Wilsonart Coordinated Surfaces program meets customer demand for quality, continuity
Wilsonart launched its Coordinated Surfaces program in 2014 to meet customer demands for design continuity, consistent quality and easy access between its thermally fused laminate panels, high pressure laminate and edgeband product lines. The program has continued to evolve with market needs, and Wilsonart announced in February that it had purchased a former Roseburg Forest Products’ plant for producing thermally fused laminate components in Oxford, Mississippi.
"The Oxford facility is a logical extension of Wilsonart’s state-of-the-art manufacturing operations in North America and will provide our customers greater access to the best-matched TFL Panels that are part of Wilsonart’s Coordinated Surfaces program,” said Ron Ubertini, Wilsonart vice president, product management.
In light of the program’s growth, Surface & Panel reached out to Wilsonart with a series of questions about the origins of this industry-leading effort, how it has grown and what’s planned. The answers were provided by Ubertini and Dave Humiston, product manager.
Q. What were the primary drivers behind Wilsonart’s decision to introduce the Coordinated Surfaces program? What concerns, issues and opportunities was it intended to address?
A. The demand for a coordinated offering was the overarching driver.
Customers are asking for more product and performance choices.
- Designers are asking for ways to protect the integrity of their designs when value engineering or product/performance requirements change.
- Millwork shops/fabricators/contractors are looking for a simple way to honor budgets, with the assurance that they will be able to get what they need, when they need it.
- Wilsonart’s program provides assurance that Wilsonart design/texture standards, product quality and service are held
There are several key issues, according to customers:
- The existing quality of match between HPL, TFL and edgeband is not good enough to meet designer demands.
- Specifying coordinated design is not easy.
- Designers want variety and options; existing TFL programs are limited in their design offerings.
Q. What makes Wilsonart’s Coordinated Surfaces program unique in the industry?
A. Choice and quality are what differentiate us.
- We have more than 230 designs and eight different textures – more than any other TFL program in the industry.
- Best quality matches – perfectly matched texture across products – HPL, TFL and edgeband
- Our edgeband program is an industry first. Every edgeband pattern and texture is matched by the Wilsonart design team, and the quality of match is unequaled.
Q. How has the program evolved and improved over its first two years and what are the newest developments?
A. We started the program with a TFL match to any promoted Wilsonart HPL design, which created the largest offering of TFL designs available in the market. As our HPL portfolio evolves with new texture and design, the TFL offering is also updated with these new textures and designs. Additionally, we continue to expand and improve our matching edgeband options and availability.
Q. How do you ensure consistency in texture, finish and overall quality across elements of the program given that different materials are produced by different companies in different places?
A. There is rigor and commitment throughout Wilsonart - from operations to design to our wholesale partners - to ensure the very best product quality and consistency is available when our customers need it.
Q. What was the impetus for the purchase of the Oxford, Miss., facility and what role will it play in the future?
A. The most important aspect of this program is to maintain high service and quality levels across all products in the program. The Oxford plant provides us with the additional capacity to ensure we are able to meet demand today and in the future.
Q. Do you anticipate buying or building additional plants to produce TFL for the program?
A. Wilsonart is committed to the TFL category. As panel sales continue to expand, we will invest as required to provide the level of service that is expected of an industry leader.
Q. How does Wilsonart’s relationship with the design community enhance the Coordinated Surfaces program?
A. Wilsonart works very hard to earn and keep relationships with the design community. Access to this channel is key to getting the right designs specified for any project. This program is a direct response to their needs.
Q. How does the quantity of your design offerings – 230 different designs -- affect the success of the Coordinated Surfaces program?
A. TFL and HPL are used in an incredible array of installations: residential, hospitality, health care, retail, office furniture and others. Each of these end markets has unique design requirements. The Wilsonart Coordinated Surfaces program offers a broad design palette in the key products required, with confidence in the quality of match between products.
Q. Besides HPL, TFL and edgebanding, what other products are part of the program and what others do you see becoming part of the program in the future?
A. As an engineered surfaces company, we will continue to provide coordinated or complementary solutions across multiple products, including Quartz, Solid Surface, Compact and SOLICOR Laminates.
Q. What are the logistics of distribution when different products are made in different parts of the country? In other words, how do the different products get to the customer from different places?
A. Wilsonart has an established logistics system based in our manufacturing facilities, regional warehouses and local distribution. TFL shipments can be delivered directly to the customer or to our distributors depending on the customers’ needs.
Q. What else is important for your customers and our readers to know about the program?
A. Wilsonart is committed to our global mission of providing customers with a wide range of high quality and beautiful product choices that meet their needs, with outstanding service delivered by a team of dedicated people located around the world. We will continue to listen to our customers to identify needs and develop solutions that help make their lives easier and their businesses more successful.