This is a partnered post with James Hardie Industries.
8 Million North American Homes Served
I remember clearly the first time I ran my hand over it. Of course, I didn’t know what this “new” siding product was. Thin, but not as thin as the cement-based siding tiles that came as a stock option on my parents’ 1971 split-level. Firm, different from the vinyl & aluminum siding we see on so many homes. The year was, I guess, 2003 or 2004.
I was meeting James Hardie for the first time. That new type of siding – fiber cement. James Hardie, I later learned – the innovator.
Now, in their 7th phase of evolution, I know them and you know them. James Hardie has grown to be North America’s #1 Siding brand.
A Point of Pride – HardiePlank & the Good Housekeeping Seal
James Hardie has become a top choice for remodeling “re-side” projects. Hardie offers not only “traditional” clap or plank siding profiles, but also panel, shingle and even trim details.
James Hardie is now a centerpiece partner of The Home Depot and is a proud owner of the Good Housekeeping Seal. Scientists, engineers and researchers from The Good Housekeeping Research Institute awarded Hardie the coveted distinction for their HardiePlank in 2013.
On this Marc Setty – Director of Marketing at James Hardie, says, “Since James Hardie has its own rigorous testing process, this recognition comes as a particular point of pride.”
Moxie Mouth: Fiber cement siding, like HardiePlank, is a composite material made of cement, which is reinforced with cellulose fibers. We have previously covered the Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding – it’s durability, fire resistance and cost. (The link back there.)
James Hardie products now appear on over 8 million homes in North America.
In This Article
Let’s stop there, this article isn’t meant as a love letter to James Hardie. It, instead, introduces Hardie’s Contractor Alliance Program™.
For it, I had the opportunity to not only chat with Marc Setty – Director of Marketing @ James Hardie. But I also did a full-length interview with Erin Robinson – General Manager of Erdmann Exteriors, an inaugural member of the Program and a top-selling James Hardie Pro.
We’ll learn about the benefits of Hardie products, many you already know, and hopefully, you receive the info you need for deciding whether this Program is a good fit for your organization.
James Hardie’s Contractor Alliance™ Program
As James Hardie was the first in fiber cement, it broke ground too in 2008 when it developed the Contractor AllianceTM Program. Re-upping recently on this flagship program for siding installers, new digital assets have been added at HardieAlliance.com. (This site supports the Program’s now 2,800 national members.)
One of them is Erdmann Exteriors. Based in Chicagoland, IL, Erdmann was one of the first members of the Program. (They now hold the Program’s Elite Preferred status.)
Speaking on the main benefits of the Program, General Manager Erin Robinson says, “Simple. We [are] the first to know of new products and best practices.”
Elite Preferred, if you were wondering, is the top most of the Program’s five membership levels. With each level, a partner unlocks exclusive access to additional and more valuable Program benefits.
Each level within the Program entitles a member to participate in the HardieRewards™ Points Program. Members earn points by submitting qualified re-side jobs on Hardie’s Job Tracker.
This Job Tracker is just one way contractors gain status within the Contractor Alliance Program. Here, pros climb the ranks by simply letting Hardie know which jobs were completed using Hardie products.
At the top most levels, pros earn a badge, for exclusive use in advertising and sales materials.
Additionally, a pro uses these HardieRewards™ to unlock perks like drill sets, tablets, and even vacations.
Product Benefits for HomeOwners Also Benefit Pros
A product doesn’t end up on 8 million in North America by chance. It’s safe to assume that this product has clear benefits.
In Robinson’s words, “More consumers today are aware of the benefits of Hardie.”
In a nutshell, James Hardie fiber cement is known to be moisture- and fire-resistant. Additionally, James Hardie utilizes a proprietary method called ColorPlus® Technology to apply paint before the product leaves the factory. Both facts allow Hardie to back their fiber cement with a 30-Year Warranty. (More on the benefits, here.)
Robinson continues, “Bottom Line: We love [Hardie]. Clients love [Hardie]. No one has time for maintenance anymore.”
She touts the different types and styles now available. But finishes, by saying, “You can really create a custom look with a product that clients don’t have to stress about after you leave.”
For more on how Hardie’s journey to 8 million homes, here.
Contractor Alliance™ Program – Benefits for Pros
Beyond Hardie’s obvious market recognition, the Program contains many additional perks. One such perk – inclusion in their Contractor Locator Directory and exclusive access to Hardie’s Lead Generation channel.
Top tier members of the program enjoy a high-profile presence in Hardie’s Contractor Locator, a tool designed to match prospective customers with local contractors.
James Hardie offers Advanced Training to higher-rated Contractor Alliance members. These trainings include, but aren’t limited to, online resources such as webinars, case studies, and videos. Topics covered include installation, job-site safety, and in-home sales strategies.
In addition to webinar training, the higher tier members in Contractor Alliance receive on-site training. Yep, James Hardie reps train in-person on all aspects of installation for many Hardie products.
Completing trainings help contractors earn HardieRewards points (mentioned above).
Improving Both Installation and Sales Skills
The Program adds to not only a member’s installation skill, but also their business skill. It is top-down platform, yes, where pros can directly access Hardie (and the company’s robust knowledge store), but it is now also a mature peer to peer “support” network.
With an ever growing number of resources for pros, many found at JamesHardiePros.com, the Contractor Alliance Program has made it easier for pros to share this information not only with each other, but also provide feedback directly to the makers of the products they are using.
Offering marketing assistance, sales support, product education, and lead generation, the Program allows installers to perfect their craft all while honing their sales effectiveness. For a siding installer, the value, of course, is hard not to see.
To learn more about the history and the current make-up of James Hardie Industries, here. For one the industry’s most comprehensive array of product docs, including information that helps installers adhere to OSHA’s Silica Dust Standards, explore JamesHardiePros.com.
Thanks for reading. ~jb