A CENTURY OF SERVICE: Woodson Lumber Company
Sponsored by Epicor
A: R.W. Slovacek, working at the company’s Caldwell yard in 1917, photo courtesy of John Edward Hejl.
B: Woodson Lumber Co. in Caldwell, exact year unknown.
C: Harrie P. Woodson, Jr. on a lumber buying trip to Louisiana, 1930.
D: Woodson Lumber Co. of Caldwell photo for the Mitre spread in the article “Woodson Lumber Company Believers in Displaying Merchandise”, June 1930.
THE YEAR WAS 1913, when brothers Jim and Harrie Woodson opened the doors of the first Woodson Lumber Company in Caldwell, Texas. During the company’s early years, its mission was simple: To get quality building materials to customers as quickly as possible, at the fairest price possible, with as much community involvement as possible.
Harrie’s sons-in-law M.G. Perkins and Tom Yager, Jr. carried that mission through the second generation of the business, starting in 1946. Woodson Lumber developed and grew internally over the following decades, providing a flourishing work environment for staff members of every generation. In 1992, the Mexia and Groesbeck yards were opened under the Woodson name.
Tom Yager, Jr.’s daughter, Ann Woodson Yager Chapman, began working for Woodson Lumber in 1994, and in July of 1995, the Buffalo location was opened in fulfillment of Tom’s vision for the company as Ann transitioned into the leadership. The addition of the Buffalo yard brought Woodson Lumber Company to seven retail locations. The company still operates those seven stores as well as a custom door and gate shop, and a corporate office, which in all serves much of central Texas through 135 dedicated staff members.
Three generations—and 103 years—later, owner and CEO Ann Woodson Yager Chapman said the family company still follows those same principles of delivering quality building materials quickly, fairly priced and with community involvement along the way. With fourth-generation leadership at the ready, Woodson Lumber has a steady hold on a successful business for years to come.
A 2015 switch to Epicor BisTrack business software helped bring that future success into focus, Chapman said. Though business may seem to be faster and a little more complicated these days, Epicor software has helped Woodson Lumber Company in areas that have become inherently important to the current business climate.
“It has become more important to readily identify trends, customers, products and the ability to cut through the big data has really been important to us,” Chapman said. “We’re very glad to have made the switch to Epicor BisTrack.”
“All employees have picked up the basics of our new system quickly, which is an additional benefit as we onboard and train new people. As we bring on new staff members, especially those with Information System training, BisTrack provides a more clear view of business functions, allowing them to see how the lumberyards’ business works.”
Woodson Lumber Company has seen a world of changes since 1913. One thing that has remained is the company’s ability to identify areas for improvement, to embrace new technologies that facilitate these improvements, and to grow in its communities while it does.
“Basically, we do the same thing we’ve done for 103 years,” Chapman said. “What my grandparents stressed, that same commitment and tradition continues today.”
Do you know of a Lumberyard or Building Materials distributor that has passed the century mark and should be added to this list?
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