Brexit uncertainty and an ever-increasing demand for high quality, sustainable timber means it has never been so important to get to know your timber supplier and what they can do for you, according to Sodra Wood.
Nigel Buckley-Ryan, UK Sales Director, Merchants, at the company, explains what added value your timber supplier can and should offer in these uncertain times.
Timber merchants need consistent quality, supply continuity and dependable delivery. This is a given. But in uncertain times they also need a dependable long-term partner that takes the time to get to know them and their needs.
Timber suppliers should be much more than just a timber supplier. They should offer additional support and facilitate long-term sustainable partnerships that deliver the very best timber solutions for merchants and their customers. I believe this starts with open, honest conversation.
It is mutually beneficial for merchants to let their suppliers know what their plans are as early as possible. Suppliers need to understand their customers’ plans and ambitions for growth. What stock do you have? What stock do you need? Which products do you anticipate needing more of? Armed with this knowledge, suppliers can tailor their offering to help merchants achieve their goals.
While the continued supply of EU timber to Great Britain and Ireland is not threatened, now more than ever, merchants who talk openly to supply partners will be best-placed to understand and plan for the possible changes afoot.
Some merchants have been preparing for life after Brexit, for example, by stockpiling goods. This is fine and of course at the discretion of the individual merchant, but the earlier suppliers are involved in the conversation the better the service will be.
Suppliers should be forthcoming with advice and guidance throughout their relationship with merchants. This comes from suppliers having an in-depth knowledge of the global market, what’s happening in the world and how this may impact the timber industry.
Only then can suppliers have candid conversations around issues such as price and the numerous factors that influence price.
More practically, suppliers can help merchants get the most out of the products they’re selling. This could include, for example, advice on how best to store and care for timber, manage temperature and humidity, protect timber from the weather, be savvy with storage, and properly rotate stock.
Good suppliers can also help merchants recommend, sell or market products with staff training, various marketing materials, high-quality product imagery or support with exhibitions, trade shows and conferences.
Knowing what added value your supplier can offer and whether they’re a reliable supply partner begins with an understanding of where their timber has come from. Is it sourced from responsibly managed forests?
After all, healthy forests mean a quality timber supply. Does your supplier implement a systematic approach whereby high conservation values and increased production work hand in hand? Are they investing in research and development to improve the health of their forests?
The timber supply process should be transparent, and information should be easily accessible.
While these details may at first seem somewhat far-removed from the end-product that ends up in your yard, collectively they directly translate into the reliable supply of quality, sustainable timber that’s so important for builders’ merchants and other timber buyers.
Address: Södra Wood Ltd, Unit 18/19, Cirencester Office Park, Tetbury Road, Cirencester GL7 6JJ
Phone: +44 (0)1285 646000
Fax: +44 (0)1285 646020
Email: [email protected]
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