Facilities for Buchanan Hardwoods flooring and Buchanan Hardwoods lumber are located on a 100-acre site in Aliceville, Alabama.
Buchanan Hardwoods: 46 Years And More Than 3 Billion Board Feet
By Wayne Miller
Aliceville, AlabamaóBuchanan Hardwoodsí longevity as a supplier of hardwood products to various worldwide markets is proof that diversification of quality products and service works.
Since R.W. (Mr. Buck) Buchanan founded the company in 1960, Buchanan Hardwoods has successfully branched out in areas that have eluded the grasp of many companies. For example, the firm operates multiple facilities that serve different functions. These facilities include: electric generation steam kilns; a 20-million-square-foot strip flooring plant; and a distribution yard in Granite Falls, North Carolina, that services the areaís small and large manufacturers. Shipments by truck, rail or container are transported from these locations.
ďAll export and domestic lumber is carefully inspected and measured after drying. Painted ends, package tallies and heavy-duty straps and stiffeners are standard for each container, or break bulk. We personally stuff all containers at Buchanan
Sales personnel at Buchanan Hardwoods includes: Butch Ousley, Linda Wright and Jim Bailey.
prior to shipping to ensure quality,Ē said Butch Ousley, sales manager.
Buchanan owns and/or manages more than 100,000 acres of timberland to ensure a controlled supply of quality hardwood for its sawmill. Additionally, Buchanan purchases approximately 40 million board feet of Red and White Oak lumber and logs annually from the rich Tombigbee River Basin in Alabama to the Appalachian Mountains to supplement its flooring and lumber plantís production.
Buchananís brand of strip flooring is Elite. The flooring is manufactured from the firmís own lumber, and the firm purchases green lumber, which guarantees availability of product. A monitoring team at Buchanan assures quality of each piece of flooring. Prior to shipping, Buchanan nests Elite in easy-to-handle 7-foot bundles.
The firmís flooring plant manufactures Elite Brand Red and White Oak in 2-1/4 and 3-1/4; and 4-inch and 5-inch Red Oak only. All of Buchananís flooring is graded to standards set by NOFMA: The National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Assoc.
Buchananís sawmills manufacture about 40 million board feet of lumber per year.
Ousley said that the company has a strong distributor network in more than 20 states, thus it can easily ship flooring products throughout the country. Buchanan is currently looking for distributors in new areas.
ďConsistent quality lumber and flooring is the critical key to Buchananís success through the years,Ē Ousley said.
Industries that comprise Buchananís clientele include: furniture, architectural millwork, kitchen cabinets, laminated flooring, S4S boards, picture frames, pallet manufacturers and concentration and distribution yards, in addition to international markets.
The species handled by Buchanan includes: Brown and White Ash, Poplar, and Red and White Oak. In fact, Red and White Oak make up 90 percent of the companyís production.
Ousley noted that the firm produces about 40 million board feet of flooring and lumber annually. Buchanan is abl
Buchanan is equipped with state-of-the-art computerized machinery, such as Corley, Hasko and Morris Industries.
e to produce such a high volume because itís equipped with state-of-the-art computerized machinery, such as Corley, Hasko and Morris Industries.
Through the years, Buchanan has renovated its facilities in order to accommodate current technology and machinery. For example, the firmís original five kilns were eventually converted to steam kilns, which have the capability to produce more than 1 million board feet simultaneously, or the equivalent of 7,500 feet of lumber per hour. All totaled, Buchanan utilizes 12 kilns and has the capability to straight-line rip and S2S.
Buchananís sawmill also benefits from modern technology and uses current Corley computer carriages to ensure accurate thicknesses to 3-thousandths of an inch.
Harold Bryant, sawmill manager, and Doug Fikes, flooring manager, both believe, ďIf you are not currently updating your equipment, you will die on the vine.Ē
In addition to the Corley carriage, Buchanan Hardwoods uses a Salem head rig, a hydraulic gun 385, a Salem gang, a 4-foot HMC resaw, an Irvington-Moore trimmer, a 382 Newman planer and a 46-inch Beloit debarker.
Buchananís brand of strip flooring is Elite, which is manufactured from the firmís own lumber.
Buchananís sawmill produces 17 to 20 million feet of lumber and cants annually. Ninety percent of that production is comprised of Red and White Oak while Ash and Poplar make up the remainder.
Harold Bryant, sawmill general manager, has worked at Buchanan for 34 years and is quick to praise the expertise of the millís staff. Of the total 250 Buchanan employees, 65 work at the firmís sawmill and 175 at the flooring plant, noted Bryant.
ďBuchananís main direction is service and quality as they go hand in hand,Ē said Ousley.
Ousley has been a member of the Buchanan team for 34 years. His understanding of how to build a thriving relationship with his customers was nurtured by his father, Lee, who was the sales manager at the firm from 1960 through 1982, the year of his death. Lee taught Butch his best lesson, which was, ďTo take care of the customer in a timely fashion and always be frank and honest with him.Ē
Since its first year, Buchanan Hardwoods has manufactured and shipped more than 3 billion feet of hardwoo
Stacks of boards are kept under covered storage to protect the product from damaging effects of the weather.
d lumber and flooring. The Aliceville site is now the firmís headquarters for all manufactured export products, as well as export products from the companyís concentration yard in Granite Falls.
Among the many items that Buchanan exports, these were among the top sellers in 2006, according to Ousley: coffin Oak; strip flooring; veneer logs and stock-width White Oak.
In addition to Ousley and Bryant, other key personnel at Buchananís sawmill include: Jacob Harrison, lumber buyer; John Fields, yard foreman; Don Moore, log buyer; Donald Bryant, sawmill plant manager; Doug Fikes, flooring manager; Jim Manning, lumber inspector; and Melissa Clark, office manager/controller.
Key personnel for Elite Flooring and the lumber sales department include: Jim Bailey, lumber/flooring sales representative; Linda Wright, flooring sales representative; and Debbie Sawyer, credit manager and international documents administrator.
Throughout its history as a company, Buchanan Hardwoods has been an active member and supporter of various industry-related organizations. Recent examples of leadership by Buchananís personnel include: current dire
Buchanan owns and/or manages more than 100,000 acres of timberland to ensure a controlled supply of quality hardwood for its sawmill.
ctor of National Oak Flooring Manufacturerís Assoc.; past director of the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc.; past president of the Hardwood Manufacturers Assoc.; past director of the National Lumber Exporters Assoc.; past director of the Alabama Forestry Assoc.; past president of the Southwestern Hardwood Manufacturers Club; and past president of the Appalachian Lumbermenís Club.
ďThere is no way to not succeed if you have good people that are dedicated to quality and service,Ē Osuley said, ďbut, most importantly, to look after each and every customerís needs.Ē
Buchanan utilizes 12 kilns and has the capability to straight-line rip and S2S.