Michigan Company Oakwood Veneer Celebrates 25-Year Milestone

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In an era marked by factory closings, manufacturing jobs being shipped overseas, and massive layoffs devastating the economy, Oakwood Veneer Company of Troy, Michigan, is bucking the trend. Celebrating their 25th anniversary in business, Oakwood is expanding their inventory and product selection, offering quicker turnaround times for special orders, and hiring new employees.

Oakwood Veneer Staff

Oakwood Veneer Staff

In order for a customer to buy product from us – or any company – you have to do more for the customer than your competition. We try to do a lot more.

Starting from a tiny back warehouse section of a metro Detroit kitchen refacing company, Oakwood Veneer began small and local, increasing steadily while slowly accumulating stock of some of the world’s hardest to find wood veneer. CEO Peter Rodgers explains, “By 1992, we had 50 species, but most of those were the most popular woods such as oak, maple, and cherry.” Five years later, Oakwood had nearly doubled their stock to 72 species, and by the year 2000, it had doubled again. By 2010, Oakwood was selling 300 species of veneer, and today it’s over 320, including a high percentage of exotic and rare woods.

“If you try to find rather rare species like leopardwood or obeche, you usually come up empty handed. That is, unless you call us at Oakwood,” Rodgers said.

When asked about today’s business environment, Rodgers said, “In order for a customer to buy product from us – or any company – you have to do more for the customer than your competition. We try to do a lot more.” Since Oakwood Veneer is the manufacturer as well as the supplier, they are able to provide their customers with an unprecedented combination of veneer species, sizes and backers, with a 24-hour turnaround. Because of this, architectural woodworkers, furniture makers, or any other veneer users have the choice of more than 2,500 wood veneer configurations at any given time, shipped in one business day or less.

In addition, Rodgers states that this gives his company a better handle on quality control. “If there are quality issues, we listen and respond because we are small and nimble. Fabricators and the end users can talk directly to us,” said Rodgers, who is a fanatic about being accessible to his customers – to the point of banning voicemail from his company. It is this attention to direct communication and detail, as well as an ever-expanding product and service offering that has kept his company prosperous, even through all the difficult economic times. That is why Oakwood Veneer is successfully celebrating 25 years in business as it plans ahead for the 25 years beyond.

Oakwood Veneer is located at 1830 Stephenson Highway in Troy, Michigan. It is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Visitors are welcome and factory tours are available upon request.

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