National Hardwood Magazine

 
 
 

November 2013 Feature Story

 

Ruth and Steve McGill established Diamond Hardwoods, Fresno, CA, in 1996.
Customer Service and Quality are Priority at
Diamond Hardwoods

By Michelle Keller

Fresno, CA—Diamond Hardwoods, headquartered here, distributes all species of Hardwood lumber with a heavy focus to 4/4 FAS Alder, Oak and Poplar. Owner Steve McGill said average inventory for Diamond Hardwoods is about 2 million board feet between two facilities. “We have a second facility located 100 miles south of Fresno in Bakersfield, CA, that we opened in 2012,” he explained.

Other products offered by Diamond Hardwoods include Hardwood architectural mouldings, millwork, casings, columns, closet and cabinet parts and much more.

You’d be hard pressed to find a day where Steve McGill isn’t heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of his two facilities. Established in 1996, Diamond Hardwoods’ Fresno facility encompasses 30,000 covered square feet and 25,000 square feet in Bakersfield. McGill has been in the forest products industry for 41 years.  The unique story of how Diamond Hardwoods got off the ground is characteristic of the forest products industry in that the people he worked with became like family. “I started sweeping up around the sawmill for American Forest Products in 1972,” he said. “In 1976 I went to work for White Brothers in Oakland, CA. I worked for Don White for 20 years and became vice president of that company. We had a couple of different yards and Don was moving into moulding manufacturing. White Brothers is one of the oldest Hardwood lumber companies on the West Coast, established around the 1870’s. The facility that I ran was operating more as a wholesale lumberyard.”

The company has a fleet of five of their own trucks used for prompt shipment of its Hardwood lumber and products.
After working with Don White for so many years, what McGill never imagined was about to take place. “Don went on vacation to Mexico and when he came back he said, Steve you should buy this company and I’ll keep the facility in Oakland. I told him I didn’t have the money and he said that’s okay Steve, go home and discuss it with your wife. Next thing we knew, 30 days later I owned the company.”

According to McGill, he and his wife, Ruth, hadn’t thought they would be owners of a lumberyard 20 years ago, much less the two they have today. “My wife had been home raising children,” he explained. “I asked her to become controller of the company, she agreed, and Diamond Hardwoods was born.”

Diamond Hardwoods’ primary markets are custom cabinet shops and contractors. “We sell Hardwood mouldings to the contractor trade, but our main focus is the cabinet shops,” McGill explained. When asked about ensuring the quality of their products McGill noted, “The lumber that we procure is surfaced and dried before it arrives. We have what we call an ‘ugly board’ rule at Diamond Hardwoods. Everybody is on point to make sure that every board being sent out can be used. We have a quality control check twice before the product goes to the truck. Today our customers don’t have a lot of work so when they do get a job they want the material the next day. If we send something to them that hasn’t been pulled properly they can’t finish the job on time. We know if we pulled 70 correct orders and one incorrect, we haven’t done our job. Everybody here understands the end result of our hard work benefits us all.”

A wholesale Hardwood lumber company, Diamond Hardwoods’ primary markets are custom cabinet shops and contractors.
With five of their own trucks, Diamond Hardwoods offers mixed truckloads. “We have all of the materials that a cabinet manufacturer needs to build their products and we offer the flexibility of a one-stop-shop,” McGill said. “We pride ourselves on being a ‘can-do’ company. Our customers know that if they call us with an unusual request, we’ll find it.”

McGill recalled an unusual request that he recently filled. “The customer was looking for 12x12x18-foot long Clear Heart Redwood and we were able to find it. We pride ourselves on that ability and normally if we can’t find it—it can’t be found.”

With 12 employees McGill said the staff is cross-trained. “Everybody here is educated on all of our products. We don’t have department heads. Each person here is well equipped to discuss our stair parts, flooring, moulding or any of our products. Most all of our people have been here 10 years or more.”

Along with McGill and his wife, key personnel at Diamond Hardwoods include Hans Raher, vice president of operations and Sales Manager Kirk Durbin.

McGill attributes part of the company’s continued success to his employees. “We have outstanding people here. When we hire someone we look for character. I believe chemistry is huge. We believe in giving back to our people. We just came off of a great quarter and everybody got a bonus—not just the salesmen. It doesn’t matter how much we sell if the guys in the yard pull the order wrong or if the truck driver is rude to them. So we make sure that everybody here is an integral part of what we do.”

Other products offered by Diamond Hardwoods include Hardwood architectural mouldings, millwork, casings, columns, closet and cabinet parts and much more.
Diamond Hardwoods has been serving customers for over 15 years with lumber, plywood and architectural products to help enhance the design of any building. The firm carries leading brands, as well as custom-designed products. McGill said the company is committed to providing unsurpassed customer service to construction, interior design, decorator and homeowner customers. “Quality does not stop at our products,” he concluded. “We take pride in delivering quality products in a professional, prompt and efficient manner.”

For more information visit www.diamondhardwoods.net.









The company purchases 1 million board feet annually of primarily Alder, Oak and Poplar Hardwood lumber.

















Diamond Hardwoods’ Fresno facility encompasses 30,000 covered square feet and 25,000 square feet in Bakersfield.

 
 
 
     
 
 

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