W hen my wife picked out wood coatings last week, she kept looking at colors from Dutch Boy. When I led her to colors offered by lower cost brands, she said she preferred Dutch Boy. Why? “The can is easier to open.” To her, color and coverage was less important than the ease of use.

It made me think of how moulding has also changed in our woodworking market. A few years ago it was common for us to manufacture wood moulding in random lengths.

In Wood Sales, Package Is Product 
Creative Cabinetry plays up special projects online. Do you
have a job created for a recognizable person or company?
Use it as a reference on your website, brochures and
discussions. The mention of a recognized name creates
immediate trust with new customers. Remember, you are
not bragging, you’re promoting. Hear Rick at AWFS Fair;
and read Rick’s blog at WoodworkingNetwork.com/blogs.

Random lengths make sense to the manufacturer as they can use the best quality wood for each moulding style and cut out the off-spec material. Random length shipments help to reduce costs by getting a better yield. Everyone used random lengths and as a result, competed on a price per lineal foot cost.

Moulding Sea-change
One manufacturer in our industry changed the market by thinking differently. It saw the problems that random length mouldings caused with more sophisticated customers. This manufacturer decided to make only 8-foot lengths, with no random shorter pieces.

In every box of 10 mouldings a customer received 10, 8-foot mouldings, packaged in five-count polybags. Though they charged more for this packaging, it took off quickly.

Cabinet manufacturers liked being able to ship and count their mouldings easily. Distributors liked knowing exactly how many sticks it will take to fill an order. Shops liked the clean, uncut moulding arriving damage and dust free from the suppliers.
When dealing with your product, look at not only how well it is made, but how well it is packaged. Sometimes the package is the product.

Packaging your firm includes the website. Creative Cabinetry in New London, WI, has a nice website, creativecabinetryshop.com. It talks about the company history and has a few gallery and shop photos. It uses a unique idea of showing closed cabinet doors that when mouse-clicked, open to reveal the interiors with rollout shelves stocked with goods.

When I met with Steve Gruenzel he talked about recent projects and reputation. As with most shops in this economy, Steve was looking for ideas to promote the business and spread the word about Creative Cabinetry’s craftsmanship.

One job involved restoring cabinetry in a Frank Lloyd Wright home, a job with tough specifications. I suggested they show the Frank Lloyd Wright pictures on their website, and add Google search words like “restoration” and “Frank Lloyd Wright.”

Rick Hill consults with woodworking companies that need to find new markets and more sales and is founder of WoodReps.Com, a national association of independent woodworking industry reps. Reach him through OnPointSales.com and see him at CWB’s AWFS Fair Booth No. 2139.

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