IndustryNet Blog

Searching for the Right Lumber Supplier

Posted by IndustryNet on Wednesday, July 22, 2020



Finding the right lumber supplier is vital to controlling costs and providing customers with well-constructed products.

Take a look at the various components buyers should consider when searching for the best supplier.

Location Counts

In this time of trade uncertainty, businesses may be wary of foreign suppliers. Of 17,589 lumber/wood companies in the U.S., only 8% import raw materials.

To minimize costs and avoid supply chain complications, lumber users may wish to stick with providers who depend on domestic sources.

Additionally, types and availability of U.S. lumber vary by geographical location. Since it is a natural rather than a synthetic product, weather conditions affect both its price and quality.

As such, utilizers of lumber products are wise to take heed of the elements affecting the wood. The area where it is harvested contributes to its characteristics, and the conditions under which lumber is stored can determine its quality upon arriving at a job site.

Using the appropriate grade of wood is also central to a successful project.

IndustryNet gathers and maintains up-to-date information on lumber suppliers across the United States with the ability to provide the types and grades of lumber businesses need.

The majority of lumber companies are located in the South and Northeast, each containing 37%. The Midwest is home to 27% of the lumber industry, with 19% in the West.

The Price

The cost of materials can make or break a project. Inquiring about the basis on which a quote is developed and comparing quotes from multiple suppliers can eliminate red ink.

Limiting transportation costs by finding suppliers closest to a building site can also favorably impact a bottom line. Additionally, loggers who mill and sell lumber eliminate a sales level and can charge lower prices.


Since the climate varies across the country, harvesting seasons will differ. Surprisingly, even in colder areas, some companies harvest in the winter.

Buyers who familiarize themselves with harvesting schedules can select dealers whose supply corresponds with their predicted demand, simplifying scheduling and reducing storage overhead. A reliable supplier may employ precision manufacturing to conserve time and minimize costs. Direct from mill shipment can dependably provide lumber where and when a builder requires it.

Available Products

A dependable supplier will carry the species of wood called for in a project's bill of materials. Some businesses may require exotic woods, which include:

• Mopane
• Paulownia
• Greenheart
• Chakte Viga
• Burmese blackwood
• Desert ironwood
• Pistachio
• Black locust
• Katalox
• Macacauba
• Ebony
• Mahogany

For construction in humid environments, suppliers should be able to provide a product with proven performance. Builders who depend on a dealer who must order unfamiliar stock can find themselves behind schedule or worse.

A supplier's selection should reliably fit a purchaser's lumber demands.

On Schedule

For a project to be completed as promised, a supplier must deliver full and correct shipments as scheduled. One method to determine whether a potential supplier demonstrates this capability is to check with other customers.

A lumber supplier with a good record can provide references, and a few calls or emails can prevent a lot of lost time, energy and money.

Larger Facilities

If the comfort level of the purchasing department increases with the size of a supplier's operation, a company can consult this list of the largest lumber-related companies (according to the number of employees):

1. Lowes, Cos., Inc. of Mooresville, North Carolina, 3,500.
2. Marvin Windows & Doors of Warroad, Minnesota, 2,600.
3. Andersen Corp. of Bayport, Minnesota, 2,500.
4. Masco Cabinetry of Middlefield, Ohio, 2,500.
5. Coblentz Bros., Inc. of Apple Creek, Ohio, 2,428.
6. PGT Custom Windows + Doors of North Venice, Florida, 2,200.
7. O.C. Tanner Recognition Co. of Salt Lake City, Utah, 1,650.
8. MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc., Ferdinand Opers. of Ferdinand, Indiana, 1,600.
9. Clayton Homes, Inc. of Maryville, Tennessee, 1,500.
10. Weyerhaeuser of Lebanon, Oregon, 1,340.
11. Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. of Ashland, Alabama, 1,300.

Streamlining the Search

IndustryNet is a free online resource that businesses across the United States can use to find lumber suppliers. Purchasers can rapidly sort by location and quickly obtain quotes. The company's listings also simplify reaching out to dealers. Start your free search on IndustryNet today for more information.

Want to keep up with the latest industrial procurement & sourcing trends and exclusive statistics from MNI? Industry professionals trust the free weekly IndustryNet Insider email as their go-to source for industrial news & statistics you can't find anywhere else. Subscribe here.

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