Think About Value, Not Just Price

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In the hardwood lumber industry, we all operate based on the rules and regulations of the grade book. We put a high premium on maintaining the integrity of the grading rules and providing the proper lumber in each category to meet the customers’ expectations.

But sometimes it is about more than just the grade. It is about the value you receive from your load of lumber. When you gain higher lumber yields from the lumber you use, you can produce more products and create less waste. That saves you money!white soft maple surfaced hardwood lumber

This is why we are focused on helping our customers receive more usable fiber and produce less waste in their manufacturing process. Many times we do this by matching up the customers’ specific needs with the type of lumber we ship them. We find that over time, this helps them achieve a significant reduction in their overall production costs. We also generate value by providing exceptional customer service and delivery. (Getting materials even one day later than promised can make a huge difference in business profits and operations.)

So how can you get more valuable from your hardwood lumber supplier? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Be sure the sales team knows your production needs inside and out.

Find a hardwood lumber sales person who is just as interested as you are in how you produce your products, and what type and quantities of lumber you use. When your supplier is equipped with the knowledge of how your products are made and what type of materials work best, they can help you design a lumber solution that ensures you receive more usable fiber per load.   

When conversations with your supplier evolve around how their lumber products can help solve more of your production challenges, you open the way towards finding new solutions to your challenges as well as exciting opportunities to improve.

Shift the conversation from the price you pay to the value you receive.

How your conversations take place could determine the link between the value of the lumber you buy and what it truly costs your business. In fact, it’s often better to discuss how the fiber will perform in your manufacturing process than to discuss the generic cost per board foot.

Many times, taking a broader approach and including different factors (such as total usable fiber, supply reliability, delivery schedules, inventory costs, waste removal and labor handling costs) can determine more precisely the overall impact the lumber you use will have on your company. When your lumber supplier helps you increase your overall manufacturing efficiencies, they are assisting you in much greater ways than simply reducing costs.

Seek value at each and every turn.

When you truly look at the value your supplier can bring to your overall operation, it really is more than just the cost per board foot.

As marketing strategist Oren Smith advises, “Calculate a value model or a collection of value drivers that shows how a customer derives value from your solution, and explain it through an all-encompassing value proposition.”

By continually emphasizing the overall value a lumber product can bring to your manufacturing process, your supplier demonstrates a commitment to meeting the quality your business requires and delivering superior customer service experience that contributes to your success. When they do this, they offer far greater benefits to your company than a simple reduction in lumber pricing. This type of approach also leads to a sustained, long-term relationship.

At Baillie Lumber, we do our best every day to help our customers achieve more value from the products we provide them.  If we can help you find a more valuable lumber product for your manufacturing process, please contact us today. We are here to help you succeed.

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
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