For those of you who have been ordering from LMI for a while, it might come as a surprise to learn that we have not printed a catalog since 2011! Although a handful of companies still rely on a printed publication to present their goods, we have happily embraced the modern alternative; the internet! Most of our customers have found that the breadth of the LMI website casts a long shadow on a newsprint periodical, which inevitably goes out of date as soon as it exits the printing press.
In the catalog days, we had to weigh carefully whether we wanted to bring in a new wood against whether we could reliably keep it in stock for the duration of the catalog’s life. But now, if we have an opportunity to jump on a small stash of killer Koa back and sides or other rare wood, we can do so with no hesitation. Once the sets have sold out, the listing is simply removed from the web. With the catalog, out of stock items created a world of disappointment and inconvenience for our customers (and for us) but our website always displays up to date stock status.
On our website, we have moved far from the catalog norm of one or two dim images to demonstrate the features of a particular wood or tool. Now we can present the whole variety of appearances within a particular species of wood. Along with tools and other parts come spec sheets, how-to videos and comparison charts.
Things have changed in the world of print media. The cost of preparing, printing and mailing a catalog has increased astronomically in recent years. We are happy to save some money so we can keep prices down and innovation moving forward. On the other hand, we now have an employee photographing beautiful woods for the website almost full-time, but that is a service with obvious and immediate benefits for our customers.