it means creating a site that echoes your expertise and the brand you are creating. When designing a top-flight company website—or consulting with a third-party that will handle the technical design aspects—make sure you’re keenly in-tune with your desired audience and customer base. Your target market will greatly influence your projected online-branding, from the site’s individualized layout and color scheme to functionality. If there is disparity between your business goals and objectives and what you’re hoping to promote, it will glaringly reflect on your website. 2. Demonstrate value. “Value” is the magic word. If your website, blogs, articles and social media outlets don’t provide tangible value to your audience, they will be ignored. Use these platforms to share breaking news, analyze recent developments, and provide informational and practical tips to your audience. Update on a regular and consistent basis with new and exciting content that proves beneficial to your online-readership. 3. Leverage email marketing. Social media is one great way to engage your audience, but it only works when they’re online and using social media themselves. Email marketing, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to consistently interact with your customers and your market as long as they are checking their email inbox (and these days, who isn’t?). Remember to focus on providing value in order to keep your readers engaged. However, if email marketing is overused, it will be treated as spam. Keep your newsletters and e-updates to a monthly basis to maintain your maximum open-rate and subscriber base.

TEXAS and California dealer Parker Lumber’s website solicits front and center for visitors to join its email list.


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June 2014

4. Want subscribers? Toss in a freebie. Your email marketing campaigns are a great way to stay top-of-mind

with your customers and to keep your market aware of what you are offering. But if you don’t have any email addresses to send to, what does it matter? One of the most effective ways to build a targeted email list is by offering free content, such as e-books, special reports, video seminars, and so forth. Simply require that the user give you their email address in order to access the content. Promote these freebies on your website and through social media, and you will see your email list start to grow steadily.

5. Use pictures and video to tell your story. You know the saying—a picture is worth 1,000 words. A video is even more powerful. The simple truth is that pictures and video are far more engaging than pages and pages of text. So embrace it! Create a video introducing yourself and welcoming people to your site. Share pictures and video of your team at work. Post pictures of your latest products. Take advantage of visual media to keep your audience engaged and actively involved in your business. Your online presence is one of the cornerstones of your business—and it should be treated as such. Guarantee that your body of Internet outlets, from your website to your social media platforms and email lists, are vibrant, highly functional, and continually updated with the latest information tailored to your target-audience. These outlets do not exist simply as undeveloped advertising boards. They are an integral facet of the 21st Century marketplace and can be the main determinant in a successful outcome or a failing organization. – Nick Nanton is a speaker, consultant and c.e.o. of The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency. Reach him at or (888) 364-8101.

CHICAGO area dealer Hines Supply’s website features videos from its vendors, others produced in-house, and old TV and radio commercials.

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INDUSTRY Trends By Amy Warren, Weyerhaeuser

Savvy dealers sponsor networking events for women


ARLY IN THE morning on the second day of the recent International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, attendees passing by the Weyerhaeuser booth couldn’t help but steal glances. After all, how often do you see a cluster of 75 women crowded into a 20x50 trade show booth? The event, called “Energize & Engage,” was designed to bring women together for networking during

the show. The attendees mingled, exchanged advice and business cards, sipped their favorite coffee drink, took part in a raffle, and received a parting gift. They also heard from Cathy Slater, senior vice president of Weyerhaeuser’s OSB, ELP, and distribution divisions, who inspired guests with her favorite formula for professional success: the three key elements of performance, image, and exposure,

a.k.a. PIE (from Harvey Coleman’s book Empowering Yourself, The Organizational Game). Perhaps more important, it provided an opportunity for networking and camaraderie in an industry where women are few and far between. “The whole idea of it is to connect,” says Mollie Elkman, president of Group Two Advertising, a Philadelphia-based agency specializ-

MEEK’S, Gardnerville, Nv., location enables each attendee to complete a seasonal project, such as the wooden snowmen being constructed here. Photo courtesy Meek’s Hardware & Lumber


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June 2014

WALLS ARE LIFTED into place at Women’s Build Day at Canyon Country Habitat for Humanity jobsite in Boise, Id. Photo courtesy Canyon County Habitat for Humanity

ing in marketing for homebuilders that helped to organize and co-host the event with Weyerhaeuser. LBM dealers can replicate this approach by reaching out to professional and consumer female customers. On the consumer side, marketing to women makes particular sense, says Elkman, because 85% of all brand purchases are made by women (a stat that jumps to 91% when it comes to new-home purchases).

Events for Pros

Like other marketing campaigns, a women’s event should offer something of value, whether in the form of knowledge or valuable networking they can’t find anywhere else. For professionals, that might mean a mixer event, a motivational speaker, a trends workshop, or perhaps an open house/facility tour accompanied by wine and cheese. “The most popular events are the ones that are either educational or are social and fun,” says Margie Miller, who holds a sales and business development position at Curtis Lumber’s Ballston Spa, N.Y., location. “A recent Lunch & Learn seminar with a dynamic, inspirational speaker/author was also a big draw for our local Professional Women in Building (PWB) membership.” Miller often attends events held by the PWB, as well as her local National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) council, and

holds leadership positions at both associations. Curtis Lumber also has hosted NAWIC and PWB morning meetings, luncheons, and dinner meetings at its corporate office, some including tours of the store, door shop, and yard operations. “Having events at one of our locations helps to build rapport with the groups’ membership and gives us an opportunity to familiarize them with what we have to offer,” Miller notes. “Getting new people into our store is huge, so being a host is something we like to do as much as we can.” When considering giveaways at pro-

fessional events, Elkman cautions against items that scream “girl,” such as pink hard hats and lipstick. “They’re not just cliché, they’re offensive. It hurts women more than helps them,” she explains.

Events for Consumers

Those rules ease up a bit when targeting homeowners, but it’s important to weigh what works in your community. Several dealers have found success with ladies nights for consumers that combine how-to sessions on home maintenance, design, and remodeling, with refreshments and giveaways. For many dealers, the events are

WOMEN’S BUILD DAYS sponsored by local Habitat for Humanity provide an opportunity for dealers, remodelers, and other pros to learn new skills and give back to the community Photo courtesy Canyon County Habitat for Humanity June 2014

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about empowering women to feel comfortable with home projects and power tools—and to know that the lumberyard is a resource to them. Meek’s Lumber & Hardware hosts women’s events, and even kids’ events, at many of its locations. “It’s a great way to be a part of the community and to network,” notes Steve Walsh, director of sales and marketing. At the company’s Gardnerville, Nv., store, twice-yearly ladies’ nights attract upwards of 120 attendees. Each session centers around a project to complete—such as a birdhouse in spring or a 4’ wooden Christmas tree at the fall event—and also includes a dinner buffet and raffle. Along with community building, the events help familiarize customers with what the yard offers, says assistant manager Andy Prause. Many consumers may not realize the product breadth the location carries beyond just lumber, and the events offer a unique opportunity to elevate the comfort level of non-trade shoppers. In Boise, Id., the effort for empowerment goes even further for Judy Ahrens, a Weyerhaeuser sales representative. Ahrens participates in and helps out with Women’s Build days for Canyon County Habitat for Humanity, with groups of 50 to 60 that include her dealer clients along with their employees and customers. Typically held once or twice per project, the events operate just like any other day on a Habitat site. “They learn how to frame walls, hang windows, lay shingles,” says

Ahrens, who also sits on the Habitat chapter’s board of directors. “It gives women information on how to build houses, how to be self-sufficient, and how to contribute some of their time to help the local community.”

Personal Efforts

Along with opportunities to engage with customers, Miller notes the importance of female LBM executives to be involved themselves. “In order to really develop a rapport with people in any association, it is important to be a consistent attendee to the meetings or devote time to a committee or a leadership position,” she says. “The list of people in the building industry and the business community that I have become familiar with, or even good friends with, has grown considerably over the years. Those connections are extremely valuable to me personally and to my employer.” For Weyerhaeuser and Group Two, sponsoring the IBS breakfast was, of course, a form of indirect marketing— providing an outlet for a core audience group while attaching their brands to an event that the attendees appreciated and enjoyed. But it was also personal. The event organizers were all women who themselves felt both the absence of networking opportunities and formal encouragement of growing the presence and leadership of women in building. “You can be a top performer and project the right image for the position you want, but if no one knows about you, it won’t matter,” Slater told attendees during IBS. “As women, we can

help each other go further through networking, by putting that exposure piece of the puzzle into place for one another.” – Amy Warren is marketing communications manager for Weyerhaeuser, Federal Way, Wa. She can be reached at (253) and

WEYERHAEUSER’S Energize & Engage event, held during IBS, gifted attendees with special mugs. Photo courtesy Weyerhaeuser

Quick Tips for Successful Events Mollie Elkman, president of Group Two Advertising, which specializes in marketing for homebuilders, offers these quick tips for success with women’s events: Stop thinking RED or PINK for your event colors. Look at the venue and the theme of the event and make decisions that work for the space, rather than buying into the cliché of gender-specific colors. Think about the event from the perspective of those attending. It’s all about those extra details that make any event special. From the moment they arrive to the final minutes, what details are going to make YOUR event memorable? Ask a woman! If your organization is predominantly male and you are putting together an event for women, it’s a good idea to get a female perspective! Include a takeaway. Something little that guests can take with them is a nice way to thank people for attending that will also make your event stand out from others Have some team members arrive early. No one likes to be the first to the party. Have some people from your team arrive early to make the room feel exciting and full for the very first guests who arrive.


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June 2014

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COMPETITIVE Intelligence By Carla Waldemar

Selling lumber to yards like yours


ORE AND MORE , we American consumers are choosing to support the indie entrepreneurs of our region to supply our needs and wants: the local diner, not the franchise; the guy with the corner store who doesn’t get his marching orders from Arkansas. Likewise, your own customers know and trust and value your operation: the contractors you’ve formed relationships with and maybe their homebuilding clients, too, who wander through your showroom. But what about the vendor who supplies you with your most important building product? The wholesaler whose lumber can make or break your reputation? For some of you—at least those lucky enough to own a building center in Louisiana—that’s an opportunity to shop locally, too, and get the kind of hands-on, personal and attentive service a computer screen or fax

machine can never deliver. This column usually salutes an independent dealer who’s doing something you can learn from. This month, we’ll instead chat with just such a wholesaler, to showcase relationships and customer service tracing back in that direction. J.E.B. Ransone Lumber Co. was launched by John Ransone, grandfather of third-generation present owner, John Ransone III. The elder John was a Baltimore boy whose father also had sold lumber to retail dealers. After his son graduated from college in 1945, John’s father handed him one piece of valuable advice: “Go down to New Orleans. The South has a lot of pine.” His son, John III—“our” John— signed on to his dad’s Louisiana venture in 1972, but not without a little prod. “I’d tried other things,” he

SINCE BUILDING its first warehouse in 1979, J.E.B. Ransone has doubled its size and added a second storage facility.


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June 2014

recalls, “but finally my father said, ‘How long can you live on a psychic income?’” Reality made its case. Actually, his career path had been predetermined long before, if only John had known it: “It was osmosis. All my life I’d heard my dad talk and visit with his customers—at home, at the plant. He was a gregarious man, sincerely loved people. So today I’m in the third generation and dealing with third- and fourth-generation owners of those same lumberyards the company sold to. I’ve matured,” he allows with one of his trademark smooth-as-honey laughs. “It was a good fit.” And he’s seen, and orchestrated, important changes along the way. “When I’d come in, in 1972, dealers might have had to wait six months for product. But they were asking for material right here, in place, and of good quality. So, in 1979, we built our first warehouse: We changed our selling habits. Since then, we’ve doubled our size and added another warehouse.” Product mix has evolved, as well. “We specialized in redwood, but as the years went on, there was a reduced amount available to us, so, we diversified to upper grades of finished lumber. For the last 10 years,” John says, “we’ve been importing pine and upper-grade finished paulownia from China—plantationgrown, fingerjointed, preprimed. It sells for less than the southern pine in our own backyard,” he laces his laugh with a touch of irony. “It’s been a staple of our inventory line, one of our

WHOLESALER’S office staff includes (top photo, l-r) Tom Blackwell, Diane Keller, John Ransone III, and Dave Schwartz, supported by warehouse crew (lower photo, l-r) Doug Davis, Sam Miller, Ricki Vincent, Tyler Osburn, and Clarence French.

top sellers.” Ransone also sources Doug fir and redwood from California, southern yellow pine from Arkansas (“mountain-grown, much better texture, not plantation-grown”) in board or pattern (“the MiraTEC line has come on strong”), 2-inch KDAT (kiln-dried and treated) from northern Louisiana and Mississippi, and cypress from Florida and Georgia—diversifying also into newly-added lines like CertainTeed’s cement siding and trim fabricated from sawdust and chips, “which is growing very fast,” he declares. “The trend down here is for a lot of beaded ceilings in 4inch and 6-inch. There’s comfort in those old styles, like a touch of grandma’s house. People feel comfortable with wood floors, too—not carpet or tile—a feeling of home.” There’s competition, but not locally, he reports. Of four or five former New Orleans-based wholesale dealers, he says he’s the sole independent left standing. Oh, better make that flourishing. Chalk that up to location, location. “We supply both for residential and commercial building, and after Hurricane Katrina, there’s been constant rebuilding and rejuvenating, plus a huge new hospital. And the government has just knocked down a lower-income housing project to be replaced with a nicer-looking one. “City living has become very desirable,” he continues, “lots of young folks moving from the North—and with the


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June 2014

price of gas, they don’t settle in bedroom communities, they repair and renovate. Offices in the Central Business District are being converted into attractive apartments. And everything’s wood down here, from shotgun houses to those gracious mansions, a whole potpourri mingled together up close, fueled by the lack of land.” And coastal weather is hard on all that wood. Those charming old houses need constant renovation, “a market that will always exist, thanks to Mother Nature. The weather and the water give us planned obsolescence,” John laughs again. Astute business sense is a vital part of Ransone’s continued success. All that renovation requires hard-to-find items like that 12-inch beadboard: “I can get that made.” Ransone does a dynamite business in special orders like that, and with them reaps the special margins they can command. “My father taught me: ‘Stick with the specialties—the oddball items—for the good margins. Stake your name on upper grades of finished lumber.’” He taught me, ‘Son, you can sell $100 of product and make 20%, or you can sell $1,000 worth and make 20%.’ I got the picture.” Of course, it takes more—a whole lot more—than simply right place, right time. Ransone succeeds, says John, “because we’ve got the right material in place and the right service: delivery or will-call, pick-up, a big convenience. No long-term contracts required.” John boasts a list of 100 customers within an 80-mile radius. “They can get framing and lower-grade, standard lumber anywhere. But finished lumber is not as big a mover, so I am their back-up. And we never cross the line and sell directly to builders or their customers,” he emphasizes. Just like his granddad and dad before him, his relationships are paramount, with suppliers and customers alike. Ransone’s staff of seven ranges from an old-timer with 35 years’ experience under his tool belt to new blood that keeps the operation fresh. They’re a nimble bunch, which has proved invaluable during the economic recession. “They’re all cross-trained, which saves us money. The lead warehouse man can also answer the phone and take orders in the office. They all wear a couple of hats, to keep us afloat.” Not only afloat, but expanding a customer base: “To attract new business, we’re always expanding our product line. Plus, we’ve a full-time outside salesman who’s constantly talking to people. Our office manager is talented in producing visuals to hand out, like updates of what we’re carrying.” So what does the future hold? More of the same, John is confident. “The city’s attracting a lot more technologybased businesses, medical facilities are expanding, tourism is back and growing, and the port. Don’t underestimate the importance of the Mississippi River,” he reminds us. And John’s own future? With his only child about to graduate from law school, there is no family succession plan. But not to worry—can’t kick John out of the driver’s seat he adores any time soon. Carla Waldemar






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OLSEN On Sales By James Olsen

Adjust to today’s sales tools


20 and away at college. If I want to hear his voice, I call him several times, at different times (relentlessly, so says my wife) of the day until he deigns to pick up. If I really need to get a hold of him, I text him. It breaks my heart. Will anyone be able to speak or read a map in 50 years? But pining for communication styles of old will not sell lumber today. We spend a lifetime learning how to get people to say yes to us on the phone and now we can’t get anyone on the phone! Two hundred minutes of phone time a day for an inside salesperson is a number that used to indicate a solid effort. This number is becoming more and more difficult to hit, as buyers control who and when they talk to suppliers using voice mail, email and text to keep connected to the world, but on their terms. Y SON IS

Get that cell

We must make asking for the customer’s cellphone part of our initial (prospect) call. Many sellers are uncomfortable asking, “Could you give me your cell number?” Don’t be one of them. Some customers will say no, few will be put off, and many will give us their number. To be truly connected to our customers, we must have their cellphone number. If at the end of the call we ask the customer how they want to be contacted, 95% will say, “Just email me.” That’s why we don’t ask. We take control of the end of the call by saying, “Mr. Simon, I appreciate your time today. What I’ll do is send you a follow-up email telling you more about me and my company. I’ll send you an offer on Monday morning and follow up with a phone call Monday afternoon.” Another option is to say, “Mr. Simon, I have my Outlook contacts open and I’m putting your information in. I am going to send my contact information to you right after this call. What is your email, cellphone number? If we ask in a smooth, calm way, most people will give us what we ask for. If we act like we are asking for information we shouldn’t, they won’t. Once we have our customer’s cellphone number, email and physical address, we start becoming part of their lives. We contact them consistently and persistently using all three.


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June 2014

Just email me

“He only wants me to email him and he won’t come to the phone.” Don’t be a victim. We want to be partners with our clients, not servants. Partners listen, but they don’t always do exactly what the other partner tells them to do. Our relationship with our customers is the same. When they say, “Just email me,” we email them. But we call them, too. We mix up our contact schedule until we find one that works—for us. Email, email, text, postcard, call. Email, email, call, text. Email, postcard, call, call, email, text. Getting in sync with customers is always a challenge, so we keep trying different combinations until we find one that works. Postcards are a great way to contact customers in a quick, personal way. Drop a note, thank them for an order, ask for an order. Use post cards to reach customers in a way others aren’t.

Email Hooks

Subject lines are important—don’t waste them. We catch our customer’s attention with good subject lines. If not, they may not even open the email. Make emails conversational. Try to get customers to “talk” to us by email. We ask customers questions about what we are offering them. “John, I think item number five on my offering—the 2x4 104-5/8” is a great deal—what do you think?” Another way to engage a customer (or get them to call us) is to put a list of items in our offering and leave the price of one item off, saying, “This price is too good to put out online—call me for special pricing.” Pro sellers use everything in their tool kit to win. Social media is here to stay—use it. James Olsen Reality Sales Training (503) 544-3572

California Redwood Co. Moving Out of Redwood

California Redwood Co., Eureka, Ca., is transitioning out of the redwood lumber business. Over the next few months, CRC will continue to process remaining redwood log inventory and supply customers from existing redwood lumber inventories while customers make arrangements with other suppliers of redwood lumber. “We believe this difficult change to our strategy is essential to the success of our redwood timberland business and to sustain our long-term investment in the highest standards of stew-

ardship and conservation practices on our timberlands,” said Douglas Reed, president of parent Green Diamond Resource Co., Seattle, Wa. “Despite our best efforts, CRC has not been able to achieve positive results for redwood lumber manufacturing and sales over the last several years. This move will enable Green Diamond to focus on our strengths and to add value to our timberlands.” Green Diamond will phase-out the transfer of redwood logs to CRC for milling and will instead sell the logs to other redwood lumber manufacturers. CRC will work through current redwood log and lumber inventories

over the next several months. Green Diamond will continue to harvest Douglas fir from its lands. The DF logs will be processed at CRC’s mill in Korbel, Ca., running one shift.

TMI, Welco Unite Cedar Mills

Western red cedar manufacturers TMI Forest Products, Morton, Wa., and Welco Lumber Co. USA, Shelton, Wa., have merged to become Alta Forest Products LLC, based in Morton. The new company includes TMI’s mills in Morton and Amanda Park, Wa., and sales office in Chehalis, Wa., plus Welco’s mills in Shelton and Naples, Id. It will employ over 400 and produce more than 300 million bd. ft. a year of finished goods. According to Alta, “This agreement will help secure employment to the local communities and strengthen the regional economy built on the growing lumber industry.” Alta is headed by president and c.e.o. Mike Pedersen, chief operating officer Peter Stroble, chief financial officer Brian Cox, v.p. of sales Jeffrey Cook, and a board of directors. The Garrett/Stroble family and The Probyn Group maintain interests in Alta Forest Products. The other divisions of Probyn are unaffected.

DEALER Briefs ProBuild closed its Clinton, Wa.,

store May 21.

Stock Building Supply relocated its Salt Lake City, Ut., roof and floor truss plant to a larger, 60,000-sq. ft. facility, offering rail spur access and room for additional LBM storage. Desert Foothills Ace Hardware, Phoenix, Az., reopened June 8

six months after its last day. New owners Martin and Art Ruggiero also operate four other Aces in the area.

Timberline Ace Hardware , Telluride, Co., is adding a branch this fall in Norwood, Co. Hubbard’s Hardware is closing its older Medford, Or., branch next month, consolidating operations at its store in north Medford. Anniversaries: Habitat for Humanity ReStore , Cheyenne,

Wy., 5th …


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June 2014

US LBM Adds Desert Lumber

US LBM Holdings, Green Bay, Wi., has expanded to 12 divisions with its acquistion of sister companies Desert Lumber & Truss, Las Vegas, Nv.; Desert Fasteners & Supply, Las Vegas, and Integrity Truss, Cedar City, Ut., from majority shareholders Terry Ono, Dale Eggers, Charles “Monty” Clayton, and Tyson Clayton. Ono will continue as president of Desert Lumber, Eggers as president of Desert Truss, Tyson Clayton as president of Desert Fastener & Supply, and Charles Clayton as v.p. of Desert Fastener & Supply. Desert Lumber was founded by Ono in 1989. In 2009, Desert Fastener & Supply was formed to expand into connectors, waterproofing products, adhesives and tools for contractors. Integrity Truss was launched earlier this year.

Hardwood Distributor Buys Atlas

Hardwood products distributor Atlas Lumber Co., Chino, Ca., has been acquired by UCS Forest Group, Mississauga, Ont., which operates in the U.S. as Sierra Forest Products. Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Atlas was founded by the Porter family in 1944. Randy Porter will continue to manage Atlas as a division of Sierra Forest Products. It marks Sierra’s entry into the California market, with existing offices in Seattle, Wa.; Portland, Or.; Denver, Co., Salt Lake City, Ut., and Chicago, Il.

SUPPLIER Briefs Rough & Ready Lumber is installing a new computerized log optimizer, $1.6-million planer mill, and huge new sorter as its prepares to restart its Cave Junction, Or., mill early next month after a year’s layoff. Malheur Lumber Co., John Day, Or., is adding 20 to 30 workers—the first time the mill has operated more than a single shift since 1998. Quality Millwork, Spokane, Wa., closed and liquidated its equipment at auction May 21. BlueLinx has sold its distribution center in Portland, Or., for $7.2 million. It shuttered the 109,000-sq. ft. facility last year. California Timberline, Chino, Ca., is now distributing Tiger Deck in Southern California. Vandermeer Forest Products, Lynnwood, Wa., is NyloBoard products in the Pacific

now distributing Northwest.

Taiga Building Products’ DCs in Rocklin and Sanger, Ca., are now stocking a full line of pressure treated lumber from Exterior Wood, Washougal, Wa. Boral Roofing, Irvine, Ca., now offers more than 30 new cool-roof colors in California, for both new construction and re-roofing. Weyerhaeuser, Federal Way, Wa., will spin off ts real estate company, Weyerhaeuser Real Estate, to merge with and become a subsidiary of TRI Pointe Homes, San Ramon, Ca. 30

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June 2014

MOVERS & Shakers Steve Christophel was promoted to chief operations officer for Payless Building Supply, Chico, Ca. Mike Nestor has been appointed store mgr. of McCoy’s Building Supply, Hobbs, N.M. Betsy Bendix has joined BlueLinx, as Southern California territory mgr. for outdoor living products, including Fiberon decking, Mangaris hardwood decking, and Real Trim fascia products. She is based in La Puente, Ca. Trip Malopsi has joined LouisianaPacific, as market development mgr. for Southern California. Daniel Hines is new as So. Ca. channel mgr. Jeff Rettig has been promoted to director of U.S. sales for the Trus Joist division of Weyerhaeuser Co., Federal Way, Wa. Jolene Dishion, sales mgr., Canyon Lumber, Everett, Wa., is retiring after 29 years with the firm. Kelly Hambidge succeeds her. Chase Miller has been promoted to assistant general mgr. at Steamboat Lumber, Steamboat Springs, Co.


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Tom Corrick has been appointed executive v.p. of engineered wood products at Boise Cascade, Boise, Id., succeeding Tom Lovlien, who is retiring June 30 after 35 years with the company. Craig Carda, ex-Front Range Lumber, has joined Builders Outlet Co., Denver, Co., as sales executive/ merchandise mgr. Patti Buess, ex-Parr Lumber, is new to the inside sales team at Milgard Windows & Doors, Tualatin, Or. Rick Thornton, v.p.-supply chain, ProBuild, Denver, Co., has retired. Thomas Ringo, c.f.o., Pope Resources, Poulsbo, Wa., has been named interim c.e.o., until a successor can be found for David Nunes, who left to become c.e.o. of Rayonier Inc., Jacksonville, Fl. Gary Hoffmann has been named national multi-location sales & business development mgr. for Do it Best Corp., Fort Wayne, In. Joe O’Donnell joined the International Wood Products Association, as mgr. of government & public affairs and member services.

June 2014

Jamey Barnes has been promoted to v.p.-OSB at Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Nashville, Tn. Pat Downe now mans the security gate at Mungus-Fungus Forest Products, Climax, Nv., say owners Hugh Mungus and Freddy Fungus.

NORMAN MATTHEWS, 84 years old this month, poses with his invention, the UniSplitter, which he developed in the early 1960s and sold to retail lumberyards in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1978, he started his own brokerage company supplying softwood lumber to retail stores in the Bay Area and Central Valley, before retiring in the mid-1990s.

Do it Center Continues Transition to DIY Home Center Do it Center, Agoura Hills, Ca., is being rebranded as the chain’s seventh DIY Home Center. Its two remaining Do it Centers—in Tujunga and Burbank, Ca.—are next. The top-tobottom remodel includes a contemporary new look featuring a bold blackand-red color scheme. Having previously converted his home centers from Lumber City to California Do it Centers, owner Jess Ruf first used the latest name when he opened a store in South Lake Tahoe, Ca., in 2010. He also operates Virgil’s Hardware, Glendale, Ca., which will retain its unique, longtime identity. In addition, the chain recently completely conversion of all stores from Valspar to Dunn Edwards paint.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S Do it Centers is transforming its entire chain into DIY Home Centers, featuring the bold look seen here at its Big Bear Lake, Ca., location.

June 2014

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MOTORCYCLE ride sponsored May 3 by Timber Products, Springfield, Or., brought together Southern California customers and distributors. The tour started at Home Depot, Anaheim, and ended at famed bike stop Cook’s Corner, Silverado, Ca. Participants included (top, left to right) Eric Domanic, Weber Plywood; Randy Lambert, Timber Products; Randy Wilson, Anaheim Millworks; Matt Bradshaw, Laminate Creations by Hand, and Matt Scane, Scane Cabinets; (bottom) Walter Maas, Bohnhoff Lumber; Jon Collins, Jon Collins Design; Jackie Domanic, Donna Brothers; Mark Brothers, Forest Plywood; Kelly & Ray Cerulli, Plastic Tops; Josh Snecker, Hardwoods Specialty, and Greg Nieto Jr., GNA Cabinets.

Capital Brings Wolf to West

Cascade Capital, Capital Lumber’s location in Tacoma, Wa., has become the first West Coast distributor of Wolf PVC decking and capped composite decking to independent dealers in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. “With the Capital agreement, Wolf Decking has become a coast-to-coast success story,” said Craig Danielson, c.e.o. of York, Pa.-based W OLF . “WOLF focuses on helping independent dealers separate themselves from the pack. Capital is the ideal partner because they share that focus.” WOLF will provide Capital’s dealers with marketing support, including samples and product literature. The company will also implement its WOLFPro program in Capital’s service area, providing training, discounts and a special warranty to contractors who become WOLFPros. “Our partnership with WOLF brings us an opportunity to present the market with a brand-new business model, along with a new product line,” said Michael Darby, v.p.-marketing and business development at Capital. “WOLF will help our dealers differentiate themselves and give homeowners a unique choice in decking.”

LP Backs Off Ainsworth

Louisiana-Pacific, Nashville, Tn., has dropped its plan to take over Ainsworth Lumber, Vancouver, B.C., due to demands from Canadian and U.S. antitrust regulators that it sell more assets. According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the proposed deal would have substantially lessened competition in the OSB market by giving LP a 63% market share in the Pacific Northwest and 55% in the upper Midwest. The saga began last September, when LP said it would buy Ainsworth for about $1.1 billion.


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June 2014

With FiberonŽ Good Life™ decking, the price is as beautiful as the decking. Fiberon Good Life capped composite decking is a beauty to look at, a beauty that lasts and, a beauty your customers can afford. Plus, its stain and fade resistance is backed by a 25-year warranty. Discover all the affordable colors and options your customers will love about Fiberon Good Life at










MANAGEMENT Tips By Scott Simpson, BlueTarp

How to protect your profits when big customers pay late


HE BIG WHALE ! Everyone loves landing the big whale, that large customer who puts an upward kink in your sales and gets you buzz in the marketplace. You worked hard cultivating that relationship and now they want to give you a try. You ask your credit manager to set them up on an account and she comes back with a less-than-stellar report: Your prospective new customer has a

somewhat spotty credit record and chronically pays everyone slowly. Do you turn away the business? You don’t have to. The key is to make integrated sales and credit decisions, not separate ones. Dealers know their cost of goods well and are often precisionlike in understanding how to give price breaks and still make positive gross margin. However, most dealers

Wholesale Industrial Lumber



1321 N. Kraemer Blvd. (Box 879), Anaheim, Ca. 92806 Fax 714-630-3190 (714) 632-1988 • (800) 675-REEL 3518 Chicago Ave., Riverside, Ca. 92507

(951) 781-0564 36

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June 2014

ignore costs of credit and how those costs can vary widely by customer. Bill Lee, LBM industry veteran, reports that the fully-loaded cost of credit for most dealers is between 3.5% to 5% of sales. If that number sounds surprising, it’s because those costs are not contained on one line of your P&L but spread out across it. Costs of credit are not just the legal bills and bad debt on a small number


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


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

of accounts but also the cost of money and cost to collect payment on all accounts. For dealers who have higher delinquencies or have contactors taking them out 60, 90 or 120 days, those costs can really add up. So, if your large prospect pays everyone else slowly, how will they pay you? You got it. They’ll pay you slowly, too. Knowing this, factor it into your pricing upfront. Let’s use an example. Say your average customer spends $100 and nets $25 in gross profit, or 25%. When you factor in warehouse, delivery, sales, administrative and financing expense, the net profit of the average customer is 4%. Let’s also say you have a line of credit that is 6% interest rate annually, or 0.5% for every month. Someone who regularly pays you 60 days late is costing you 1% more in borrowing costs (two extra months x 0.5%). That means this customer is occupying more of your credit manager’s time by requiring check-ins and collections calls. You are spending more time internally discussing this customer, and you and your sales reps are reaching out to check in on payment too, taking more valuable time away from

growing your business. The 80/20 rule generally applies here—20% of your customers are occupying 80% of your time. The time lost isn’t fake money—you are paying yourself, your sales reps, and your credit manager real money, and this is where they will be spending some of their time to the exclusion of other work. When you add it up, rather than having administrative and finance costs be 3% for the average customer, they’re more like 9%. Now you stand not to make 4%, but actually lose 2%! Most dealers I know get wise after

someone has strung them out, and then try to fix this after that fact. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s just a lot harder to do. If you factor in what this whale is going to cost you, including the higher cost of credit, make sure you price it accordingly. Celebrate the win and sleep well knowing your large new customer will also be a profitable one. – Scott Simpson is c.e.o. of BlueTarp Financial, which helps LBM dealers grow their sales and deliver more for their contractors by professionally managing their trade credit programs. Reach him at (207) 797-5900 or

June 2014

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Special Focus Southern Forest Products

Southern pine industry primed for full-speed recovery



of time: the nation’s homebuilders are showing hints of improved confidence in housing’s recovery. There’s no shortage of readiness in the ranks of southern pine suppliers. Fresh off the heels of an annual production gain last year of just over 5% (15.03 billion bd. ft.), southern pine producers are well positioned to satisfy the next positive cycle. Last year was the fourth consecutive year of increases in production; the industry is certainly primed for a continuing upswing in volume. Financing a new home remains a hurdle, and interest rates continue to


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creep up. Employment numbers are making a very slow climb toward improvement. The challenging job market has backed a trend to more multi-family housing starts as families choose to rent rather than buy a new single-family home. Fortunately, activity in the repair and remodeling sector remains steady. For lumber dealers, it’s knowing that southern pine products deliver the value and versatility for their customers—dependable strength, exceptional treatability, and attractive appearance—that make this material a builder favorite. The Southern Forest

June 2014

Products Association supports dealers and distributors with the sales help they need, providing resources to help chalk up more southern pine sales.

One Source for Facts

SFPA can help steer customers your way. Start with a visit to www. and look over the easy access to all six of SFPA’s websites. SFPA works to keep dealers connected to the latest information—facts your customers rely on every day for building successful projects. The central site for product information,, is the

dealer’s authoritative resource. It’s all here—span tables, design values, sample grademarks, even do-it-yourself outdoor project plans to help dealers sell more lumber. Within the site’s publications section, SFPA’s Lumber Library is a collection of helpful titles that dealers can rely on to help educate themselves and their customers about the proper selection and use of southern pine materials. All titles are available as free PDF downloads.

New Guide for Treated Lumber Sales

SFPA recently published the new 2014 edition of its popular booklet “Pressure-Treated Southern Pine.” This 24-page guide assists dealers and distributors with the proper specification and use of treated southern pine materials. It is available as a free PDF download from the publications page of www.southernpine. com. “This edition presents a fresh look from the user’s perspective,” notes SFPA’s Eric Gee, director of lumber products. “It represents a complete reorganization and revision of the previous edition.” Following an introduction to wood preservatives, tables list common preservatives and retentions by product and end use. Specification guidelines are included, along with sections covering fasteners and connectors, design values, and proper storage, among other topics. Two pages are devoted to eight primary applications for treated southern pine, with references to helpful SFPA websites and related publications. This edition combines American Wood Protection Association standard preservatives and ICC-ES-evaluated preservatives. It also combines and reorganizes information from various AWPA tables and commodity standards. The objective is to provide specifiers and users practical information on common uses. The full-page Table 2 provides a simplified specification guide for typical end-use applications. Typical treated lumber quality marks are shown, including a mark for AWPA standardized preservatives and a mark for ICC-ES evaluated preservatives. Specification tips, connections and fasteners, the entire building process—it’s all here. This site also explains why treated southern pine decking is the preferred material. Looking for answers to customers’ questions about building outdoors? Dealers can refer to SFPA’s 12-page booklet, “Southern Pine Decks and Porches,” aimed at professional deck builders and advanced do-it-yourselfers. It summarizes information from the site and offers comprehensive design and construction guidance. Photos of completed decks and porches showcase what treated southern

pine lumber can do to naturally enhance any landscape. Download a free PDF at

Span Cards

Spans for southern pine joists and rafters, including those based on the new design values, are featured on a handy pocket-size card now available from SFPA. This card contains 12 abbreviated span tables for selected Southern Pine visual, Machine Stress Rated (MSR), and Machine Evaluated Lumber (MEL) grades. Included under each grading method, this card includes one

When a global supplier with a world-class line of wood products introduces

SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE... ...word gets around.

Interfor is one of the world’s largest lumber producers. With annual capacity of 2.6 billion board feet we have the broadest range of products in the business – now including 880 million board feet of Southern Yellow Pine offerings, from the heart of Georgia. That means more choice, more supply and all backed by our promise to build value for our customers every step of the way. Find out more at

Deck Season in Full Swing

At all levels of skill, handy d-i-yers are finding the construction details and product information they need to build code-compliant, durable decks and porches by visiting

June 2014

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table each for floor joists and ceiling joists, plus two tables for rafters. “This card is very popular with dealers, builders and code officials for use in the field,” says Gee. “Adding MSR and MEL tables to this new edition of the card makes it a convenient reference tool for all southern pine users.” Dealers can review the full content of the new card and download a free PDF at

Remodeling Preference: SP Patterns

AS A NATURAL insulator, southern pine patterns add indoor aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency.


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The look of real wood for wall paneling and ceilings adds a dramatic flair to all rooms. Southern pine patterns are readily available in long lengths to eliminate or reduce splices. Clear or semi-transparent finishes draw attention to southern pine’s distinctive grain. Dealers, remember: wood is a natural insulator, contributing to energy efficiency and lower utility bills. Contractors know a quality, dependable product like southern pine offers a long list of possibilities: exterior siding for room additions, plus flooring, paneling, ceiling patterns, and trim to enhance interior spaces. Need help deciding which pattern

June 2014

will be a bestseller? Review the product samples and related information provided in SFPA’s booklet “Southern Pine Patterns,” available as a PDF download at Whatever the décor, southern pine flooring can enhance the look of any indoor space. Knowing proper installation and maintenance tips is a dealer’s key to selling more pine flooring, paneling and other specialty items. For starters, check out “Southern Pine Flooring,” available as a PDF download from It’s a comprehensive guide to both interior flooring and exterior porch flooring.

Online Product Locator

Need help finding a customer’s special order item? Chances are good you will find it among the listings of SFPA’s online product locator at More than 400 product listings are here. A quick search and dealers are directed right to manufacturers’ contact information. New this year: searches can be conducted by state to better pinpoint nearby suppliers. On a regular basis, SFPA members are updating their in-stock product offerings, assuring on-time delivery to dealers and distributors.

Friedman’s Back in Petaluma

Friedman’s Home Improvement has returned to Petaluma, Ca., where the family-owned business began in 1946. In 1976, with the original location deteriorating, the operation moved to the company’s new store in nearby Santa Rosa. “There’s a lot of symbolism in this store,” said president and c.e.o. Barry Friedman at the May 9 grand opening of the new location. “Our best years are yet to come.” The new store measures 80,000 sq. ft., with a 35,000-sq. ft. lumber shed. The front of the store has two living walls that are fed and watered automatically. Two more living walls grow beside the entrance to the 20,000-sq. ft. nursery. Bill Friedman, who remains chairman of the company’s board, was in the hospital recovering from a respiratory infection, Barry Friedman said. Bill’s wife, Suzie Friedman, spoke on his behalf “Returning to Petaluma was a dream of the founders of this company,” said Suzie Friedman, wife of chairman Bill Friedman. “Tonight I’m proud to say, ‘Dad and Joe, we’re home again.’”

LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding products offer the beauty of cedar with the advantages of engineered wood. That means consistent boards with no knots or voids. An industry-leading warranty that provides a 5-year, 100% labor and replacement feature and a 50-Year Prorated Limited Warranty on the substrate. And our proprietary SmartGuard® process that ensures LP SmartSide products resist fungal decay and termite damage. LP SmartSide Trim & Siding. All the advantages you need. Distributed By

Rocklin, Ca. • 800.348.1400 Sanger, Ca. • 855.348.1500

Fatal Shootings at B.C. Mill

An April 30 shooting at Western Forest Products’ sawmill in Nanaimo, B.C., left two employees dead, two wounded, and the shooter—identified as a former employee—in custody. Authorities say the tragedy started just before 7 a.m. in the parking lot and then moved inside to the mill’s offices. Killed were employees Michael Lunn, 61, and Fred McEachern, 53. Tony Sudar was shot in the face but was listed in stable condition. A fourth, unnamed employee was in critical condition. Sudar, v.p. of manufacturing, was scheduled to be a company witness later this month in a long-standing dispute with the Steelworkers Union, which represents employees at the mill. More than 300 workers were laid off when the mill closed in 2008, but about 30 were rehired two years later. The union has accused the company of reopening with a skeleton crew, to avoid severance payments agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement. Former employee Kevin Addison, 47, was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

June 2014

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NEW Products

Perfect Plugs

Foundry vinyl siding from The Tapco Group now includes fish-scale and round styles for distinctive customization. Crafted with real cedar molds, the shapes have authentic texture, subtle grain, and saw-mark detailing. Ten standard colors can be mixed and matched, and Foundry traditional colors can be special ordered.

The ProPlug system from Starborn Industries offers matched fastening for PVC decking and trim. A specially designed PVC tool consistently drives fasteners to the correct depth below the board surface. An auto-stop mechanism prevents the screw recess from stripping, while a free-spinning stop collar protects the board surface. The plugs are constructed of brand name PVC deck or trim material, so the color and grain match perfectly. Plugs for Azek and TUFBoard decking are currently available, with more manufacturers being added in coming months.



Accents for Vinyl Siding

(800) 771-4486

(800) 596-7747

Turning Good





DIY Exterior

DIY Interior




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June 2014

Lock Down Metal Roofing

Fasco America’s Scrail metal roof fasteners install twice as fast as collated screws. The fasteners exceed 400 lbs. in holding power, while collated strips eliminate fastener waste. Used with the F58 installation tool, the fasteners are designed to attached metal roofing to wood.

 FASCOAMERICA.COM (800) 239-8665

All Wrapped Up

FlatWrap HP housewrap from Benjamin Obdyke reportedly delivers enhanced UV and tear resistance, along with easier installation. The tri-laminate product comes in 5’x100’ rolls and can be paired with the company’s other rainscreen products.

 BENJAMINOBDYKE.COM (800) 523-5261

June 2014

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Sturdy Steps

The Look of Bark

Weyerhaeuser’s SturdiStep treads provide an efficient, cost-effective alternative to traditional solidwood treads. The product is durable enough to withstand the demands of normal construction delays. Low moisture content means fewer squeaks due to shrinkage. Field-trimmable treads come in 1”x11-1/2”x16’ and 1”by 10-1/4”x16’ for eastern markets and 1”x111/2”x12’ for western markets.

SmartBark engineered siding from BarkClad mimics the look of traditional poplar bark siding. Manufactured from a polymer blend, the siding panels measure 16”x18” and can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces. Three natural colors— weathered brown, medium brown, and silverback gray—but the siding can be also be painted with any latex finish.



(888) 453-8358


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(844) 289-2275

June 2014

Precision Nailing

Senco’s FinishPro 21LXP delivers the holding power of a brad nail while leaving a much smaller indent that requires little or no filling. For use in tight spaces, the tool weighs just 2.7 lbs. and measures 9” in height and 8” in length. An angled ergonomic grip ensures user comfort, even over prolonged periods of time.


(800) 543-4596

Distributed by

• (541) 535-3465 • Superior Service, Products & Support

P.O. Box 1802, Medford, OR 97501 • Fax 541-535-3288

June 2014

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WHAT YOU WANT. WHEN YOU NEED IT. Timbers Green & K.D. Export

Dimension Lumber Treated Products Domestic

Blocking Housewrap

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

Manke Lumber Company Call 1-800-426-8488

1717 Marine View Dr., Tacoma, WA 98422

Phone 253- 572-6252

Fax 253-383-2489


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June 2014

Block-It housewrap represents Kimberly-Clark’s entry into the building products market. The product keeps moisture out, but lets vapor escape. It is warranted for use on homes and lightcommercial buildings less than five stories. Available in a range of sizes, Block-It will be available at retailers and distributors nationwide this fall.



Drywall Grid

QuikStix is a pre-engineered drywall grid system for the installation of new ceilings, walls and soffits. Lightweight and easy to handle, the system reportedly can be installed in half the time of conventional wood framing. A locking track and framing tees help eliminate measuring, marking and drilling.

 ARMSTRONG.COM (877) 237-8477

2Nd GROWTH Photos by The Merchant

2ND GROWTH hosted its monthly meeting May 1 at Embassy Suites, Brea, Ca. [1] Danny Sosa, Jay McArthur, Tony Campbell. [2] Stephanie Barrios, Phillip Ho, Jocelyn Palazzolo, Victoria Foucault. [3] Daniel Atkins, Tom Angel. [4] Damien Simpson, Danny Caccavale, Gerry Perez. [5] Mike Carey, Chad Kidder, Jeff Donahoo. [6] Chris Freeman, Don Kavert. [7] Brenden Hexberg, Doug Willis. [8] Chris McDonough, Mo Shearer. [9] Michelle Chase, Dora Lopez. [10] Ryan Mitchell, Heath Stai, Joe Lozano. [11] Jean Henning, Alex Uniack. [12] Vaughan Barker, Steve Robertson. [13] Dan Sweeny, Fia Faumuina. [14] Juan Guzman, Chris Huntington.


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


June 2014

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HOO-HOO GOLF Photos by The Merchant

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Hoo-Hoo Club #117 hosted its annual Don Gregson Memorial Golf Tournament May 9 in San Dimas, Ca. [1] Ken Carpenter, Jim Gregson, Scott Glassey, Brett Gregson. [2] Luciano Ponce, Tom Baxter, Mario Barajas, Frank Gonzalez. [3] Courtney Herrington, Andrew Nicassio, Robert Parker,


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Andrew Manke. [4] Blake Ghavami, Jay Gregson, Guy Hargreaves, J.D. Hutton. [5] Mike Nicholson, John Pasqualetto, Teri Silver, Bryan Schuyler. [6] Clay Halton, Lee Souza, Rob Macias, Gabe Lazo. [7] Ron Hillman, John Assman, Tyrone Smith, Ted Smith. [8] Jim Nicodemus, Dan Croker, Frank Bader, Ken

June 2014

Hansen. [9] Tom Lawrence, George Morris, Peter Howe, Chris Wischmann, Travis Gilliland. [10] Kevin Ulibarri, Steve King, Seymour Ogeare. [11] Alonzo Orozco, Gordon Martinez, Fernando Verdugo, Albert Verdugo. [12] Bill Young, Louie Mendez, Tom Foote, Pat McCumber. (More photos on next two pages)

HOO-HOO GOLF Photos by The Merchant

MORE HOO-HOO GOLF (continued from previous page): [1] Frank Paour, Mike Kosareff, Jeff Won, Rob Keyes. [2] Nathan Welter, Ryan Lauterborn, Vern O’Connor, Mike Tompkins. [3] Joe DeRoest, Al Reed, Mike Claborn, Kevin McLernon. [4] Mark Huff, Troy Huff, Danny Sosa, Scott Whitman. [5] Fernando

Abundis, Jacob Nelson, James Elliott, Mark Davis, Chris Johnson. [6] Ralph Weinberger, Jack Henderson, Larry Holguin. [7] Paul Braeger, Bryan Callaway, Bob Mackay, Scott Lawrence. [8] Larry Christensen, Dan May, Bill Shaw, Neil Wierenga. [9] Don Kavert, Naresh Narine, Mike Wishnia, Erik Noguera, Carl

Suderman. [10] Jason Croy, Tony Campbell, Myles Ramsey. [11] Casey Cook, Darren Bustamante, Craig Larson, Scott Middaugh. [12] Erik Shin, Damien Simpson, Brenden Hexberg, Chris Skibba. (More photos on next page)

June 2014

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HOO-HOO GOLF Photos by The Merchant

ANNUAL GOLF tournament for Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club was held at Canyon Golf Course, San Dimas (continued from previous two pages): [1] David Tait, Larry Riat, Rick Deen, Bryan Geer. [2] Shawn Wright, Jeff Sievers, Edward Russell, Mike Mische. [3] Wayne Carter, Mitch Callaway, Lucky Luciano, Kevin Witt. [4] Steve Schroeder, Deonn DeFord, Keith Hitchcock, Joe Morin. [5] Greg Gruver, Steve Nicholson, Dave Schubel, John Penland. [6] Russ Primrose, Bill Ferguson, Robyn Ueberroth, Nick Bauer. [7] Rudy Russ, Bob Stephen, Patrick Franco, Greg Krakar. [8] Dave Gorham, Monika Bartko, Ed Miron, Russ Rust. [9] Brent Smith, Sean O’Bannon, Jesse VanBemden, James Henninger. [10] Jim Kaminski. [11] Rich Geary, Nick Hall, Bert McKee, Joe McCarron. [12] Doug Radestock, Carl Henoch. [13] Rick Davisson, Sean Moran, Joseph McCormick. [14] Mark Preece, Jim Gaither. [15] Betsy Bendix, Joel Hillner, Tierney Tait.


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June 2014


Specializing in Flatbed & Van Freight for over 10 years

4911 Warner Ave., Ste. 205, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 Phone (714) 840-5366 • Fax 714-840-1933 “A Load We Transport Is a Load off Your Mind”

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

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

Sales for Coast Wood Preserving

June 2014

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Photos by Walter Ralston

PONY SHOW: Los Angeles Hardwood Lumberman’s Club held its annual Day at the Races April 26 at Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia, Ca. [1] Dan Bohannon, Kit Rohm, Heidi & Steve Ondich, Dale Bohannon. [2] Amy Moyer, Emily Moyer, Tim & Becky Peterman, Sally Martinez, John Mortati. [3] Diana & Dennis Johnston, Dawn Ayaka, Jeff Johnston, Derek Mether, Larry Mether. [4] Judy Gardenas, Timmy Lomeli, Tim Mathews, Vicky Johnston. [5] Doug & Susie Christensen, Walter Ralston. [6] Katie & Sam Sullivan, Mike & Brooke Bohnhoff.

ASSOCIATION Update Western Building Material Association will hold its mid-year board meetings July 30-31 at Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, Wa. Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association will enjoy its annual Western Slope Golf Tournament Aug. 22 at Rifle Creek Golf Course, Rifle, Co. Moulding & Millwork Producers Association, buoyed by the success of its West Coast mill tour last year, will this fall lead industry members through facilities in the East. The Sept. 8-11 event will be based at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, Pa., and feature plant tours, table-top displays, information panels, and equipment demonstrations. Stops may include Kountry Kraft Manufacturing, Northway Industries, Plain & Fancy Kitchens Manufacturing, Signature Cabinets, Signature Cos., Universal Forest Products, Versatek Enterprises, Wayneco, and Weaber Lumber. The event is open to MMPA member and non-member manufacturers,

wholesalers, distributors, sawmills, panel producers, and suppliers. Western Red Cedar Lumber Association will host its annual Cedar Summit Sept. 4 on the first day of BC

IN Memoriam Lyle Thompson, 75, former vice president of sales and marketing for Roseburg Forest Products, Roseburg, Or., died April 20 in Camas, Wa. During his 37-year career, he also worked for U.S. Plywood and Champion International. Dale L. Grimm, 85, former Pacific Northwest lumberman, died May 21. He started with Potlatch Forests, Lewiston, Id., in 1947. After three years in the Army, he resumed his industry career with Potlatch, Weyerhaeuser Sales, Valley Supply, and Troy Lumber, before co-owning Quality Millworks from 1960 to 1975. Larry Humphrey, 79, retired founder of Humphrey Lumber,

Wood’s Global Buyers Mission, Sept. 4-6 at Whistler Conference Center, Whistler, B.C. Willamette Valley Hoo-Hoo Club will gather Aug. 13 for its annual trap shoot at Eugene Sportsman Club, Eugene, Or. Tacoma, Wa., died April 19 in Lakewood, Wa., after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. After many years working for Weyerhaeuser in Longview and Tacoma, Wa., he started his own wholesale lumber firm. He was also a former president of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association. William “Bill” Mitchell, 64, consultant with The Beck Group, Portland, Or., died May 10 in Sandy, Or., following a heart attack. He worked for Beck for 28 years, on projects concerning both primary and secondary wood products manufacturing. Prior to that, he worked in sawmill and plywood operations at International Paper, Weyerhaeuser, and Roseburg Forest Products.

Celebrating 46 years of fine hardwood manufacture and distribution For the finest service in the industry, call on Swaner for a steady, reliable source of quality hardwood products at competitive prices. • Hardwood Lumber / S4S • Hardwood Plywood • Custom Hardwood Moulding • Custom Hardwood Flooring

5 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, Ca. 91502 Fax 818-846-3662

(800) 368-1108 52

The Merchant Magazine

June 2014

DATE Book Listings are often submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with sponsor before making plans to attend. National Lawn & Garden Show – June 10-12, Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport, Denver, Co.; (888) 3160226; WoodWorks – June 10, cross laminated timber seminars, The Catch, Anaheim, Ca.; June 11, Maggiano’s, Los Angeles, Ca.; June 12, Berkeley–HS Lordships, Berkeley, Ca.; (503) 4674686; Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Assn. – June 12, mechanic’s lien law class, Renaissance Hotel, Denver, Co.; (303) 793-0859; Window & Door Manufacturers Assn. – June 17-19, technical conference, Pittsburgh, Pa.; (800) 223-2301; Southern California Hoo-Hoo Club – June 18, meeting, El Prado Golf Course, Chino, Ca.; (323) 559-1958; Western Wood Preservers Institute – June 22-24, summer meeting, Meritage Resort & Spa, Napa, Ca.; (360) 693-9958; PCBC – June 25-27, Moscone Center, San Franscisco, Ca.; (800) 956-7469; Door & Hardware Institute – June 26-27, annual convention, Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Tx.; (703) 222-2010; Roof Coatings Manufacturers – July 1417, International Roof Coatings Conference, Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, Balimore, Md.; (202) 591-2452; Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Assn. – July 15, Colorado WOOD Council golf tournament, Ranch Golf & Country Club, Westminster, Co.; (303) 793-0859;

CLASSIFIED Marketplace

Interforst – July 16-20, forest technology trade fair, Munich, Germany; West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association – July 17-18, 2nd Growth summer conference, Omni Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, Ca.; (800) 266-4344; Black Bart Hoo-Hoo Club – July 18, clay shoot & BBQ, Black Point Sports Club, Sonoma, Ca.; (707) 588-7613; Southern Oregon Lumbermans Assn. – July 24-25, golf tournament & BBQ, Rogue Valley Country Club, Medford, Or.; (800) 633-5554. Western Building Material Association – July 30-31, mid-year board meetings, Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, Wa.; (360) 943-3054;

Rates: $1.20 per word (25 word minimum). Phone number counts as 1 word, address as 6. Centered copy or headline, $9 per line. Border, $9. Private box, $15. Column inch rate: $55 if art furnished “camera-ready” (advertiser sets the type), $65 if we set type. Send ad to Fax 949-852-0231 or For more info, call (949) 852-1990. Make checks payable to Cutler Publishing, 4500 Campus Dr., Ste. 480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660. Deadline: 18th of previous month. To reply to ads with private box numbers, send correspondence to box number shown, c/o The Merchant. Names of advertisers using a box number cannot be released.

Humboldt Hoo-Hoo Club – Aug. 1, golf tournament, Baywood Golf & Country Club, Arcata, Ca.; (707) 601-9128. Tacoma-Olympia Hoo-Hoo Club – Aug. 9, picnic, Gig Harbor, Wa.; (253) 5311834. Forest Products Society – Aug. 10-13, 68th international convention, Quebec City Convention Centre, Quebec City, P.Q.; (608) 231-1361;

POSITION WANTED NORTHERN CALIFORNIA wholesale lumber and plywood (both softwood and hardwood) veteran looking for sales opportunity. Large, loyal following. Email, or contact Box 720, c/o The Merchant Magazine, 4500 Campus Dr. #480, Newport Beach, Ca. 92660.

Willamette Valley Hoo-Hoo Club – Aug. 13, trap shoot, Eugene Sportsman Club, Eugene, Or.; (541) 393-3309. Tacoma-Olympia Hoo-Hoo Club – Aug. 14, Mel Smeder Memorial Golf Tournament, Brookdale Golf Course, Tacoma, Wa.; (253) 531-1834. International Woodworking Fair – Aug. 20-23, show, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga.; (404) 693-8333; Mountain States Lumber & Building Material Dealers Assn. – Aug. 22, Western Slope golf tournament, Rifle Creek Golf Course, Rifle, Co.; (303) 793-0859;

Visit The ALL-NEW

International Wood Fair – Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Klagenfurt, Austria;



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15500 Valencia Ave. (Box 1070), Fontana, CA 92335 Fax 909-350-9623 • email –

June 2014

The Merchant Magazine



IDEA File Scientifically Producing Crowds

Allura [] ..........................................................23

At the Ace Hardware store in Bellingham, Wa., owner Amy Zwaller has learned that making science fun for kids—and their parents—attracts new shoppers. “I’m always looking for events that spark interest in the store and add value to our customers,” says Zwaller. Open since August 2011, the store is “still building business.” About a year ago, while attending an Ace Hardware Corp. event for co-op members, Zwaller met a dealer from Hawaii who had developed kits designed to spark kids’ interest in science, technology, math and engineering. She agreed to offer the kits in her own store and began brainstorming other ways to engage kids in these subjects. The result was “Hardware Science Day,” taught once a month, on a Saturday, by employee Shawn Bjorback. He studies math and science at Western Washington University, wants to be a teacher, and has worked part-time at the store for about two years. Each month, Shawn plans the projects and handles marketing: emails to principals at nearby elementary schools, plus the local newspaper and radio station. To date, the free science days have focused on such topics as understanding gravity, learning to grow crystals, why things float, creating light with lemon juice and pickles, and fun projects with dry ice. “Shawn is a natural teacher,” says Zwaller. “He’s makes the events so interesting and engaging that parents often stay with their kids, learning right along with them. Many times, they tell me, ‘I had no idea this is how it worked!’”

AZEK []...................................................................21

Allweather Wood [] ............................27 BlueTarp [].......................................................40 Boral [] ..................................................5 BW Creative Wood [] .......................42 Cal Coast Wholesale Lumber ........................................................51 C&E Lumber Co. [] ...............................47 Collins [] .........................................Cover III DeckWise [] ...................................................44 El & El Wood Products [] ........32 Edco Products [] ...................................17 Fiberon [] .............................................35 Filler King Co. [] ...............................................4 Fontana Wholesale Lumber [].....53 Huff Lumber Co. .............................................................................34 Humboldt Redwood [] ..............................27 Interfor [] ...........................................................39 International Wood Products [] .........................28 Jones Wholesale Lumber [] ..............45 Keller Lumber .................................................................................20 Kop-Coat [] ............................................Cover II Manke Lumber Co. [].............................46 Mendocino Forest Products [] ..............................27 Norman Distribution Inc. [].......................45 PPG Machine Applied Coatings []...................25 Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co. []..........................................................................43 PrimeSource Building Products [] ....52 Railing Dynamics Inc. [] .....................................41 Redwood Empire []...................................3 Reel Lumber Service [] ..............................36 Reliable Wholesale Lumber Inc. [] ........................37 Roseburg Forest Products [].............Cover IV Royal Pacific Industries .................................................................30 Simpson Strong-Tie [].....................................7 Snider Industries [] ...........................38 Starborn Industries [] ...................33 Straight Line Transport [] .......51 Swaner Hardwood Co. [].................52 Swanson Group Sales Co. [].........13 Taiga Building Products [] ....................41

HARDWARE ASSOCIATE/teaching student Shawn Bjorback leads a monthly “Hardware Science Day” at Ace Hardware, Bellingham, Wa.

TruWood-Collins [] ........................8A-8B Universal Forest Products []..........................31 Western Woods Inc. []............Cover I Weyerhaeuser []....................................29


The Merchant Magazine

June 2014

Working for you.

Randy Sturgill Coquille Plywood Plant Manager 31 years

Engineered Wood Products Real Wood Siding 800.245.1115




Softwood Plywood

The Merchant June 2014  

June 2014 edition of The Merchant Magazine, monthly publication for lumber & building material dealers and distributors in the West

The Merchant June 2014  

June 2014 edition of The Merchant Magazine, monthly publication for lumber & building material dealers and distributors in the West