CertainTeed launches ventilation line
Strengthening its position as a one-stop-shop for complete roof solutions, Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed announces the introduction of seven new roofing ventilation products. Part of the CertainTeed Integrity Roof System, the new product line includes CertainTeed Ridge Vent, CertainTeed Rolled Ridge Vent and CertainTeed Intake Vent.
“We are extremely excited to introduce our new best-in-class ventilation products,” said Bob Gardiner, VP marketing for CertainTeed Roofing. “A quality roofing system features the proper underlayments, shingles and accessory products along with proper ventilation. Now we can proudly offer roofing contractors and distributors a single source they can trust to stand behind every important system component.”
CertainTeed Ridge Vent is available in 7, 9 and 12 inches with both filtered and unfiltered options. Each ridge vent is made of high-quality co-polymer to remain sturdy, nailable and flexible. Reinforced ribs provide greater stability and rigidity, imprinted slot guides ensure proper slot width, and nail holes and nail lines enable easy, mistake-free installation. The product line also includes a Class A fire-rated vent.
CertainTeed Rolled Ridge Vent, also available in filtered and unfiltered, is designed for use in roof pitches from 3/12 to 12/12. The product features a unique, virtually invisible profile that installs fast.
CertainTeed Intake Vent is easily installed on a shingled roof with or without overhangs, and can be used to supplement existing soffit or undereave vents. Internal baffles, drainage system and weather filter provide three levels of weather protection. The intake vent allows air to flow into the attic and helps prevent heat build-up and ice dams.
The products are designed with an external baffle to deflect wind and weather over the vent, creating low pressure above the vent to pull air out of the attic. Each vent comes in a black finish to blend with a variety of shingle colors and create a clean, uncluttered roofline, the company said.
WOLF’s key buyer index rises
WOLF’s Key Buyer Index (KBI) was up substantially between November and January, which runs counter to many of the less-than-stellar economic indicators from the building industry this winter.
The January 2014 KBI score came in at 64.73, a 20.6% increase from November 2013’s score of 53.67. January’s score is also a big improvement over the year-ago score of 58.33.
The KBI is a proprietary metric that measures independent dealers’ sentiments toward the near-term future of the building materials industry. Key buyers at various dealers across 26 states answer a monthly survey, which culminates in a score that reflects a neutral outlook at 50, with anything above that reflecting positive sentiment.
Perhaps a bit counterintuitively, sentiment in the winter-embattled Northeast ran higher than the average at 66.67.
Depot advances its omnichannel agenda
The opening of Home Depot’s first direct fulfillment center marks a major step forward for the company’s omnichannel efforts.
The approximately 1 million-sq.-ft. facility less than an hour south of Atlanta in the community of Locust Growth is the first of three new direct fulfillment centers (DFCs) Home Depot plans to build in the next two years. The other two facilities, strategically located in Perris, Calif., and Troy, Ohio, will stock more than 100,000 items, which are capable of being shipped to 90% of zip codes in the United States within 48 hours.
“We tried to look at it from the customer’s perspective of how they want to be supported instead of designing a facility based on how we want to support customers,” said Scott Spata, Home Depot’s VP distribution. “These facilities are designed for same-day order picking and they will also allow us to experience out of stocks less often.”
In addition to accelerating shipments to customers and more reliable in-stock levels, Spata said the DFCs combined with a network of more than 2,000 stores will help the company more effectively satisfy shoppers’ expectations for a seamless experience. Currently, about one-third of Home Depot’s e-commerce volume results from shoppers who buy online and have their goods shipped from DFCs to stores, or shoppers who buy online and pick up goods that are already stocked at the stores.
An even more extensive assortment of more than 500,000 items is available from what Spata called the long tail of Home Depot’s product offering. While the company can satisfy the majority of shoppers’ needs between the 35,000 items in stores and the 100,000 items in DFCs, a more extensive assortment is available from the company’s vendor-direct program.
“It is a seamless experience for the customer,” Spata said, referring to orders placed on HomeDepot.com that are fulfilled directly by suppliers.
To further develop its omnichannel capabilities, Home Depot expects to pilot this year ship-from-store capabilities and refine the processes on how products ordered online and returned to stores are returned to distribution centers or made available for sale.
“Buy online, return in stores has been an absolute homerun for customers,” Spata said.
However, those items are then accumulated in stores for shipment back to the DFC since Home Depot doesn’t allow non-store SKUs returned to stores to be sold in stores. That may change over time as the company’s e-commerce volume builds, but for now the approach involves leveraging back-haul capabilities and the creation of regional reclamation centers to more efficiently process returns.
While Home Depot has considerable work ahead to execute its omnichannel vision, the company has enjoyed tremendous e-commerce growth. About the time the DFC opened last month, Home Depot CEO Frank Blake reported the company’s U.S. stores produced a 4.9% comp increase and e-commerce sales grew by 50%.
“Our online customer satisfaction scores improved as we continued to enhance the experience across our full site, mobile and tablet, and we’re seeing accelerated improvement in our conversion rates,” Blake said.
Those metrics are poised to improve going forward as the company integrates its new DFC into the supply chain and takes the locations in California and Ohio online.
(A version of this article first appeared on RetailingToday.com.)