By Ken Sitter
Customers may not know or appreciate it, but the Buchanan Group now has a state of the art communications system to serve them.
Buchanan Lumber Sales Inc., the sales, marketing and delivery branch of the Buchanan Group, recently moved into a new $1-million-plus home in Thunder Bay's equally new Nova Industrial Park.
The centre, which sells the products from Buchanan's 10 mills, including hardwood and softwood lumber and value-added lumber products, was specially designed to handle the company's high volume of electronic transmissions, says Hartley Multimaki, a spokesperson for Buchanan.
In the past 10 years lumber sales and marketing has become "progressively more technologically based," as lumber companies attempt to reach a broad market and customers attempt to find needed products at the best price, says Multimaki.
The new home is equipped with the latest hardware and software, including server computer technology, and Internet and wire-transfer programs, Multimaki says. The centre deals with customers around the world, but the United States is its largest market.
Buchanan Lumber Sales handles "tens of thousands" of electronic transmissions a day as it conducts direct sales of products from the mills to clients, such as reload yards, retailers and lumber yards, he says. It also uses the communications centre to arrange the most timely and cost-effective delivery possible for clients.
The new centre is considered a call centre because of the volume of transmissions, Multimaki says.
"It handles more transmissions than some of the call centres in town," Multimaki says.
While the company has always had sales and marketing staff, Buchanan Lumber Sales Inc. has been "in place as an organization for the last 10 years," he says.
"It has grown over the last couple as years with the company" and specialty staff have been hired as Buchanan moved into new product areas, he says.
Buchanan is Ontario's largest lumber-producing company with 10 mills in Northern Ontario, including in Hudson, Nakina, Longlac, Atikokan, Dubreuilville and Thunder Bay.