Arauco Sawmill Reopens

Take note of where the fiber will be going…

[article/pic taken from Lignum al Dia, a Chilean online publication]

“With the presence of Seremi Labour, local authorities and company executives, this morning was made the official reopening of the Sawmill Horcones Arauco II.

Through a tour of the facilities, it marked the official resumption of operations of the sawmill, located in the Forestry Industrial Complex Horcones, located in the town of Arauco.

The reactivation of the Arauco Mill Horcones II has meant hiring 165 workers. The resumption of operations of the industrial facility is a contribution to the creation of stable employment in an area particularly hard hit by the earthquake and tsunami on 27th February.

This production unit was closed since December last year, resulting from the crisis affecting the sector. When you restart operation, it hired 120 employees in the operation, mostly from the province of Arauco, Arauco communes and Curanilahue, and 45 persons from casino personnel, porters and guards.

The monthly production capacity Horcones II regime will be 14,500 m3 of green wood, and the main destinations of its output will be the domestic market, the Middle East, Asia and Central America.

Thus, of the 35 facilities Arauco who were detained since the earthquake, or in the case of Sawmill Horcones II from before, 34 and are operating normally.  It remains to Line 2 of the Pulp Mill Horcones, in which case it is not yet possible to specify the date on which restarted production.”

SOLID 4th of July Promo

We’re proud that WindsorONE is manufactured in the USA, and that we have sustained over 100 manufacturing jobs in our Country; and the reason this has been possible is because of our Core Customers… that is, the long-standing, dedicated W1 Dealers that have helped build Windsor Mill into what it is today, supporting the quality of our products.

As a thank you, and to continue to build upon win-win business relationships with each of you, we’re offering the following 4th of July Core-Customer-Promotion:

E-mail me two thoughts, and we’ll send you a unit of WindsorONE.  It’s that simple.

  • Thought #1: What’s the best attribute of WindsorONE that you use to sell our products to your customer base, and/or what is it about doing business with Windsor Mill that gives you a strategic advantage?
  • Thought #2: What would you like to see MORE of from us, and/or, what would you like to see us improve upon?

That’s it, that’s all you need to do, and you’ll receive a credit for a unit of WindsorONE on your next purchase.

In addition, if a second person from your organization e-mails me their own Two Thoughts answering the aforementioned, we’ll pay to send someone from your sales staff through Conceptual Selling, Miller Heiman’s impactful customer interaction strategy for winning sales opportunities.

Finally, for each additional person thereafter that e-mails me their Two Thoughts, we’ll send you 25 WindsorONE t-shirts to hand out to your customers.

The purpose of this exercise is to ultimately provide your Company with a better experience from Windsor Mill.  Please send us your well thought-out feedback, we’re taking this very serious, and we’ll listen to and act upon everything you submit.

In Solidarity,

Craig (

[This core-customer-promotion is for stocking WindsorONE dealers only; good through the week of July 4th]

Freeport Delays

[edit: containers through, we’re good to go, less interuption that we had anticipated]

There have been recent vessel delays at Freeport, which has disrupted WindsorONE fiber supply to our Surry, VA manufacturing plant.  We have already contacted our customers, and will continue to keep you up to date… and as always, post to this blog.  We expect about a week of possible WindsorONE shipment delays/disruptions; net result, week of June 28th there will likely be zero shipments from Surry, but quickly shipping again the following week, July 5th.

On March 29th, a tornado touched down at the Freeport port in the Bahamas, which is a major vessel/container transfer station.  They were able to bring the port back online relatively quickly, however they did sustain damage to some cranes, which has been causing disruptions the last couple of months.

To date, we have been able to work through the delays; however, on Thursday evening (17th) we were informed that two groups of containers will not reach the states on time, as they missed a vessel headed to Norfolk.  We have already made arrangements to have these containers routed to Charleston, where we will offload them and truck to Surry, VA.  We are also sending fiber across the country via truck from our Willits, CA plant.

Under normal operations, customers would not feel these disruptions as we would have plenty of raw material reserves stateside; we prepare our raw material pipeline for these types of delays.  Unfortunately, given current demand, we haven’t yet been able to build entirely back to pre Chile-8.8-quake state-side levels.

We currently do however have plenty of raw material in the pipeline, we just need to “umph” get it through Freeport.  The first group of containers is already on the water, and will arrive to Charleston on Sunday.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

In Solidarity,

Craig (

The Core Customer

We were fortunate through the Chile 8.8 quake; we didn’t lose a customer.

It’s a testament to the win-win business relationships our customers have enabled us to work towards strengthening with them over the years.

Too many organizations seem to forget that their most valuable asset is their core customer group; we understand it, very well, and will continue to be exceptionally committed to W1 Core Customers.

For that reason, we continue to utilize the majority of our resources into growing our current customers’ business.

Though I keep thinking to myself…

  • What if we just stopped looking for new customers all together?
  • What if we put 100% of our time and resources into growing our current customers’ business?
  • What if we ran customized word-of-mouth marketing campaigns for all dealers, in efforts to increase their W1 volume and margin?

Would our core customers then tell their colleagues, “You’re making a mistake not to do business with Windsor Mill.”

Certainly that type of referral would be an extremely effective way to build one’s business.

What say you?

[edit: unforunately, we did lose one customer, and we wish that former dealer a strong remainder of the 2010 business year]

The WOMM Manifesto

Some of you have inquired about the up-coming word-of-mouth marketing conference, featured to the right of this blog post.

“Craig, can you help us understand exactly ‘what is’ word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), and why it’s something you’re so passionate about?”

I think WOMM is best described via Andy Sernovtiz’s WOMM Manifesto:

  1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy.
  2. Marketing is easy: Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free.
  3. Ethics and good service come first.
  4. UR the UE: You are the user experience (not what your ads say you are).
  5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn.
  6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation.
  7. Be interesting or be invisible.
  8. If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing.
  9. Make the story of your company a good one.
  10. It is more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about.
  11. Use the power of word of mouth to make businesses treat people better.
  12. Honest marketing makes more money.

Comment below or drop me an e-mail if you’d like us to send you a copy of Andy Sernovitz’s book…

Biggest Competition, Gone?

That’s correct, it’s gone… and for many of us.

There are four types of competition:

  1. Buying from a competitor
  2. Using internal resources (prospect does it himself)
  3. Budget used for something else
  4. Do Nothing

No question that post housing-crash our (the industry’s) biggest competition has been “Do Nothing.” 

Customers have been frozen for years; hesitant to stray from what’s worked for them in the past, and hesitant to try new things.  Too much risk, much safer to “Do Nothing,” specifically when it comes to a new product or service.

We won’t see any massive growth this year in the housing market, nor any time soon in my opinion.  It is what is, today, and at best with possible incremental growth in the following years.

However, the “Do Nothing” competition is gone; and it’s an opportunity for all of us.

[Disclaimer: My macro understanding of the housing market isn’t the strongest, so please take my opinions with a serious grain of salt, if not a truckload.  I focus on the micro – and in that regard, I see a wealth of opportunity to grow sales in partnership with our current customer base] 

Another Chile Quake…

Not too much damage done, and none to our ForAction plant… 

USA Today Report

ForAction team reported back safely to us today, including our stateside team (Ruben and Jerry) that are in Chile now, working with Marcelo (GM), to finish updating components of our primary & secondary automated wood processing equipment.

USA Today Report was sent to me via – cool concept.  It’s worth a click…  Let Your Builders Be Known.

In Solidarity,


Insights… and VALUE

It was a cold morning at a subway station in Washington D.C. A young man walked through the crowd, opened his violin case, and proceeded to play for 45 minutes.

Thousands of people walked by him, it was rush hour. Only six people stopped to listen. Twenty people threw change into his case, for a total of $32.

What people didn’t know:

  • It was Joshua Bell;
  • playing 6 of the most intricate Bach pieces;
  • on a $3.2 million violin;
  • and 2-days earlier he played in Boston to a sold-out crowd, where ticket prices started at $100/seat.

If people had the above Insights, they would have stopped, and Joshua would have garnered a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands. People walking towards the music could “hear” that the music was different, but their blockers were on… and he was playing for quarters, not $100’s.

What Insights should your prospects & customers know about your company?

Whether you’re in Operations, Procurement, or Sales/Marketing, our job is to create VALUE.

Insights do just that; and remove blockers.

[Joshua Bell in DC Metro a true story]

SFI vs FSC – Interesting Read

An article below by John Wagner, as written in LBM Journal:

“( If you ever want to elicit groans from dealers, just mention FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Dealers pay fees to obtain the FSC “Chain of Custody” certificate, and then they pay more fees to renew that certification. Now, if you think the dealer groans about FSC are loud, just mention FSC to builders. Since USGBC’s LEED standard accepts only FSC-certified lumber, builders are forced to buy it, often at a premium, to achieve the LEED lumber point. Typically, builders overbuy FSC lumber, mistakenly believing it’s required throughout the entire LEED job. Not true; see below.

Do you get a greener wood with FSC than with other reputable wood certification systems? Frankly, no. That’s one reason the SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative) is fighting so hard for LEED recognition. The core of the problem is that USGBC considers SFI a so-called “industry-sponsored program”—and in the eyes of USGBC that somehow compromises SFI’s ability to protect forests. At press time, reports that the new LEED wood certification draft language would allow for “multiple levels of compliance, and assigns half-credit, full-credit, or double-credit to programs based on the degree of compliance.” FSC of course gets access to the full point. Non-FSC standards would settle for less.”

Read the rest of the article HERE…