Relief is on the way. A rocky roll-out for Trex’s new Enhance 2.0 composite decking has thrown its Fernley, NV., manufacturing plant behind schedule and forced the manufacturer to begin allocating shipments of all lines to its distributors in the West. Customers in other parts of the country, who are served by Trex’s facility in Winchester, VA., reportedly are unaffected.
Long-term, however, Trex has big plans for expansion. The company will invest approximately $200 million between now and 2021, constructing a new decking facility at its existing Virginia site and adding new production lines in Nevada. The new Fernley lines will come online in third quarter 2019 and second quarter 2020, while the Virginia capacity will begin to increase in first quarter 2021.
In the meantime, quality issues forced Trex to modify the design of its “C level” board, but the delays created a backlog of orders that outpaced the western plant’s capacity. To catch up, in May the Fernley facility began to ship a restricted quantity of product to distributors, based on their average percentage of purchases in the region. Trex deduced that, while not ideal, this solution would supply distributors with a known quantity each month and a steady flow of material into their branches.
Distributors will have monthly deadlines to order product, approximately five weeks before that month’s allotment will be shipped out. New orders must also be product specific, to avoid mixing different lines on the same truck.
In addition, to maximize production, Fernley began limiting the colors on some of its decking lines. During the allocation period, the facility will produce Transcend only in Tree House, Vintage Lantern, and Gravel Path; Select in Pebble Grey, Saddle, Winchester Grey, and Woodland Brown; Enhance Basics in Clam Shell and Saddle; and Enhance Naturals in Coastal Bluff, Toasted Sand, Foggy Wharf, and Rock Harbor. The entire line of Transcend Tropics will continue to be available.
“Our operations team is focused on expanding production capacity at both our Winchester and Fernley facilities, and we are realizing improvements,” said Adam Zambanini, president of Trex Residential Products. “In the meantime, however, we implemented a short-term allocation program for decking being produced out of our facility in Fernley to ensure a steady and equitable flow of material into our distribution channels. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this has caused our valued channel partners and ask for their understanding and patience.”
The program will be reevaluated later this summer.