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Industry Spotlight: Zeeland Lumber & Supply

As the housing market starts to turn around, technology is playing an increasingly large role in helping companies differentiate themselves in the industry. Zeeland Lumber & Supply, a Michigan-based company, has embraced new technologies in preparation for the rebound.

“We’ve quickly gone from survival mode to a completely new game in the building industry,” said Mike Dykstra, president and CEO for Zeeland. “As market demand for housing picks up, we’ll be facing new supply chain challenges. We’ve prepared ourselves for that change by investing in technologies for design support and prefabrication, valued engineering and enterprise resource management.”

Zeeland has quite a history of staying ahead of market trends. The fourth-generation, family-owned and family-run business began as a pallet and box manufacturing company in 1947. Its growth over the years has transformed Zeeland into the full retail operation and builder yard it is today.

As a part of Zeeland’s commitment to its customers, the company recently went live with an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) and warehouse management system (WMS), Dykstra explained. The new ERP system allows Zeeland to better forecast demand. It couples well with the WMS inventory control system, which Dykstra said will help Zeeland be more efficient and accurate.

“After the past four or five years, the homebuilding supply chain is strained. As demand picks up, we want to set ourselves up for success and be able to continue to get our customers the products they need.”

In 2009, Zeeland established Zeeland Truss & Components, where it manufactures roof trusses, floor trusses and wall panels.

“We tried to simplify the process for our customers by bringing all the design services under one roof,” Dykstra said. “Rather than having different companies handling roofs, floors, and walls separately, we’re offering builders integrated material specification solutions.

“We’re also increasingly trying to value engineer to meet our customers’ needs with the right products for their specific projects. We started pushing engineered wood products early on because we saw the advantages of the technologies behind the products. Now we use a whole assortment of LP® SolidStart® I-Joists, LVL and LSL products so that we can use the correct product in the right situation. That’s what valued engineering really is.”

Zeeland is also focusing on their digital relationships online. Visit them online at their website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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