September 11, 2015
ARAUCO NORTH AMERICA NEWSLETTER FALL 2015
WHATEVER IT TAKES
Kelly Shotbolt - President of Arauco North America
In our last newsletter, I told you how Arauco North America is aggressively investing in your success by ramping-up particleboard production at our South Carolina mill. This $20 million upgrade promises to maintain abundant year-round product availability, especially during winter months.
That’s just one of several important infrastructure moves we’ve made to improve our service to you. Take the new online order tracking system my colleague Domingo Amunategui discusses below. The tracking system Domingo and his team are putting the final touches on will offer you unprecedented shipping transparency.
Very soon you’ll have access to a real-time, on-demand tracking portal that will answer “When did my order ship?” “Where is it now?” ”When will I receive it?” with a simple mouse click or two.
That’s just the beginning. In coming months you’ll learn about other operational and production enhancements we’re making on your behalf. Kevin shares exciting developments about Prism, our new brand of thermally fused laminate (TFL) products with hyper-realistic textures and designs you have to see to believe. Check out his report below.
Real-time order tracking and Prism are just some of the exciting ways we’re changing Arauco North America to be even more responsive to your business needs.
From our forests and mills to our transit systems and showrooms, it’s no longer business as usual. New products. New design choices. New advanced manufacturing methods. New operational efficiencies. New standards of customer service. We’re raising our game across the board to offer you unmatched performance and service.
Currently, we are in the process of implementing a new ERP system in order to achieve consistency across all of our locations in North America, and with our global operations. As expected, along with system changes come the anticipated complications. We have recently been experiencing some of these issues at our Canadian locations and are using all of our best resources to address these concerns. We do want to thank our customers for working alongside us during this transition period and will continue to work tirelessly to be your supplier of choice.
It’s no secret you have more options today. We welcome that competition. More than ever, think of us as that world-class, full-service wood products supplier with a small company, “whatever it takes,” mentality. In this industry business must be continuously earned, never taken for granted. No one in this industry is going to work harder to win and keep your business than Arauco North America.
There’s a short quote I like to share with my team that I’d like to share with you. It’s from legendary U.S. Army General George Patton and sums up in many ways our approach to you. He said, “Always do more than is required of you.” Stay tuned ...the best is yet to come!
TFL UNLEASHED: PRISM TARGETS A VAST NEW MARKETPLACE
Prism is an apt name for Arauco North America’s recently launched TFL (thermally fused laminate) brand initiative. Instead of bands of color, this Prism refracts hues of TFL market opportunity, vision, capability and commitment.
The launch of our TFL product line under the new Prism banner has Kevin Shotbolt excited … very excited.
“We’ve been in the TFL business for more than 45 years, serving the industrial marketplace through our legacy company, Flakeboard ,” says the Arauco North American Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The Prism brand helps us leverage TFL to a vast new audience with the potential to transform our TFL business throughout North America.”
The new marketplace: architects and designers. For A+D professionals, who routinely specify laminates in interior design, TFL represents a superb option that has been largely overlooked in the U.S. That “best kept secret” status is about to change, thanks to Prism.
“Our TFL business has evolved rapidly in recent years. It started with the Weyerhaeuser acquisition in 2006, which quadrupled our manufacturing capacity. In January we acquired a melamine treating facility in Biscoe, North Carolina. We’ve recently hired four top Design and Market Specialists to serve the A+D community. Cathy Hummer, Arauco North America TFL Product Manager, is considered an expert in TFL design trends. Our product portfolio is leading-edge. No one in the industry is better positioned to handle national business than Arauco,” Kevin says.
Prism branding is the bow on the TFL package. “To help speed TFL acceptance in A+D circles, we gave the product line its own brand and marketing style,” Kevin explains.
To help generate Prism buzz, our Design and Market Specialists will tap an assortment of marketing tools, including a new website, brochure, designer binders, sample kits, sample fulfillment program and enlisted software programs to identify projects across North America where TFL products should be considered.
With the support of our long-term relationship with distributors stocking our TFL products we’ll have all the pieces in place.
It’s an ambitious undertaking and Kevin knows widespread TFL acceptance won’t happen overnight. But persistence, hard work and support from our distributors combined with a bit of Prism magic should work wonders. “TFL is a leading laminate throughout Europe, South America, Asia, and to a lesser degree, in Canada. TFL is in its infancy in the U.S.
“Prism aims to change that. The opportunities are immense. It’s time for Prism to take its rightful place as a top specification choice in North America.”
The Prism brand was officially launched at the AWFS trade show in Las Vegas this past July. Arauco presented the Prism "personality" in an expansive booth and hosted an after show event to celebrate both the brand release and ARAUCO’s growing developments.
NEW ONLINE ORDER TRACKING SYSTEM COMING THIS YEAR
“When will my order be delivered?”
It’s a simple question. But when the story behind the delivery of an order involves multiple continents, languages, oceans, ports, highways, and time zones; the answer isn’t always simple.
These are the obstacles that are being overcome at the heart of a major new online tracking system initiative now aggressively progressing at full throttle. Project lead Domingo Amunategui, Director of Logistics, and his team are hard at work finalizing a tracking solution that promises nothing less than a real-time, on-demand answer to “When will my order be delivered?” No delayed reply. No uncertainty. No excuses.
“The expectations today are the same ones our customers have when they order from Amazon or any major online retailer,” Domingo says. “Even though our industry is completely different, our customers expect the same kind of ‘where-is-it-now?’ visibility into their order.”
As the Amazon® example suggests, customers will soon be able to login to a portal that will display order status as it progresses across relevant delivery milestones. Each milestone is tagged with a projected date and constantly refreshed with actual dates through final delivery.
The team is currently debugging and refining the data streams from communications links throughout the logistics chain, whether the order starts in a South America or a North American mill. Access to the tracking program is expected to be available at www.arauco-na.com initially to our import millwork customers, Moncure and Canadian mills during October. We will continue this roll out to the rest of the mills, along with our system upgrades, through the first half of 2016.
“We’ve already started some pilot processes with several customers. It’s email-based for now, but it’s a great way for us to gauge customer reaction and get critical feedback,” Domingo explains.
Domingo credits senior leadership for making the project a key corporate priority for 2015. “When Kelly [Arauco North American President] assumed leadership, he visited customers and heard firsthand where we could improve our service. A customer survey also reaffirmed those conclusions. Senior leadership listened and decisively acted.”
Domingo knows the system launch later this year isn’t an ending; it’s a beginning. “We have lots of ideas surrounding the portal. It will always be subject to continuous improvement. But for now, the overriding objective is to offer our customers a window on their order they never had before.
“I’m excited. It’s a challenging project. But all of us know what a game-changer it represents to both our external as well as internal customers. I’m proud of the way the entire company has rallied behind this important project.”
MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE
John Atkinson - Sales Director, Import Panels
AraucoPly was introduced 18 years ago as the first Radiata Pine plywood panel in North America. Since then, AraucoPly has become the quality standard for softwood sanded plywood in the market and has become a preferred panel for a wide variety of applications. Now more than ever, we are dedicated to the North American market and have developed innovative supply methods to keep AraucoPly readily available with consistent lead times. Today, with two mills fully operational and by planting more trees than we harvest, we are poised for sustained growth with new and existing customers.
Throughout my 12 years working with AraucoPly in the North American market I have seen customers amazed at the quality of our product along with the value it brings to their businesses. With our AC and BC sanded line along with our premium siding and beaded panels, we can offer solutions for a variety of applications. We are not only raising the bar of quality, but we’re also leading the way by providing sustainable solutions with responsible harvesting practices.
AraucoPly is much more than a beautiful product; it’s emblematic of a highly performing organization. The company incorporates many years of plywood sales experience, logistical and marketing support as well as other technological improvements to the market. We will continue to develop new value-added products for AraucoPly customers.
To support our customers today and prepare for growth tomorrow, we have increased our AraucoPly sales team by 30% in 2015. We have also unveiled an online sample fulfillment program. Customers can now create an account to order samples and product literature. Finally, we are adding a customer locator to our North American website for even more ordering convenience.
These are exciting times for AraucoPly in North America!
ARAUCO PARTICIPATES IN EXPO MILAN 2015
Arauco’s Radiata Pine lumber was chosen as the natural resource to represent the country of Chile in Expo Milan 2015, a globally encompassing exhibition where countries from all over the world come to display their latest and greatest technologies. The theme of the 2015 exhibition is “Feeding the planet, Energy for Life”. Chile chose to represent the country by building a large pavilion using Arauco lumber and Hilam laminated beams.
Considering the overall theme, lumber was the building material chosen to be used for the structure of the exhibit as it is known for being a highly energy efficient and renewable resource. The pavilion is carbon neutral as emissions are offset through Arauco’s certified emission reductions processes of producing clean, forestry biomass-based energy.
2015 is Arauco’s second consecutive year as Chile’s official sponsor for the event. Contributing not only materials, but also the company’s expertise in building with wood and product innovation. The pavilion’s total surface area is close to 21,500 Sq. ft. Inside, visitors can walk through the structure on a unique tour representing the country while learning about its landscapes, people and product offerings.
The expo commenced on May 1, 2015 and will remain open to the public until October 31st displaying the future of innovative products in the agricultural and food industries within the 140 plus participating countries.