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Flexibility key to engineered wood panels distribution

Norbord’s Distribution Sales Manager, Richard White, explains why distributors help to keep Norbord at the forefront of the wood panel industry.

Today, the distributor sector in our industry – engineered wood panels – is continuing to grow exponentially each year and now accounts for over a third of Norbord’s sales in the UK. For these reasons, the team at Norbord is committed to optimising service levels in this customer sector. People are the key on both sides here; they have a wealth of experience in terms of trading up and down to work with currency fluctuations as well as the ability to react quickly to market changes.

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.  In an ever changing market palce flexibility in our thinking is key. As the only UK manufacturer of the three core products of OSB, ParticleBoard and MDF, we are set up to answer market demand quickly.

The interesting subject of micro-markets comes into play with distributors; a definition which could mean different things. Examples are SIPS manufacturers, builders’ merchants, furniture manufacturers, construction product manufacturers, site hoarding and dry lining contractors – the list goes on.  The way to make our customers grow is to support them to ensure that they gain market share in their segments.  So Norbord’s flexibility in terms of support is crucial. 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.

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