Norbord UK is now part of West Fraser. With Norbord a very familiar name in the industry – who are West Fraser and what does the acquisition bring to the UK market and product range?
Norbord UK had many well-known brands and products in its range – but will these be changing or being developed into new brands under West Fraser? And will the move to West Fraser change the focus of the business in the UK and Europe?
“Absolutely nothing has changed for our customers,” says David Connacher, marketing manager, West Fraser. “The two companies are much aligned and share many common values, including a commitment to safety, efficient manufacturing facilities, a focus on continuous improvement and teamwork, as well as manufacturing sustainable products that are essential for a low-carbon economy. Product development and efficient supply chains will also be at the crux of the new organisation due to the merging of experienced teams. The people are the same, the products are the same, the plants are the same – Norbord Europe now becomes the European arm of West Fraser following the acquisition.”
The SterlingOSB Zero, CaberFloor, CaberFix and CaberWood MDF ranges are incredibly successful brands and are known and respected throughout the construction industry, so while the logo will change, the familiar brand names will remain.
“West Fraser’s high quality boards are available in a wide range of grades and, with minimal finishing required, speed up construction,” says David. “The products are incredibly versatile, offer value for money and have good environmental credentials with a low carbon footprint as all are made in the UK. In fact, all West Fraser panel products are net carbon negative and so can help the builder achieve sustainability targets. Support on a product and technical basis is provided as and when required through dedicated product support and technical advice teams.
“We supply all areas of the housebuilding and construction industry with West Fraser products and the merchant network is a vital part of our supply chain. The relationships we have built up with the merchants are important to us. We’ve adapted the way we work during the pandemic. Our 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 the 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. The relationships we nurtured as Norbord have been taken over to West Fraser and the merchants have the reassurance of working with the same people.”
For the complete feature read the Summer 2021 Issue of Timber Trader UK