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In Depth

As the market recovers, we need to be careful not to sell EWP as a commodity, Midgette says, which shortchanges the products’ benefits and opportunities. “We need more value-added selling and education,” he says. “If we look at EWP in general, its value proposition is speed of build, reduced callbacks, long-term performance, open floor plans, and design flexibility. We have to keep selling that, otherwise people aren’t going to pay for that.” “We have to go back to the time when product knowledge education was part of our daily routine in the industry,” affirms McCollum, noting that dealers need to take advantage of the staff at their distributors and manufacturers. Roseburg, for instance, offers local and regional training for specifiers, builders, distributors, and dealers through its network of field staff who can educate audiences on marketing, selling, and installing Roseburg products. “Veteran dealers and builders have become comfortable with the benefits of EWP, like no floor squeaks, sustainability, and long spans,” adds Boise’s Debelius. “But we need to remind dealers that there are all sorts of benefits that we take for granted.” Boise offers in-person product knowledge training via its area managers, along with online tools and focused literature. It also is furthering these efforts through education-based marketing programs, such as four-page trade ads that emphasize system-wide benefits. Weyerhaeuser Learning provides numerous webinars, self-guided online courses, and in-person/classroom opportunities on everything from products to technical training to dealer selling skills. “Our goal is to be the trusted adviser,” says Schweizer. “One of the things we find and try to instill in dealers is to rely on the tools and the information that the mills have to help them,” says Rosboro’s Smith. “Providing solutions is very important. We can help them re-educate the entire chain. We have a lot of tools to help them.” Software Adds Value Along with education, software programs are helping dealers add even more value to engineered wood sales. LP, as one example, has a brand new beam-sizer program called LP Solid- Start Design that allows for design of individual components. The company also offers a whole-house design program, LP SolidStart Solutions. For its onCenter engineered wood products, BlueLinx offers Doma Studio for drawing and designing 3-D models, analyzing engineering, and optimizing cutting patterns. “That continues to be a big area for dealers,” says Scot Bauer, general manager of engineered lumber.

IN DEPTH: Engineered Lumber

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