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The composite decking industry is crowded. There are many composite decking manufacturers in the growing market, each offering a unique configuration of materials, products and programs. How can dealers and lumberyards find a new supplier that can help them truly stand out?
Product accessibility, timeliness and good customer service are important qualities to look for in any composite decking manufacturer. Following are three more traits lumber and building material professionals should prioritize as they evaluate potential composite decking suppliers.
1. Focus on Innovation
Many composite decking manufacturers claim they are committed to innovation. While LBM pros find new-and-different products intriguing, they also have to move inventory. The ideal decking partner innovates in a way that meets demand from contractors and their clients.
A manufacturer’s product development should start with the tastes and needs of homeowners and builders, and work backward. Make sure that the company’s decking colors, textures and streaking keep up with the latest design trends. Look for decking with a strong, lightweight and stable composition that is easy to work with on the job site.
In the ever-changing world of outdoor living, the best decking suppliers are committed to releasing products that meet aesthetic needs, solve contractor problems, and differentiate dealers and lumberyards from the competition.
2. Extraordinary Warranty
A true manufacturer partner stands behind its innovative decking products. In the composite decking industry, 25- and 30-year warranties against structural defects, staining and fading are common. Most companies cover splinters, corrosion, permanent staining from common food spills, and an excessive difference in color. For even greater peace of mind, seek out a brand that offers a next-level warranty.
3. Versatile Product Selection
Modern homeowners do a wealth of research before they embark on a deck project. They prefer to be helped and advised—rather than sold—by LBM pros. Dealers should ask questions about how homeowners plan to use their deck and outdoor space, and help them curate the deck elements that best fit their lifestyle and décor.
To assist homeowners with personalization, dealers should consider aligning with a company that offers a complete selection of decking products. Stocking a desirable manufacturer portfolio of composite decking, deck railing, balusters, post caps, and decking lights sets the stage for customization. The move to offer an extensive and evolving selection of styles, colors, designs and options can lead to happier homeowners, more referrals and increased contractor loyalty.
Dealers have a plethora of choices when it comes to forming new relationships with decking manufacturers. In their search for the right fit, LBM pros should consider brands that will bring innovation, strong warranties and a diverse product selection to the partnership.