If you’ve ever had a customer ask to see SPFs lumber with their own eyes before purchasing it, what do you do? Share a brochure with photos, or maybe pull something up on your phone? Walk out to the lumberyard and see what you can find? While these options get the job done, there’s another way to showcase the visual strength and beauty of SPFs lumber, courtesy of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA): the new Video Guide to Four Grades of SPFs.
Developed by NELMA as a companion piece to the existing Eastern White Pine grades video, the addition of this new and different educational tool results in NELMA being able to offer a full visual catalog of almost all of the lumber manufactured by the members of the Association.
According to Jeff Easterling, NELMA president, “Our informational package for retailers and their customers in now complete! Visual representations of most of the grades and species of lumber produced by NELMA members is now available in an easy-to-understand format. These video species representations are the perfect tools for selling SPFs and Eastern White Pine both domestically and internationally.”
The Video Guide to Four Grades of SPFs is nine minutes long and spotlights video representations of SPFs 2×4 lumber. Full explanations of what customers can expect within each grade – as opposed to one or two poorly illustrated examples – allow the video to offer real-life, accurate representations within the major SPFs grades.
How does it work? The video is presented from a bird’s-eye view – or really, a lumber grader’s view. Real pieces of finished lumber move down a visual conveyor belt, and, as each board passes slowly on screen, digital callouts appear to indicate grading elements important within each of the boards. The video includes all defining characteristics within each grade in order to share and represent the entire story of each board. Each of the grading characteristics are explained and visually marked to allow for a complete informational connection.
Not sure of what you just saw? The video may be stopped and replayed as you like, allowing each viewer to consume the information at the speed and level with which they are most comfortable.
How can this video help your customers?
In many ways. Let’s talk about customer product knowledge: with the easy mimicking on video of what your customers will find in a unit of lumber, the result is a clear picture of (literally) the whole package. The information contained in both the SPFs and Eastern White Pine videos ensure that, after viewing, both you and your customers will have learned by seeing about each of the various characteristics that make up certain grades.
How about reduced callbacks? While of course we can’t guarantee this, it’s a strong possibility. If you’ve ever had someone purchase lumber from you, only to return it because it doesn’t look right or it’s not what they were expecting – well, these videos allow you to educate them and then actually show them what to expect with their SPFs or EWP purchases.
If you’re selling internationally, both videos are available in French, Chinese, and Spanish.
Let’s look at a real-world example:
Pretend one of your favorite customers orders a unit of SPFs lumber; not understanding fully what the various grading terms and quality mean, then order No. 2. Upon opening the unit, they’re suddenly unhappy with “unexpected” knots – so they call you back and say they aren’t happy. If you had sent them to the Video Grades of SPFs lumber video, they would already be equipped with the information needed to understand their purchase. Information that’s been shared in the past on sheets that often go unread is now being presented in a way that’s eye-catching and educational. The result? Happier retailers and happier, more educated customers.
And with multiple translations of the video at your fingertips, end-users across your selling spectrum can better understand the products manufactured by NELMA members.
But think beyond just your customers to additional audiences: Retailers can refer to the video to educate their customers, but NELMA members can also direct customers from around the world to watch it and obtain a better, deeper understanding of what SPFs grades are and what they look like.
“Our members have asked for this for years, and we’re so thrilled to deliver it for them,” concluded Easterling. “The Eastern White Pine videos and the SPFs videos help to complete the knowledge cycle and ensure that customers know what to expect when their lumber delivery arrives.”
You may find the two free grade species videos on the NELMA YouTube channel.
For more information about selling SPFs or Eastern White Pine, please visit www.NELMA.org.