As a way to differentiate ourselves in the industry, Timberlake has created the Timberlake ServicePoints – six foundational concepts that our teams follow to educate our partners about the value we bring to the homebuilding process. While there are many cabinetry companies that can manufacture and install cabinetry, we can handle the installation volume, accuracy, and attention to detail that modern builders require. The six ServicePoints are:
- Trend Knowledge
- Design & Quote
- Measure & Order
- Deliver & Install
- Punchout & Completion
In this blog series, we will be taking each of the six ServicePoints and showing our competitive advantage in the market, and also highlighting members of our teams that exemplify the work we do every day. For our first in the series, we will be working with Heidi McGeachy – one of our Timberlake Sales Representatives – and how she uses industry trend knowledge to make her builder customers more successful in the highly competitive northern Virginia market.
Northern Virginia, or as locals refer to it as “NOVA,” radiates outward from the nation’s capital and has seen home prices surge steadily upwards since the economic downturn of the 2008-2009 era. NOVA is the largest concentration of government workers and contractors in the United States, and has become a new eastern shore hub for tech companies including Google, Microsoft, and more. The builders that work in the area have all flourished – with housing starts growing year-over-year. In areas where land is a premium, alternative solutions to traditional single-family homes have emerged, such as large-scale multi-family projects, townhomes, and condo variations. As a supporting manufacturer in the homebuilding industry, it has also meant year-over-year growth for Timberlake. Part of that success is the trend knowledge that Timberlake brings to the partnerships – providing on-trend products that customers want, and creating model homes with our partners that inspire upgrades. Consumer preferences in kitchens have gravitated away from traditional oak and maple-based cabinetry, and Timberlake has released new painted finishes that have changed our market saturation from being predominately wood stains to overwhelmingly paint-based to reflect this evolution.
Knowledge is Power
Heidi McGeachy is a Timberlake Sales Representative that has over 15 years experience in designing kitchens and building relationships with builders. A large part of her role is crafting offerings and promoting methods that homebuilders can use to upsell cabinetry during the selection process. Cabinetry is often regarded as one of the most important upgrades during the selection process – and Heidi has worked with her customers to create spaces that amaze.
An important part of this relationship is advising builders how to craft offerings that their sales representatives can understand, and then utilize sales tools to convince
& sell homebuyers on going deeper into the offering. Currently, the multitudes of more recessed styled doors with mixes of paint are the most popular options, so positioning doors styles that fit this want into more of a mid-level upgrade option benefits the business partners. For builders who tend to have more customers not spending more in upgrades, Heidi and other Sales Representatives use Duraform, a proprietary MDF material, to fit the need of a painted look while also providing exceptional durability.
“Duraform is a fantastic product, offering the look of painted cabinetry without many of the drawbacks associated with painted wood.”Heidi McGeachy
One of Heidi’s customers is Van Metre Homes. Founded in 1955, Van Metre homes is one of the largest production homebuilders in the Northeast today – with a strong focus on attention to detail and providing an exemplary customer experience – and is responsible for hundreds housing starts annually. In the highly competitive NOVA market – they are one of many large-scale production homebuilders competing for buyers. Van Metre home production continued almost uninterrupted during the onset of COVID-19, with some supply and labor shortages, but a non-stop customer demand. Single-family starts tend to be the vast majority of Van Metre’s projects; however, they engage in retirement home communities as well as townhome inspired projects.
Heidi has used her experience to create offerings for the various community types Van Metre builds that promote upgrades and sensible products that fit the overall aesthetics of the community. In her Van Metre retirement community, the offering gravitates much towards warmer finishes in the maple species, with warmer off-white colors such as Silk, Hazelnut Glaze, and Ember Glaze being favorite selections. In more of the suburban locations in proximity to Baltimore or Washington DC, her single-family locations have gravitated strongly to Duraform, which provides the look of painted cabinetry with superior performance.
The Power of Power BI
Heidi uses Power BI, a Microsoft-based analytics tool, with her leadership team to help refine offerings for builders such as Van Metre. If a product mix gravitates strongly in a direction of being less popular, overwhelming the selections in lieu of upgraded products, or is never selected – Power BI can provide data to reinforce offering change-ups to something that has a healthier migration upwards in product selection. “Power BI is helpful when revamping a builder’s offering,” Heidi says. “I use it to see which door styles can be removed due to low sales volume. I can also keep an eye on the sales mix and focus training as needed to help design center consultants or model home associates feel more comfortable with the features and benefits of our upgraded products.”
When you combine the stylistic understanding of the cabinetry industry as well as the data analytics via our robust array of tools, you get a powerful combination that allows Timberlake personnel to craft targeted offerings that maximize upgrades. And when our builders are maximizing upgrades – the vendor/supplier relationship can truly flourish.
Thank you for joining us for part 1 of 6 of our ServicePoints blog series. Over the next several months, we will continue to highlight our amazing team and the builders who trust us with their business. See you next time!