As we reach the end of a year that has presented more difficulties than anyone could have reasonably foreseen, PBM speaks with two of Norbord’s senior sales managers about how the business is looking to help the builders’ merchants sector through current challenges and beyond.
Sanjit Dosanjh, National Sales Manager for UK & Ireland
It is obvious and well-documented that the nature of lockdown, furlough, safe distance protocol and new remote ways of working have meant that all companies must adapt and operate new practices in order to succeed in today’s new world. What exactly does this mean for Norbord as a supplier to the merchant and building industry?
In essence, we are very talkative and communicative, speed of response-driven, efficient and “modern” in communications, as have our customers. In turn, our customer base is reaping the reaping the rewards of changing the way we work together. Of course, nothing is the same as a face-to-face meeting, but we are all adapting to the new norm across the building industry — and everywhere!
It has been challenging at times for all of us as any change is; but we have moved forward, as has the industry, and the building world is a really positive place to be. Due to the lockdown, and subsequent limitations on travel and staff levels, customers have not been on site or available for physical meetings. Yet we are talking more.
Norbord’s base of merchants has reacted and we are working in tandem very well. We keep in touch with Zoom or Teams meetings — we are communicating much more, with more people in one place, and in much less time which is good for everyone. Merchants and suppliers alike now seem easier to access and results are quicker to realise.
As a merchant’s customers now order on a click-and-collect basis in the main, their online presence is crucial. In turn, we are supporting our customers with online sales and product training and, if a conversation is needed, our team is ready.
Richard White, Norbord’s Distribution Sales Manager, explains how the business is working in partnership with the supply chain to drive trends in the engineered wood panel industry.
The essence of the distribution business is the flexibility of supply — we provide solutions both regionally and nationally and understand the requirement to break bulk for the many micro-markets in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
As a leader across many customer channels, Norbord’s job is to keep up with and, indeed, pioneer the trends in each one. With more satellite distribution operations in the supply of building materials generally, it is important we maximise our super-efficient, consistent communication and delivery service — we offer EDI backed up by a good logistical offer with back-office support.
The key to any good business relationship is there being a real value for both partners. We understand the value of great customers and have a real desire to work hard to make sure we remain of value to them.
And in an ever-changing market place, flexibility in terms of support is crucial and the team at Norbord is committed to optimising service levels. As the only UK manufacturer of the three core products of OSB, ParticleBoard and MDF, we are set up to answer market demand quickly and the way to make our customers grow is to support them to ensure that they gain market share in their segments.
We are looking on the horizon of the next three to five years and we are shaping our business to integrate further; not the other way round.
Fit and forget
In a year of disruption, the ability to maximise time on site is even more vital than ever. And with the vagaries of the British weather typically posing a particular challenge, solutions that perform come rain or shine are set to be in great demand.
Following the recommendation of its local merchant, NYEs Building Supplies, Horsham-based construction, renovation and oak framing company Cartwood UK has utilised Norbord’s CaberShieldPlus flooring on a recent project. The P5 chipboard flooring is protected on both sides with a tough, waterproof coating and is BBA approved for 60 days’ exposure to the weather when used with Norbord’s CaberFix D4 adhesive.
Peter Woodley, co-owner of Cartwood, said: “It is the first time we have used a fully waterproof system like this on our developments. We were impressed with the versatility of the product and how easy it is to use — it handles well and there are no fussy storage requirements for the sheets pre-fitting, whilst it cut nicely with a circular saw and fitted together without issue using the CaberFix D4 adhesive.”
Cartwood used CaberShieldPlus over the entire first floor level at a property development in West Sussex, and, as is all too common in the UK, the construction company was challenged with the usual rainstorms. Peter explained: “We had experienced extreme rainfall over the whole floor but we were really pleased it has dried without any signs of failure. In future, we will not be using another product due to its effectiveness — just fit and forget it!”
For further information on Norbord’s range of products and its support services for merchants, go to: www.norbord.co.uk