National Gypsum redefines the trusted advisor role

Sep 20, 2023

In part two of a three-blog series about National Gypsum’s culture of innovation, learn about customer service and technical support


Modern buildings contain complex systems that provide occupant benefits ranging from health and safety to comfort, aesthetics and functionality. However, balancing building code and fire rating requirements with the needs of building owners and occupants can be a daunting task for architects, specifiers and commercial contractors.

Increasingly stringent building performance standards tied to energy efficiency and extreme weather only add to this challenging design puzzle. That’s why National Gypsum Company prides itself on being a trusted advisor to its customers.

National Gypsum: Founded on a customer-first philosophy

The customer-first approach dates back to the company’s founding years when its leaders considered how best to provide gypsum wallboard as an alternative to lath and plaster.

As a new product in the 1920s, gypsum wallboards didn’t have an established distribution channel and could be purchased anywhere from coal yards and grocery stores to junk dealers and lumberyards. National Gypsum decided products used together should also be sold together to make it convenient for customers to find everything they need for a project. The company created a single brand — Gold Bond® — to market these new products. Meanwhile, it simplified the purchasing process by choosing building material dealers and lumberyards as its primary distribution channel.

And National Gypsum salespeople didn’t just sell gypsum wallboard. Instead, they showed how wallboard solved problems with demonstrations that proved its flexibility, strength and lightweight. This hands-on approach to customer service and support lives on at National Gypsum Company today.

The rise of the trusted advisor: Insights and information at customers’ fingertips

Following a period of conglomeration that expanded its product line to include glass, wallpaper, vinyl siding and tile, National Gypsum returned in the 1990s to its roots as a gypsum products provider. With this change, it reoriented its approach to marketing and customer service to focus on being a technical resource for customers.

In 1994, a new, computerized customer service center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina, that consolidated field customer service agents, who had been in district sales offices, into a single facility. Working from one office created a team atmosphere and enabled the company to professionalize its customer service team through knowledge sharing and training that put customers first.

An online portal,, provides real-time order tracking with the click of a mouse

ngc4me preview

In 2000, National Gypsum put tracking orders, shipment status and invoices in customers’ hands with the launch of an online portal, known as The company based this innovative approach on a customer survey that identified their pain points. Developed and maintained in-house, the first iteration of gave customers accurate, real-time information, such as:

  • Order status
  • Invoices
  • GPS-powered location tracking of the truck delivering the order

National Gypsum built on the foundational legacy of innovation with a 2023 site update that makes it easier and faster for customers to access real-time order and shipment information. New features include:

  • Refreshed homepage containing current order and product shipment information
  • Access to rebate programs and reporting
  • Calendar-based view of two weeks of orders with footage details
  • Responsive design for desktop and mobile users
  • Pending order status page
  • Powerful sales report
  • Valuable order history

The award-winning has provided valuable sales data to customers for over 20 years.

Technical expertise is just a phone call away with 1-800-NATIONAL

National Gypsum created the 1-800-NATIONAL® Construction Services team to support customers when they run into technical questions during design, specification or construction. The team is dedicated to answering calls and emails from customers with technical questions, whether it’s obtaining product disclosure documents, understanding when to use a Level 5 finish or learning what modifications can be made to a UL fire-rated assembly.

The 1-800-NATIONAL® Construction Services team consists of three people with over 90 combined years of construction experience:

1-800 National Team
Left to right: Mark Chapman, Jim Farrell, Sam Halverson
  • Research engineer Mark Chapman, ASTM, has over 40 years of construction experience. As a research engineer, he has extensive knowledge in the structural, fire and sound characteristics of products provided by National Gypsum and hands-on experience in both residential and commercial construction.
  • Construction engineer and project manager Jim Farrell has over 30 years of construction experience. He served as a project manager and GC/owner's representative in various residential and commercial projects. His knowledge brings extensive planning, pre-construction, design, construction and project completion experience to the team.
  • Architect Sam Halverson has 20-plus years of architectural experience managing projects from conception through construction. He has extensive client management experience as it relates to project schedules, budgets, drawings, permits, bids and specifications. Additionally, he is extremely talented as the creator and manager of BIM technology.

In addition to providing advice by phone, the 1-800-NATIONAL team also contributes considerable input in creating National Gypsum’s portfolio of technical guides, product literature and website content.

Technical construction manuals feature fully tested and ready-to-use solutions and product insights

NGC Technical Resource Guides

Thinking like an architect, specifier, contractor or distributor led National Gypsum to bolster its trusted advisor stance with the development of technical construction manuals, starting with the NGC Construction Guide™.

The 300-plus-page guide provides detailed product information about gypsum board, plaster, cement board, roof board and finishing compounds manufactured by Gold Bond Building Products, LLC; PermaBASE Building Products, LLC; and ProForm Finishing Products, LLC, all affiliate companies of National Gypsum Company.

The NGC Construction Guide also includes quick-reference diagrams and briefings on the following:

  • Fire-rated and acoustical assemblies
  • Installation guides
  • Troubleshooting guides
  • Testing data
  • Technical data

In recent years, the Construction Services team has developed three other technical construction manuals to provide solutions for different construction types and challenges.

  • The PURPLE Book® is a leading resource on fire-rated assemblies in commercial construction.
  • The SoundBook® provides technical details for acoustic assemblies and includes real-world sound-rated designs.
  • The Wood Book™ provides common sense answers to frequently asked fire-rated wood-frame assembly questions.

The National Gypsum construction design managers and field sales representatives are problem-solvers

In the 1990s, National Gypsum reduced and reorganized its salesforce into two teams: field sales and architect representatives and reoriented these teams to be advisors instead of salespeople.

The field team focused on distributors, contractors, installers and others working on construction sites. The architect representatives, who are known as construction design managers, were trained to provide advice and education to architects and architectural specifiers.

Regional construction design managers have deep industry experience and are a resource for architects who need advice on technical issues ranging from fire- and sound-rated assemblies to code requirements and appropriate product selection for applications. This team also develops and presents an extensive array of continuing education courses, both in-person and online.

Construction design managers provide a deep understanding of technical architectural challenges as evidenced by the certifications and professional memberships team members hold, including:

  • Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR)
  • Fellow, Construction Specifications Institute (Fellow, CSI)
  • Construction Documents Technologist (CDT)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • LEED Green Associate

Whether it’s a field sales representative assisting a contractor with a building inspection or a construction design manager giving a continuing education presentation to architects, they have a problem-solving mindset. Prioritizing customer projects first and sales second is the foundation of the National Gypsum service promise.

Each field sales representative and construction design manager brings a wealth of knowledge and is backed by technical resources and industry experts that allow them to dig deeper to find the right solutions.

National Gypsum’s customer service and support innovations come together to create Excellence Across The Board

No matter where customers are — hanging board on a construction site, working on a computer in an office or coordinating crews from a truck on the job site — they can tap into support from National Gypsum via any of these Excellence Across The Board® services:

  • 1-800-NATIONAL
  • Field sales/service representatives
  • Regional construction design managers
  • Customer service
  • Design and resource center

This comprehensive approach to technical support and customer service helps customers design and build better.

Read the third blog in our three-part innovation series to see how National Gypsum created installation innovations for existing gypsum products that save time, labor and material costs.