Quality, Service And The Oldham Way By Terry Miller
Oldham Lumber Co., in Dallas, Texas, is proud of their sales team including Mike Wood, Tim Barcus, Kim Herriage, Bubba Finnell and Mark Sheppard.
Dallas, Texas— The Oldham Lumber Co. has spent the past 80 years working to ensure its customers are happy with the service the company provides. In addition to providing lumber, the employees at Oldham will go to any lengths to make sure that a customer is satisfied.
“And as far as local business goes, we’ve had guys come in and say ‘Hey, I want to buy everything from you,’ and we have sold him everything from the literal kitchen sink to toilets to windows and doors,” said Mike Wood, general manager of the company and a second generation lumberman. “If they’ll buy it from us, we’ll sell it to them.”
The Oldham Lumber Co. was founded in 1921 and Mike Wood’s father, Mickey Wood, bought the company in 1976. The company began with only two and a half acres of property, but grew to seven. And although Wood never thought that the company would need more than the seven acres, the company purchased another six acres next door to its property for expansion. Now the company has 13 acres, centrally located in the metroplex off Highways 20, 30 and 80, as well as the 635 and 12 loops around the area. The company is also located within two miles of the main Union-Pacific rail center in Dallas.
To ensure better products for their customers, Oldham keeps many of their products under T-sheds.
“We’re able to get cars switched pretty quickly,” Wood said. “And we’re open to switching from a lot of different areas so we can receive from the Burlington Northern and the Kansas City Southern. It enables us to get stuff from the Northwest and the Western states at a competitive price.”
The Oldham Lumber Co. also boasts 13 trucks ranging from flatbed trailers to single and tandem axle dump-bed trucks, in addition for easy delivery.
“We’ve got a tandem axle flatbed that has a forklift mounted on the back of it, because you might get into an area that’s kind of tight to get an 18-wheeler in, but we can take that 24-foot flatbed with the forklift on it, take it in there where it’s tight getting in and out,” Wood said. “It enables us to put sheetrock inside of garages with those forklifts and put materials in the garage or under cover- wherever the buyer might want it to be.”
The number of trucks the company owns, combined with the location near highways and the railroad, makes the delivery
This is one of several flatbed trucks the company runs for shipments out of the Dallas, Texas, lumberyard.
time for the company one of its marketing points to its customers. Wood said that the delivery time for the company is never more than 24 hours. The company also has Global Positioning System software installed in every one of the delivery trucks, so Oldham can provide accurate estimated times of arrival for its customers.
“I can give them coordinates by address, by latitude or by longitude,” Wood said. “Say a truck gets stolen. I can locate it within five minutes of it leaving my yard because if it happens after a certain time, it goes to a central monitoring center that calls one of our cell phones or one of our home phones.”
This also comes in handy if a customer discovers that they have missing products. Oldham can provide them with a detailed report that will show when the truck arrived at their address and how the load was unloaded.
“We market ourselves on service and quality,” he said.
According to Wood, the company’s local business covers a 150-mile expanse, in addition to working with companies that build hotels, restaurants and apartments nationwide. He also said he deals with three or four local carriers every day, which are located within the tri-state area.
Located within two miles of the Union-Pacific rail center in Dallas, Oldham can easily unload railcars like this one at their location.
“Contractors, private builders, home builders, commercial construction, commercial jobsites, concrete subcontractors,” Wood said. “We work with some of the nation’s top homebuilders in our area. We also sell to a lot of custom home builders, and we actually have some wholesale business.”
Wood also said that the company provides a diverse product base for customers, providing Southern Yellow Pine, green Doug Fir, kiln-dried SPF, finger joint studs, Yellow Pine plywood and all the OSB’s, as well as the MDO’s, the HDO’s, concrete accessory products for concrete subcontractors. The company also deals in I-joists, LVL’s and glulams.
“Moreover, we have an agreement with a local truss manufacturer who produces these open-web roof and floor trusses and wall panels,” Wood said. “We do a decent amount of business in that.”
The company purchases about 100 truckloads a month of various wood products from mainly sawmills.
“Our contracts are basically set up for a bare minimum, and then we buy from the market,” he said.
Shown here is Doug Fir being unloaded from a railcar.
To Wood, the excellent service that his company provides is most important. He will make sure that he can provide any product to a customer, that they get the products quickly and that they are happy with the product.
“We are getting out there and we’re going to match the guys that have bad service. We’re going to match their price, but we are going to give you good service, too,” he said. “You know the old adage: You can’t have your cake and eat it too? We’re trying to make sure that our customers have their cake, eat it and enjoy it.”
He also said that another important aspect of the company is the fact that there is not a high turnover rate of employees, so customers will deal with the same people year after year at Oldham.
“We have a crew here that by-and-large, most of them have been here for more than 10 years, and some of them 20. And it’s a familiarity-deal for them with the customers, and the customers with them,” he said.
The yard at Oldham is full of engineered wood products including I-joists, glulams and LVL’s.
The outside sales group includes Robert Page, Tim Barcus, Mark Sheppard, Ricky Crossley, Art Whitlock and Brad Allen with Bubba Finnell serving as the sales manager. Charman Aiwohi and Kim Herriage and Steve Carr comprise the inside sales team with Marissa Villareal acting as the inside sales coordinator. These people are the driving force behind the company.
Building relationships with customers, as well as vendors is important to Wood. He added that he likes to bring all aspects of his business together because they are all important to him and his business.
“I know that’s not the case at a lot of companies, but it is here because if I can’t buy it I can’t sell it,” Wood said. “So to me, a good vendor is as important as a good customer.”
With that kind of commitment, the next 80 years certainly look bright for Oldham Lumber.
Also in the T-shed, Oldham stores plywoods, MDO’s, HDO’s, OSB’s and Yellow Pine plywood.
The sales team at Oldham includes Marissa Villareal and Charman Aiwohi, Mike Wood, who serves as general manager and purchasing agent, and Steve Carr.