International Wood International Wood 2005 - Page 37

such a wide variety of colors and lengths it would be far too much to inventory. At this time, It’s better for us to inventory the unfin- ished slats and finish as required.” Plywood figures heavily into Koetter’s cabinet and furniture component business units. “We rely on Columbia Forest Products to source our hardwood plywood for us,” says Koetter. “It typically comes from China but is made from domestic cherry, maple and red oak. The domestic logs and veneers are shipped over there for fabrication. Price is definitely the big factor here. You can have the exact same spec’ as what you’d get domestically, for a much lower cost.” Imports also bolster Koetter’s flooring and baluster product lines. “People want something other than the normal red or white oak on their floors these days,” Koetter explains. “When you show them all the colors and variety of grain structure you get with exotic species, they get excited. And when you show them that the price isn’t much different than with domestic species, they can see the value. Two of our biggest imported sellers are Brazilian cherry and mesquite from Argentina. “Imports are a factor in each of our markets, and in my mind, there are two different approaches. You can ignore this trend and let somebody else pick it up, or, you can embrace it and try to es- tablish a territory and a market for yourself. Imported woods have helped our window fashions business; we couldn’t even think of being competitive if we were producing the slats here. IW ��������������������������������������������� “When you show them all the colors and variety of grain structure you get with exotic species, they get excited.” BRIAN KOETTER � � � �� �� �� ��� � IMPORTED WOOD 37