250-245-2499 rick@sawmillsales.ca


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Sawmill Sales Direct
THE OWNERS

Sawmill Sales Vancouver IslandExperience is the key when it comes to the success of Sawmill Sales Direct. With more than 60 years of collective experience in the sawmill industry, the partnership of Bob Adams and Rick St. Denis is a winning combination. Before joining this Ladysmith-based sawmill company Bob worked in the Vancouver Island sawmill industry for more than 35 years, primarily in smaller operations in a management and/or ownership capacity. Rick has also been an active part of the lumber industry for many years. The majority of his 25 year experience lays in the secondary manufacturing and finishing sector. Rick’s business career began in 1989 with a sawmill operation performing many of the same functions as he does with Sawmill Sales Direct but on a much smaller scale.

 

BUSINESS HISTORY and INSPIRATION

While initially focusing on the primary milling of lumber, in the mid 1990s Rick changed the production direction of this operation toward the remanufacturing and finishing side of the business. The emphasis then was on providing export products for the Asian and European markets. In 2002, Sawmill Sales Direct as it is known today was established.Sawmill Sales Direct on Vancouver Island

Approximately a decade ago the two owners recognized a genuine need for a wider range of quality locally-sourced Cedar products, materials that would be available to contractors, builders and homeowners. They identified an underserved niche where they could readily supply end users with cedar products, produced directly from the mill. This business model would cut out wholesalers and pass the savings directly onto the customers. In essence when a customer buys from a Big Box Store they purchase a lumber product that has been produced in a large-scale mill, distributed to a wholesaler and then sold to the stores. The lumber has to pass through many hands, with a resulting increase in price along the way, before it eventually reaches the end user. This high volume process results in a narrower range of products with little attention being paid to detail and quality.

Douglas Fir Lumber Vancouver IslandThe owners of Sawmill Sales Direct believe this “Big Box Store” approach diminishes the number and viability of small, family owned sawmills – the very mills that are in a position to provide a level of personal service to builders and homeowners not possible with a major distributor. Producing a quality product, custom milled to the specifications of the purchaser, has proven to be a successful business model for the company. To learn more about Sawmill Sales Direct and its business philosophy check out this interview with company co-owner Rick St. Denis.