Softwood Forest Products Buyer


Feature Story


Carl Tindell is owner and Chairman of the Board.
TINDELLís Provides Quality Products Through Innovation, Efficiency And Integrity

By Michelle Keller

Knoxville, Tenn. - From a steam powered sawmill in1892, Fate Tindell began a business in the counties of Knox, Union and Anderson, Tennessee that would later flourish to own building materials sales and warehousing facilities in Knoxville, LaFollette, Oak Ridge, Sevierville, Maryville and Cleveland, Tenn. Included in these facilities is a truss manufacturing plant, a commodity center, and millwork and installed sales divisions. Which are all part of Tindellís Building Materials, Inc.

Tindellís purchases approximately 4 million board feet of Southern Yellow Pine (2x4 through 2x12, No. 1 and 2, KD) and 7 million board feet of Spruce (2x4 through 2x8, Stud, No. 2 and Better) annually and is a member of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Assoc. (NLBMDA), Southern Building Material Assoc. (SBMA), the Wood Truss Council (WTC), and the Assoc. of Millwork Distributors (AMD).

The President of Tindellís Building Materials, Van Tilburg.
The Tindellís name has been associated with the wood products industry for over 100 years. In the early days Tindell would move his sawmill from one timber tract to another until he set a permanent location in Halls, a suburb of Knoxville, Tennessee in 1907. His son Francis joined Tindellís in 1938. The two began selling to builders in the area and a planing mill was installed in 1948. During the 1950ís the company expanded and a building materials business had fully developed. A second sales and supply center was added in 1960 and the company officially evolved from sawmilling to building materials.

The company continued to grow throughout the 1970ís with the opening of a roof truss operation and two more building materials centers in Maynardville and Halls. With the merging of the Maynardville and Halls facilities in the 1980ís the company began installing garage doors, fireplaces and vinyl siding. In the early Ď90ís the truss manufacturing plant expanded and a new facility was purchased in the west Knoxville area called Karns. Later that same decade the company expanded yet again adding a millwork division, a fourth retail facility and an international division exporting building materials to Korea. Today, Tindellís manufactures wood trusses, log cabin products and specializes in interior and exterior door assembly.

With approximately 130 employees Tindell's training methods are continuous. "As with most companies employee training is an ongoing process. New employees have a mentor depending on what part of the company in which they begin their employment", said Gene McKinney, vice president of purchasing.

Gene McKinney is the firmís vice president of purchasing.
A great deal of employee training is attained with one-on-one instruction as vendor representatives visit the retail stores. "Periodically we hold one-on-one training with vendor representatives. An example of this is a stair parts class might be scheduled in which our vendor holds two classes on the same day, training outside sales staff in the morning and inside sales staff at night. The stair part class is also supplemented with an on-line training course in which each inside salesman must score a 90 for proficiency. In addition, we usually provide new salesmen with an estimating reference manual which we obtain from SBMA", McKinney noted.

ďWe set up special in-house training on products such as trusses. Our truss manager, Jerry Dunsmore, instructs a training class dealing with truss terminology and basic take-off calculationsĒ, McKinney said. A well noted fact, all of the companyís designers are Wood Truss Council of America certified and have a minimum of 17 years experience in commercial design with the entire design staff averaging over 12 years experience as a whole.

Another training program the company utilizes involves material handling in which the millwork manager rides with delivery drivers and goes over a written material handling program that was developed specifically for any millwork item. This program relates to material handling, job-site presentation and storage. Safety is also a substantial part of Tindellís training program.

Tindellís Building Materials, headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., also owns building materials sales and warehousing facilities in LaFollette, Oak Ridge, Sevierville, Maryville and Cleveland, Tenn.
Tindellís delivers their product with a fleet of box trucks, dump trucks and lift trucks. Tandem and tractor load capability allow the delivery of a complete order usually in one trip. Delivering orders safely and damage free is high priority and often employees will stay with the job until the installation is complete.

The company has two employees that are Home Energy Rating System (HERS) certified. In August 2007, Matt Tindell and Steve Moore completed this certification. The Department of Energy recognizes HERS as the rating system for Energy Star Certification. As a 8-year recipient of the Tennessee OSHA SHARP Award for Excellence in Safety and Health, and an Energy Star Partner, Tindellís sets a standard of excellence as a service and quality leader in the building materials industry.

Looking to the future, McKinney stated, "Our outlook is heavily focused on controlling expenses, lowering costs and exploring more ways we can better serve our existing customers while attracting new customers."

Tindellís specializes in interior and exterior door assembly. In the 1990ís the firm added a millwork division.
The companyís mission is to consistently provide high quality products and service to their customers through innovation, efficiency and integrity. Customers are always the number one concern at Tindellís.

Other awards the company has received include, the 2007 ProSales Magazine and SBMA Dealer of the Year, 2004 ProSales Excellence Award for Installed Sales, 1996 Building Supply Business Magazine Retailer of the Year and 1996 NLBMDA Award For Excellence in Human Resources as well as many others.

For more information about Tindellís Building Materials and their products visit or contact them at 1-865-922-7751.

Tindellís doors are photographed here, ready for prompt shipment.

Tindellís delivers their product with a fleet of trucks. Tandem and tractor load capability allow the delivery of a complete order usually in one trip.


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