D&WC: Please give a detailed description of your company and its history.
Ken LoBue: Richard Phillips and I established Highland Lumber Sales, Inc. in March 1991 in Santa Fe Springs, CA. From the beginning, our philosophy has always been to provide the customer with quality products and outstanding service at a fair price. Our commitment to these principles continues to serve our customers well today.
We currently operate in a three-acre facility in Anaheim, employing 60 people.
D&WC: Who are your customers? What parts of the country do you service?
Richard Phillips: We serve all different sizes of shutter manufacturers from the one-man shop to large factories. Most of our customers are based in Southern California; however, in recent years we have expanded to the national level, shipping to all parts of the United States.
D&WC: How many salespeople do you employ?
Phillips: Currently we employ five salespeople who have a collective experience of more than 100 years in selling lumber products to the industry.
D&WC: How has your segment of the industry changed since you first began?
LoBue: When we began in business most shutter components were manufactured from a soft wood (sugar pine), but due to tight availability and fluctuating prices the industry has shifted to hardwoods such as basswood and poplar.
Additionally, our customers' expectations of quality and timely deliveries have increased. For example, when we started none of our louvers were sanded, and we ran the orders as we received them. Today, we sand the louvers with a state-of-the-art, eight-head sander, and we stock most of our customers' products for prompt just-in-time deliveries.
D&WC: What best describes your niche in the marketplace?
Phillips: Our niche in the marketplace has been to provide quality components to primarily shutter manufacturers. However, we have occasionally run patterns for the wood blind industry.
Because we manufacture all of our components on site, we have total control over quality and the on-time shipment of orders. We also have the ability to pre-prime our customers' components, which has been cost effective for them.
D&WC: What are some of the key factors involved in your growth and success?
LoBue: Some factors that have contributed to Highland's growth and success are our commitment toward striving for quality improvements in our products through investments in stat-of-the-art machinery and the continued training of our personnel.
Additionally, we have made a substantial investment in maintaining a large finished goods inventory of the most commonly used shutter component profiles for prompt shipment.
D&WC: What are your strengths in the marketplace?
Phillips: Highland's strengths in the marketplace have been its reputation for being honest, fair and a quality supplier of shutter components to the industry. Another strength would be our ability to supply a consistent product over the long term with respect to service, price and quality.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
LoBue: What distinguishes us from our competitors is our outstanding employees, our attention to details and how we listen closely to our customers' needs and supply them with superior products whenever they require them.
Highland Luber sales, inc.
300 E. Santa Ana St.
Anaheim, CA 92805
fax: ( 718) 778-2298