Vertical Integration, Relationships Shape The ‘lndusTREE Advantage’

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Crossties Magazine July/August 2017

A lot has changed since Larry Jones and Lee Davis established IndusTREE in 1994. But one thing has remained the same: the company’s com­mitment to building relationships with its customers.

This is why companies from Georgia Pacific and International Paper to John Hancock Timberlands and West Frasier turn to IndusTREE time and again. And it’s one of the reasons the company has experienced such incredible growth, becoming one of the largest timber suppliers in the region, one of the largest logging contractors and one of the largest suppliers of crossties in Alabama. “Maintaining positive relationships is key­it always has been,” said Jones, the com­pany’s president. “We are very open and upfront with our customers and employees, which is beneficial to everyone. It helps us all in dynamic markets.”

IndusTREE originally started out small­with just two employees-as a timber pro­curement and forestry consulting operation. “Back then, Lee and I were the company,” Jones said. “We strictly bought and cut tim­ber and delivered it to sawmills and paper mills in our local area.”

In the early 2000s, the company added its first hardwood sawmill through a partner- ship with Bass Lumber Company. From there, IndusTREE continued to grow, evolving into a major supplier of every forest industry service, from seedling to finished product, working closely with all industry entities, from landowners to loggers and from mill owners to mill customers.

“We are vertically integrated today, so we offer everything from helping a landowner with a timber management plan-which could include planting trees all the way through harvesting-to the end product of actual manufacturing,” Jones said. “So, we are involved from the stump of the tree all the way to the finished product and eve­rything in between. All of this is possible because of our vertical integration.”

That vertical integration includes four divisions that combine to create the “IndusTREE Advantage.” IndusTREE Timber delivers a complete range of timer management services. IndusTREE Properties provides a variety of services to meet timberland owner recreation and land development goals. IndusTREE Logging has the machinery and muscle to put timber and property management plans into action and now boasts IO company-owned log­ging crews. And IndusTREE Manufacturing operates four efficient log-processing facili­ties that produce key infrastructure products.

“All of that control of the vertical integra- tion gives us a definite advantage,” Jones said. “It benefits landowners of all sizes, from small-tract individuals to some of the largest corporate timberland owners in the world.”

To keep that advantage and momentum going, IndusTREE’s leaders are continuing to focus on what they have been the last 20-plus years: treating employees the way they would like to be treated themselves. “We enjoy hiring qualified, competent peo­ple who fit our core values and letting them do their jobs,” Jones said. “When you do that, it allows for growth and success.”

Company leaders also look for ways to improve their products and services wher­ever possible. Right now, that means look­ing for ways to better incorporate modem technology.

“We’ve been talking with engineers at several of our manufacturing plants to put in optimization equipment that will help us better take advantage of technology,” Jones said. “We’re doing our best to take advan­tage of new technology to improve efficien­cies and processes by always looking for a better way. That can certainly add to the lndusTREE Advantage.”