IN DEPTH: FASTENERS

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Smaller Packaging

Packaging for fasteners of all types has remained stable, although it continues to focus on smaller sizes targeted to project-specific amounts. “We’ve reduced our lag-screw count so they’re sold in 50-count sizes and individually,” Miller says. “More contractors buy by the project now, so we want to align with that approach.”

PrimeSource’s McFarland agrees. “Contractors are only buying as many fasteners as they need for a project, so they’re looking for smaller quantities. That applies to both collated and handdriven. Our packaging says how many fasteners will be needed for different sizes of projects, especially decks, and how many are in the package.”

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USP has added more information for smaller packages aimed at DIYers, Ruch says, including product information and drawings. “It helps the DIYers at the last minute determine which fasteners they need.” It also has added QR codes to provide online support. “We find even builders and inspectors use that information in the field.”

Maze too emphasizes educational packaging, Pohl says. “Our detailed feature and benefit information on each box is designed so consumers can upsell themselves.”

While GRK’s packaging has remained consistent, Romanski is seeing its uses change. “We’re finding that large, bulk sizes, like the 25-pound kegs, are being bought by lumberyards and broken open to sell by the pound,” he says. “It’s a greener way to go, because customers don’t pay for packaging, and they can buy closer to the amount they need for their project while still buying in bulk.”

Such changes will no doubt continue, as new products are introduced to meet specialized needs and customers look to upgrade to ensure their fasteners match the quality of the building materials they’re using. Customers are interested in learning about new options. “Builders are more focused today on ensuring they have the right fasteners to meet the requirements of their project, PrimeSource’s McFarland says. “They know the options are out there to give them exactly what they need.”

If customers don’t know all the options, dealers can benefit from ensuring they learn about them. “We talk with dealers about the importance of educating customers about all of the options available,” Starborn’s Crossley says. “It’s critical that customers are aware of what’s available and how they can benefit. If given a choice, most customers will select the products that offer better quality and performance. The best approach is to let the customer decide. Show them the benefits of the higher grade, and they’ll sell themselves on it.”

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