(L to R) Gary Knight and Randy Brown, owners of R. B. Lumber Co.
R. B. LUMBER CO.– Creating Profitable Relationships Through Integrity
By Wayne Miller
Oregon City, Ore.—Established in 1996, R. B. Lumber Co., a wholesale remanufacturer based here, produces Western Red Cedar products including fencing, decking and finger joint blocking in Clear to economy grade.
The company’s owners, Gary Knight and Randy Brown have a plethora of 64 years of experience in the forest products industry. Brown began by handling Spruce and MSR Softwood lumber for the finger joint market along with economy pallet stock. When Gary Knight came on board in 2002 with expertise in the Cedar market, the focus of R. B. Lumber evolved to Western Red Cedar products.
Sourcing mainly from the Pacific Northwest, R. B. Lumber Co. markets its products throughout North America, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. “The majority of our product comes directly from the Pacific Northwest,” Brown explained. “We do
Sourcing mainly from the Pacific Northwest, R. B. Lumber Co. markets its products throughout North America, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. “The majority of our product comes directly from the Pacific Northwest,” Brown explained. “We do a small amount with the inland empire, purchasing Inland Red Cedar for 2x4, 2x3 and 8-foot fencing and fencing rail stock.”
a small amount with the inland empire, purchasing Inland Red Cedar for 2x4, 2x3 and 8-foot fencing and fencing rail stock.”
Through export clients, the firm’s products are shipped overseas. “We try to be a source for customers regardless of the customer’s region,” Brown said. “We are a source-oriented wholesale remanufacturing company whose focus is to source what customers need, whether it’s wood products or other items.”
R. B. Lumber has the relationships and resources in place to source products for their customers no matter how diverse the request. “We recently received an inquiry from a New York school system. They intended to build a 4x8 and 10x10 perimeter fence with a pyramid top at 10x10. It also included 4x8 end rails and single rails,” Knight said. “We were able to source the material from places we know will remanufacture the parts correctly. We put the entire package together and sent back a couple of trucks to the customer with exactly what they requested per spec. Having the knowledge of where these particular plants are located and how to get the products processed with proper packaging and shipping made the project come together well.”
An employee prepares 1x2, 4’Western Red Cedar tile batts for shipment.
For the customer who needs a quick turnaround, R. B. Lumber Co. is the place to call. Whether the order is large or small the company can fill the bill in a hurry. “We have a client in the South who manufactures old style columns for which we source 2x4 and 2x6. He only needs two or three units at a time. So we do LTL or a partial shipment so that he doesn’t have to buy a whole truckload of material that would last 10 months. We supply him with a two-month supply so he can have new inventory for special requests. This particular client’s order file is only one week out so we get the product to him in a short period of time,” Brown said.
As for specialty requests, the two principals are well seasoned at fulfilling them. “Perhaps the customer can’t find the finger- jointed blocks they need, or simply don’t have the time to find them; we do the entire thing. We are a service supply company. If there is a need, we manufacture it; if it’s a finished product, we find it,” Brown commented. “We offer mixed loads with half rails, half fencing or 4x4’s. In today’s economy everybody is buying just what they need and we are accommodating that trend.”
Shown here is R. B. Lumber Co.’s 1x6 Western Red Cedar fencing.
Gary Knight added, “Regarding the remanufacturing side of our business, where it’s direct wholesale, we don’t manufacture from the log to the lumber base. We take raw lumber and manufacture a finished product base for our customers based on their requests, requirements and inquiries. We also supply a fair amount to people that manufacture a finished product. Whether it’s fencing or posts and rails or even tongue and groove for pattern stock, we sell the finished product back out of that.”
Most of R. B. Lumber Co.’s customers have a retail customer base or an installation- based customer base. “We’re on contract to sell production back out of the plants that we process material into,” Knight explained. “Where our customers have bought the material and processed it, the product that hasn’t been utilized is on contract to be sold back.
Honesty and integrity are the foundation on which R. B. Lumber Company was built. “You have to have honesty and integrity as well as a genuine concern for your customer and your supplier. Whether it’s a mill source, a customer and on to the freight handlers, you have to be honest with your contacts and treat everybody with respect, honesty and integrity. If you don’t, you have no place in the business world,” Randy Brown said.
This is a photograph of 1x6 Western Red Cedar being ripped to 1x4 with an automatic rip saw.
The message Randy Brown, Gary Knight and all of R. B. Lumber Co. delivers is clear. Collaborating with customers and suppliers alike to ensure profitable business for all parties is their business. “It’s about creating relationships here at R. B. Lumber Co. Creating ongoing profitable business in a business relationship and a personal relationship is our top priority,” Brown said. “Our customers are our friends not just customers, we guarantee a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone involved.”
R. B. Lumber Co. is a member of the North American Wholesale Lumber Assoc. (NAWLA), Portland Wholesale Lumber Assoc. (PWLA), The Portland Group and Hoo Hoo International. The company also participates in BC Wood’s Annual Global Buyers Mission in Whistler, B.C.
For more information about R. B. Lumber Co. and their products and services, contact (503) 655-8020.
Randy Brown (wearing hat) makes a quality control check.
Randy Brown (left) and Gary Knight (right) are well seasoned at fulfilling customer requests.