Doing business locally is more important today than ever before. For nearly 100 years, Pineland Lumber has remained committed to its community and responsive to their needs. According to Neal Ouellette, who co-owns Pineland Lumber along with Ruth Gallagher, the business has been a proud contributor to the economic growth in Lewiston-Auburn and, throughout its history, has looked for opportunities to give back to the community that has supported its business success.
Ouellette expressed an increased need for supporting local community organizations and businesses in economic times like these. As with many businesses, Pineland Lumber receives solicitations weekly for supplies and materials for various group and organizational projects throughout Androscoggin County.
Alongside its community support is Pineland Lumber’s effort to help individual building contractors control the costs to their customers in a tough, competitive market. With this in mind, Pineland Lumber is a member of Lumbermen’s Merchandising Corporation, the largest buying co-op available for independent lumber dealers. Pineland’s membership allows them to “level the playing field,” keeping them competitive pricewise with the larger “big box” stores.
Perhaps one of Pineland Lumber’s greatest secrets to success in a slow economy, however, is its ability to deliver customer service with a veteran team of professionals ranging from the company owners to yardmen, from inside and outside sales staff to project designers. Together they boast more than 250 years experience in the building industry. As Ouellette put it, “Here, the owners are in the store. We don’t need to call a board meeting to make a decision about whether we can provide a product for a particular project. We can decide right here, right now with a customer.”
Ouellette continued, “There is something that no amount of advertising or money can buy and that’s relationships. Knowing, really knowing your customers, not only by budget or project but by name, by family. When you establish commonality, you take the extra time.” Nearly 100 years of business success supports that statement and is yet one more good reason why supporting local businesses benefits everyone.