on July 11, 2019 Insider Capabilities Operations anniversary

Top 20 New Customer Questions from the Past 20 Years

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Every one of our loyal customers started at the same place, and many of them with the same questions. To continue our 20th Anniversary Blog Series, we thought what better way to help our future new customers, potential customers, and even current customers than to address the questions we get asked. So, first we talked to several people at LW, including those who work the closest with our customers, the Customer Service Representative team, to find out the most frequently asked, unique, and seemingly obvious questions they get regarding all things doing business with us from setting up an account and requesting a quote to asking about our capabilities and placing orders. Here are the top 20 questions asked over the last 20 years by our new customers and our answers to each one:

 

1.  
How was Laminate Works started?
  Laminate Works started inside of our owner’s first company after they started making HPL elevator panels for KONE Elevator. The rest is history, or so they say. You can read more about our company history and other things you might not already know about us in our first 20th Anniversary blog post here.

2.  
What products do you make?
  Whatever our customers want us to make! We make quality laminated parts, but we don’t have a catalog of products to choose from because everything we make is specific to our customers’ unique order. Here are a few examples: work surfaces with challenging contour edges for a contract furniture manufacturer’s desk system, booth ends and table tops for restaurant furniture manufacturers, or even cabinet and casework components for architectural casework manufacturers. Bring us your next project and we'll work together to create a solution.

3.  
How many parts can you make in one shift?
  It depends on the parts we're making that day. Right now, we can easily layup 600 panels in one shift, so we could break that down to the number we make from each panel, but it really depends on what we're making and how many parts are being cut from a panel. What we do know for certain is that if we run two shifts a day, that's a lot of parts. And by the way, our manufacturing capacity will be doubled by the end of this year with all of our new machinery. 

4.  
What kind of machines and capabilities do you have?
  We do much more than simply lay up laminated panels. Our state-of-the-art machinery is one of the biggest things that sets us apart from others in our industry. You can read more about our capabilities here. We also have several new capabilities coming to our plant this year, so if you are curious if we can do something - ask! We welcome your challenge.

5.  
What's your typical lead time?
  We process around 45 unique orders for over 350 customers across many different industries every day. We know what it's like to be on a tight deadline. Our knowledgable team stands ready to get creative as possible to get your order to you ASAP and meet your deadline. In general, parts orders are shipped two weeks after we receive materials and panel orders are shipped four days after we receive materials. The lead times for receiving materials to our facility differs based on vendor, but our relationships with several key vendors allow us to get some materials in quicker than others could get it in.

6.  
How do you handle layup?
  The standard sizes for full panels are 4x8, 4x10, 4x12, 5x8, 5x10 and 5x12. Many of our panel customers assume we only do 4x8 panels, and maybe all you need are 4x8 panels. But, depending on core thickness, we can lay up any size panel up to 5x12.

7.  
How do you quote your projects?
  There are several ways to submit a quote request! One of the best and easiest ways to do this is by sending an email to your salesman. You can also submit a quote request on our website here. As soon as we receive the specifications and information from you, our engineers and estimators work to get you the best solution for your project needs.

8.  
Do you stock laminate?
  Several of our customers have busy seasons, so they rely on us having specific laminate at their disposal when the demand spikes and orders are urgent. We offer stocking programs to customers that are interested in planning for on-going orders. By building a stocking program with us, you'll have the initial cost of purchasing the laminate but we'll keep it stocked and ready to use as soon as you need it. As soon as you place an order, we order the laminate for each specific job. This is also the reason why our lead times rely heavily on the lead times from our suppliers.

9.  
Can you do finished edges?
 

Yes, we can. It's no secret that finished edges are on-trend across many different industries right now. We do finish edges for a few of our current customers and are open to creating new capabilities. If you need finished edges on your next project, we can help find a solution. 

10.  
How do you package your shipments?
  Orders are stacked on a pallet and shrink wrapped, then topped with a cardboard cover to project edges and corners. Our standard packaging works for most customers, but we can tailor a packaging solution based on a customer’s needs.

11.  
Can you assemble my order?
  We could, but we currently do not. If you’re familiar with how we work, you’ll know we never compete with our customers. In some cases, that means not assembling orders for certain projects. That being said, we aren’t opposed to creating assembly solutions if the right opportunity came up.

12.  
Can you add hardware to my parts?
  Yes, we can. Several of our current customers have asked us to insert hardware prior to packaging and shipping their order. If you have a project that requires hardware, let’s talk and work together to find a solution.

13.  
How do you handle delivery?
  We have shipping solutions for customers all over the country. Our trucks have weekly delivery routes that go to certain places on specific days of the week, so if you fit within those locations then your order could potentially be delivered on our trucks. If not, we have an experienced shipping and logistics team that organizes deliveries with third-party shipping services. We are also experienced in organizing international shipments to Canada and Mexico.

14.  
Do you sell loose laminate?
  While we do have partnerships with several laminate manufacturers, we aren't wholesale distributors. So, this means we can't sell loose sheets of laminate to our customers. If the laminate you are looking for is going to be processed into a part or a panel, we would love to discuss helping you with that.

15.  
Who should I call to check on my order?
  You can reach out directly to the salesman or CSR team member you have been communicating with regarding your order. Or, you can call our office in Kansas City to be directed to someone who can help answer questions about your order.

16-20.  
Can you help with this...?
 

We have gotten quite a few questions over the years about our capabilities and whether or not we can help with some rather unique projects. While we wish we could do it all, there are some things that we just can't help with. Here are just a few requests we have gotten and had to turn down:

  • Giant 28" dice made with laminate applied to the face of 1/2" plywood
  • 10 elevator panels painted with abstract art
  • Decorative elevator button panel with working buttons
  • Laminating paper
  • Re-laminating parts or panels
All that being said, we are a team of problem solvers who welcomes all your challenges, unique or not. 

 

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the questions we have been asked, but we hope this sheds some light on possible questions you might have about Laminate Works. That being said, if you have a question that still needs answering, we want to hear it! Visit our Contact Us page here. Stay tuned for our next 20th Anniversary blog!

 

To learn more about Laminate Works and how we could help you grow your business, visit our new customer page and fill out our 5 question survey to see if there's a good fit for us to work together.

How can we help you?

Olivia Clothier

Marketing Coordinator