Case Studies

Diamond Hill Plywood Company: Leaders in Quality and Service

  • Written by: Diamond Hill Plywood Company: Leaders in Quality and Service
  • Produced by: Diamond Hill Plywood Company: Leaders in Quality and Service
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Sherman Ramsey founded Diamond Hill Plywood Company (DHP) in 1945 with a very simple mission: To meet the needs of his customers. Fast forward three generations to twins John and Jim Ramsey, who continue to grow the company with the help of a team of talented professionals. They take pride in supporting customers and not just filling orders. Like grandfather Sherman Ramsey and father Jack Ramsey before them, the Ramsey brothers carry on the DHP tradition of mutual respect, self-sufficiency and a need to continuously improve all aspects of the operation. The Ramseys hope to build a relationship so that clients come back for the best quality material and even better customer service.

Today DHP numbers amongst the largest and fastest growing wholesale distributors of building materials in the Southeast with five locations, servicing Maryland, Delaware, Alabama, South Carolina and everywhere in between. Even so, DHP’s corporate headquarters are still located in Darlington, S.C. “As the company grew we could have easily moved our headquarters to a big city, but we didn’t because we’re proud to be located in Darlington,” says John, CEO of DHP.

While many people in the Southeast are likely to recognize DHP for its previous sponsorship of the NASCAR race held at the Darlington International Raceway, the company is better known for its unparalleled customer service in the building material industry. Since Sherman began selling hardwood plywood products, the company insisted on representing only the best quality products that customers and the Ramsey family can have 100-percent confidence in every purchase.

Only the Best

“We’ve seen it all,” laughs John. At one point DHP was approached about a product that gave dealers the availability to keep two colors in stock without keeping two separate inventories, because it was painted different colors on each side. The manufacturer made a convincing argument for some, but DHP passed knowing that contractors would soon realize it couldn’t be flipped over if one side got scratched.

Instead, DHP works closely with leading manufacturers and contractors to build the right family of products for its network of retail dealers. DHP’s product line includes lumber, hardwood plywood, engineered wood products, trims, siding, composite board, decking and railing.

Adding deck railing to the family of products may have been a natural move for DHP considering the company sells a range of decking materials, but all of DHP’s product selections are made with the help of its customers. The DHP sales team will often work with the dealer network and some of the area’s contractors directly to discuss building materials that can help increase a home’s resale value and outlast other products.

Additionally, DHP collaborates with manufacturers and regional dealers to stay ahead of products that can outperform competing on both durability and cost, enabling dealers to pass the savings on to retail customers. “No matter what kind of product it is, we always insist on representing only products with the best warranty coverage,” asserts John.

In recent years DHP has gained a competitive edge by consolidating its locations without compromising its high level of customer service. John notes that many of DHP’s locations were only a short commute from one another, so DHP made the decision to cut down on overhead and shift resources, allowing customers to maintain the convenience of receiving orders two or three times a week.

Customer Appreciation

As a result, DHP has helped clients move mountains to meet deadlines without ever missing a beat. If a customer needs an estimate or an order placed on short notice, the DHP team will make it happen. According to John, some of DHP’s clients have seen a turnaround so strong that one quarter’s sales will exceed the previous year of sales, especially in areas where the multifamily residential market is growing.

As a result, DHP was awarded the 2011 Supplier of the Year Award on behalf of the Southern Building Materials Association (SBMA). The award is voted on by SBMA’s membership of dealers in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia. DHP also snagged the 2011 Award for Most Original Booth Display with a 400-square foot decking material display.

“We go to the SBMA trade show every year because it’s a great way for us to catch up with some of our clients,” says John. “Even though we have been nominated for the award before we have never won, so when the announcer started calling us up to the stage we were a little surprised, but very honored.”

In turn, DHP hopes to keep the momentum going and increase its market share as new construction continues to grow. No matter where the DHP team looks to find growth in the future, the Ramsey family will uphold the company’s tradition of treating clients like family and only representing products worthy of the Diamond Hill Plywood Company seal of approval.

Published on: March 9, 2013

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