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Robert Weed Rebranding as Firm Evolves, Grows

Robert Weed Chief Revenue Officer Will Weed and President and CEO David Weed

A mainstay on the supply side of the RV industry since 1966, Robert Weed Plywood Corp. has been rebranded as Robert Weed Corp. According to Will Weed, chief revenue officer, the new corporate name recognizes the diversification of materials the company supplies to RV OEMs and the new “customized service” supply chain support it provides.

“First and foremost we have alleviated ourselves of the word plywood from our business name,” said Weed, whose 400-employee, Bristol, Ind.-based firm also operates two Idaho locations. “We are more than just paneling or plywood products. The new Robert Weed Corp. now handles countertops, cabinet components, shelving, drawer sides, doors, rack items and other products along with sheet goods.”  

He said the new corporate tagline, “One Step Ahead” refers to the company’s new goal to become a strategic partner. “We want to be the most strategic partner in our customer’s supply chain,” he said. “So rather than just selling and supplying products, this year we are selling our ability to partner with our customers so that they are not negatively impacted by shortages of materials and can continue production uninterrupted.”

Weed noted that an industrywide shortage currently facing RV OEMs is with Meranti (lauan) plywood. “There’s a huge shortage right now,” said Weed. “It’s been brewing for well over three months. It looks like Indonesia is going to reduce their concessions by 20% in 2018. This is where being a strategic partner with our customers matters. We’ve been able to work with our importers and our mills to make sure that we get material. We’ve also offered our customers alternative products.”

Weed explained that working closely with customers to plan and forecast production needs, along with having long-term relationships with many of its vendors, has resulted in the company’s ability to create a sustainable supply chain. “What we are now selling is that total supply chain value,” he said. “So, it’s not only a good price for the panel or countertop, it’s also the fact that we can anticipate what our customer will be running so they continue production uninterrupted and can focus on what they do best — manufacturing.”

Partnering with the new Robert Weed Corp., he maintained, has defined benefits. Software in place internally helps firms with supply chain issues. “We offer real solutions if you are a partner company,” said Weed. “We will allocate 20% of our resources on a daily basis. Partnering companies also have visibility as to what that schedule looks like and how their products fall into the supply chain. If you need to move something up three days, you can do that within your allocation of our resources. So, having access to that not only gives our customers comfort, but also gives them flexibility they need to change their schedules.”

The new corporate branding features the initials of the company’s founder —Robert Weed — in his actual handwriting against a bold red background. “This new brand is from his signature,” said Weed of his grandfather. “We still think there is a lot of brand equity in the market with the Robert Weed name. We didn’t want to lose our background and our heritage, but we also wanted a fresh perspective. Thus the big RW block logo.”

He said other visual elements of the new brand also denote change. “We were looking for something that felt a little more innovative. Again, our strategy is a more robust supply chain partner. This the red color. We stand out. It’s not the earth tones of our competitors. It’s a total departure from the old brand.”

“We are truly a different company now,” concluded Weed, adding that he is actively looking into corporate expansion moves in other parts of the country to better service their customer base. “We’ve become more competitive. We can work with our business partners, or we can work on the commodity side of the market as well. This is not something we strived to do in the past. So, we’ve changed a lot as a company and this new identity reflects that change.”

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