Is Your Wood Coatings Supplier Integrated? | Sherwin-Williams

The Value of a Fully Integrated Wood Coatings Supplier

Does your wood coatings supplier maintain control of its entire process? Manufacturing? Raw materials? Supply and distribution? When the answer is yes, it can make a big difference for your business and your customers.

Author: Heather Becker, Director of Product Management
Sherwin-Williams Industrial Wood Coatings

Industrial wood finishers have options when it comes to their wood coatings supplier. A number of different factors may influence why you might select one coating over another.

It might be convenience. It might be cost. It might be perceived quality of the product. It might be supplemental service and support that is offered.

But there’s another factor you might not often think about—and it’s how much control your supplier exerts over their own product. Do they control the research and development process? Colorant manufacturing? Distribution?

All of these things and more can ultimately impact the wood coating product you’re depending on to meet your customers’ needs. High-quality coatings, made with care and to high standards, can ultimately help you bring new value to your customers, too. With this in mind, here’s a look at the added value you can extract from working with a fully integrated coatings supplier that maintains total control over its processes from start to finish:

Research and Product Development
First and foremost, a high-quality, high-performance product starts with understanding the needs of the customer, as well as the technology required to meet those needs.

That makes a robust research and development process an important characteristic to look for when vetting your coatings supplier. By beginning with a good understanding of what a wood finishers’ most critical requirements are—including ease of application, process efficiency, color consistency, and more—your supplier is more equipped to deliver a product that meets them.

Importantly, that performance should be vetted—making field testing an important part of any research and development process. Once developed, it’s important for any supplier to rigorously test their products in field trials, demonstrating its ability to perform as expected—every time.

Manufacturing Quality and Control
Along with robust research and development, a high-performance product depends on what it is made of. A fully integrated supplier should maintain a consistent, reliable network of preferred suppliers for various raw materials—including pigments—that go into a coating. Ideally, they should also make their own colorants.

These capabilities translate into added value for wood finishers in a few ways. First is consistency in color, which is critical to the final product. For example, if your coatings supplier faces a discontinuation from an external colorant supplier, it’s highly likely the color of a coating will shift slightly once a change is made to replace the colorant. For you, it means an inconsistent product. A coatings supplier with its own stringent colorant manufacturing capabilities likely won’t run into the same issue.

Secondly, a supplier with a strong raw material supply network and internal colorant manufacturing helps ensure reliable supply. A fully integrated manufacturer that works with vetted and trusted external suppliers is more likely to deliver a consistent, on-time experience for wood finishers. It’s part of the value of a supplier that controls all its processes.

Interested in learning more?

Sherwin-Williams Industrial Wood can bring color leadership to your business, helping you deliver on evolving demands with reliable, high-quality products. Reach out to your Sherwin-Williams representative to get started today.

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Improved Lead Times

Many paint and coatings manufacturers rely on external distribution networks to get their products into customers’ hands. In many cases, this may not present any major issues—but when you need a product fast, challenges may arise.

If a wood finisher runs out of a coating, production grinds to a halt until more arrives in the shipping bay. A fragmented distribution network may prevent this from happening as quickly as possible, and that waiting can lead to excessive downtime for your production line.

By contrast, a coatings supplier who maintains their own network of distribution—with a nationwide network of warehouses and fulfillment centers—will have greater flexibility to get products into your hands exactly when you need them. 

The fact is that there is only one fully integrated coatings supplier serving the industrial wood finishing market—and it’s Sherwin-Williams. Our hands-on approach to product research, production, and distribution is driven by total commitment to our customers—because we know that your business depends on consistent, high-quality wood coatings that drive value for your customers.

Backed by the breadth and depth of our company’s presence, we formulate and manufacture the critical components that go into our finished products, in-house. And it means every order arrives at your door directly from our local facility.

For your business, it means:

  • Products When and Where You Need Them. We maintain production, shipping and facilities operations throughout the United States, so you’re never far from what you need. Running short on a coating? We can deliver pre-matched coatings direct to you within 24 hours. And because we’re always close to our customers, our strategically-placed sales and technical service teams can consult on product selection and finishing processes to make your operations more efficient.
  • Supply Assurance. Because we don’t depend on outside parties for colorants, components, or mixing and manufacturing services, we’re able to maintain complete control over our processes. And when we control the products, we control the quality—meaning an always-reliable supply of the coating solutions you need for your business to thrive.
  • Color Quality and Consistency. Our internally manufactured colorants mean we’re able to maintain unmatched consistency from batch to batch—meaning you don’t have to worry about variability when meeting the needs of your customers.
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