Mathews Brothers hosted 90 visitors to its Belfast, Maine, facility recently due to a partnership with a local private college and “Timber Tour 2012,” sponsored by the Northeast Young Lumber Execs (NYLE) group of the Northeast Retail Lumbermen’s Association.

Special projects manager Kyle Hawthorne reviews some of the complexities involved in producing and shipping radius windows with members of the Maine Maritime Academy’s Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business.

“This summer, we started an advertising campaign, reaching out to the public at large to visit our facility,” says Bob Maynes, director of marketing. “It started with a series of radio ads inviting people to stop in and visit us while touring Maine. It resulted in visits from a number of small groups, as well as some upcoming visits from several home-school groups.”

It was the partnership with Maine Maritime Academy’s Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics that generated the first group of 40 students and faculty.

“Mathews Brothers started working with Maine Maritime late last spring,” says Kyle Hawthorne, special projects manager. “They were looking for a real-life lab for their senior students who are studying logistics, and we were looking for ways to improve on our distribution, from a logistics standpoint as well as from a cost standpoint.”

The second group of about 50 members of NYLE was already scheduled to be in Maine as part of its annual Timber Tour. Their tour also included tours of the University of Maine Advanced Composites Center LP’s Laminated Strand Lumber facility and Robbins Lumber.

When it became clear that neither group could be rescheduled, it took more than a little planning to make sure everyone would have the same positive experience in the tour, working their way throughout the facility and seeing all the processes in action.

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