Matos Forest Products LLC
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Brandon Bagley
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
With more than 20 years of experience in the molding market, Matos Forest Products LLC has become one of the largest importers of moldings and millwork in the United States. Located in Encitas, California, Matos Forest Products imports and distributes its product to the wholesale market throughout the western and southern parts of the country. The experience that Matos Forest Products possesses has created unique advantages in the industry, allowing the company to transition those advantages to its customers. By providing comprehensive consulting and advice, Matos Forest Products’ clients gain a competitive edge in their respective markets.
Matos Forest Products was founded in 2009 by Bill Matos. Entering the industry directly out of college, Matos immediately discovered a passion for the relationship-building aspect of the industry. “I initially began as an intern filing paper work,” Recounts Matos. “Eventually the company I was with had me on the phones selling product, which I immediately had success with.”
In 1996, Matos established relationships with numerous Brazilian mills, which would eventually be the catalyst for starting his own company. “When the firm I was working for went out of business, the mills overseas approached me and said they wished to continue working with me,” says Matos. “I took my contacts and ran with them. Because of the solid relationships I established, I’m able to act as their sales agent rather than a broker.”
A unique aspect of Matos’ business is that customers remain connected with the mills as well, which creates a transparent operation for all parties involved. A majority of Matos’ clients are distributors that purchase the product and then supply to major retail outlets and lumberyards.
For many homeowners in the country, there is a strong chance that the moldings and millwork in their houses were imported from South America. With the majority of materials supplied by Matos Forest Products coming from Brazil, customers receive quality products that live up to the highest standards in the industry. Matos specializes in commodities, such as raw and primed finger joint boards, door jambs, base and crown casings and door stops.
From his perspective of the market in the country, Matos says that the demand for moldings and millwork has been strong. “All the distributors around the nation that are buying moldings and selling to homebuilders are moving product,” Matos elaborates. “The market, though, is still remaining strong for the buyer.”
A bright future
The production of wood products throughout the world continues to increase. With automation and machinery being utilized in factories, the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Throughout this progression, Matos views his strong relationships with the mills and clients as an opportunity for all involved and feels he has an obligation to continue to push their products to the best of his ability.
“Our agreements are based on a very firm handshake,” says Matos. “Many of the mills I work with are family businesses that have been in existence for more than 50 years. They aren’t going away. They have assured me that they will continue to require my services because they just want to make the wood; they need me to sell it for them.”
Matos Forest Products focuses on maintaining relationships — a priority that has the potential for exponential growth over the coming years. “The number of customers keeps growing,” says Matos. “We give personal attention to each of our clients. If I need to get on a plane and fly somewhere to speak with a customer face to face, I’ll do that.” Matos says that these relationships separate him from being a broker. “When customers buy through me, they are buying directly from the mills,” he explains. “The closer I get the customer to the mill and vice versa, the more successful my company is. A lot of this is due to my co-worker, Becky Jakubowski. She handles all inventory, payables, receivables, banking, dispatches, claims and has a great personal touch with all mills and customers.”
Matos says that one of the most important factors for anyone in this type of business is to not be fearful. “It’s very important to keep the goal in front of you of taking your relationships to where you want them,” he says. “As a ‘middleman’ if you have a fear of getting cut out, then you will.”
With a small operation of three employees, Matos maintains low overhead. This allows him to remain focused and continue to provide the personal touch for which Matos Forrest Products LLC has become recognized.
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