Bowens - The Builders Choice

Building Advice
Jeff Harvey

Over the years I have learned there are 2 types of salespeople. The first I call an order taker, one who takes little interest in the relationship with a client. Then there is the second type, who not only takes an interest but is also willing to direct a client (where necessary) to a more “fit for purpose” product.

About 5 years ago an account manager of Bowens accepted an order for a large amount of (normal) F17 hardwood for an external deck. The problem was he knew (normal) F17 is made up of Victorian Ash yet didn’t advise another alternative product. Victorian Ash is not durable for external situations and accordingly not fit for purpose. As it turned out, the client realised the problem and undertook measures to enhance the durability of the timber. This helped limit potential longterm ramifications but the problem could have been avoided had the ‘order taker’ recommended the right timber for the job. Thankfully, that salesperson is no longer employed by Bowens.

A good salesperson would have advised normal F17 is not fit for purpose and as such, suggested an alternative product. That’s what I call creating goodwill. This means the client knows that Bowens personnel has his/her best interests in mind and in turn, helps builds a long-term relationship.

“This means the client knows that Bowens personnel has his/her best interests in mind and in turn, helps builds a long-term relationship.”

Possible alternatives to that could have been considered:

  • Normal F17 treated to H3 (with the true core method) suitable for above-ground situations.
  • Durable species such as Blackbutt & Spotted Gum in F27 grade.
  • To offset the extra cost of the above species (per cubic metre) F27 allows 35-millimeter thickness with the same width that will often outperform F17 in 45 millimeter thickness.

Over the years I have had many clients contact me, seeking advice as to an appropriate product, ideal for a particular situation. On other occasions, clients have made contact because they have experienced postinstallation issues they are unable to deal with.

For about 15 years I was handling the company’s post-installation issues and one thing became very clear, it was either poorly installed or the wrong product was used. Frank Di Stefano has more than adequately taken over this task and is only too happy to provide advice. You can contact him at [email protected].

Accordingly, my advice to you our valued clients, if you are unsure what product to use or how to install it, ask our staff for that advice.

Bowens is not just a timber supplier. We wish to keep our clients satisfied by avoiding on-site issues. This important intangible point is often overlooked by builders when choosing their timber supplier.

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