In Summer 2020, Timber Products introduced a new marine grade product line made from softwood plywood veneers at our Grants Pass, Oregon facility. Named BarracudaPly, the marine panels are the first of their kind to be manufactured at Timber.
It all began in 2017 when Mike Rudy joined Timber Products as a production supervisor at Grants Pass. He noticed they had the right mix of materials to manufacture their own marine panels, rather than buying solely from competitors.
“After a few months, I pitched the idea of making our own panels. We made a few units, they turned out well, and the rest is history,” Rudy said, now Plant Manager at Grants Pass since 2019. “Grants Pass always had the type of veneer it takes to produce quality marine panels.”
While the first marine panels were being manufactured, Rudy found an ally in the new softwood plywood sales manager, Kevin Smith, to create more and different grades of marine panels.
“Kevin brought more knowledge with him regarding marine panels. This is where the multiple grades come into play,” said Rudy.
Timber Products manufactures three grades of BarracudaPly available to the market. They include: BarracudaPly Marine Grade (AB), BarracudaPly Marine Guard (B), and BarracudaPly BB.
Both Mike Rudy and Kevin Smith agree the marine line has incredible potential by offering a range of solutions to customers by having three different grades. All BarracudaPly panels are industrial and commercial grade, certified by the APA –Engineered Wood Association and available as FSC certified.
“BarracudaPly is going to allow Timber to support the industrial markets that require plywood in their applications,” said Smith. “The Barracuda panel will be produced with all Douglas-fir veneers, allowing for a flatter panel. The core will be the same core as a marine grade panel with a B face and B back.”
BarracudaPly marine panels are perfect for different applications and settings. The panels can be used for boat building, docks, outdoor signs, boat houses, shelving, and flooring for pontoon boats, ambulances, buses, and RVs.
With the addition of manufacturing BarracudaPly, Grants Pass gained a valuable product with a higher sales average. It has caused a shift in production levels for hardwood versus softwood products at the plant.
“Grants Pass has shifted from softwood plywood being 55% of production to over 70% production now with Barracuda. It’s transitioning to become an all softwood plant,” said Smith.
“Adding marine panels to our lineup has been all positive,” added Rudy. “The crews at the plant have done an excellent job of understanding the product manufacturing requirements and gone to town making it. They’ve consistently improved. Every month, production rates improve and the quality maintains a very high standard. They are becoming experts at making BarracudaPly.”
Smith expressed a similar sentiment. “I always preach all the customer wants is a mill that is a teammate that produces a solid, quality panel at a competitive price. We are doing that.”
Beyond BarracudaPly making waves in the manufacturing side of Timber, the marine panels have served as an example of new naming ideas for Timber’s product lines.
The name of the product, BarracudaPly as well as the associated logo, is the first in a line of names planned to differentiate our products from competitors.
“We wanted the name to stand-out, provide market differentiation, but also remain true to the quality of this panel,” said Kassy Stout, Marketing Associate at Timber. “Naming it after a fierce, predatory fish, such as the barracuda, sets the tone for what the sales team is trying to accomplish with this marine line.”
Since they were shared internally, the name and logo have garnered rave reviews from the sales and manufacturing teams.
“Having marine in the product name is key. Customers look for the word, but it’s also important to have a name to stand out from the crowd,” said Smith. “Personally, I think competitor names are very unexciting compared to our BarracudaPly.”
“I was hesitant at first,” admitted Mike Rudy. “But once I saw the logo – it all came together for me. It’s great!”
Combining a high quality product with a strong name sets BarracudaPly in a promising direction. While the emergence of COVID-19 has affected sales ability to visit customers physically to promote, there remains demand for marine panels like BarracudaPly.
Smith warns, “We need to get on board now or watch the boat sail off. Capacity will be limited.”
To learn more about BarracudaPly, contact a Timber Products sales representative.