December 8, 2015
There’s a lot that can be said about a business being launched in the middle of a global financial crisis, and surviving to tell the tale.
Located in the South Brisbane suburb of Woodridge, with another store nearby in Stapylton, 5 Star Timbers was established on the back of a long family tradition of working in the timber industry.
Earlier this year TimberTrader News spoke with Justin Lanyon, managing director of 5 Star Timbers, about how the business got started – and what the future holds.
BACK TO THE START
Justin Lanyon entered the industry in 1989, originally employed at a mill called Pinewood Products, run by a man named Colin Sealy.
“Colin was the main man running the business at the time, and gave me my first opportunity in the timber industry,” Justin says.
Mill work is a great way for many to start in the industry. For Justin, working at a sawmill resulted in a strong interest in timber, which then developed into a passion.
During the late 1990s to early 2000s, Queensland was undergoing a significant period of change, which Justin witnessed first-hand.
“Big interest rates, lots of businesses falling over – it was a very interesting time, including the decline of the pine industry by CSR,” Justin says.
After seven years with Fineline Timbers, this period of change prompted him to set out on his own.
Aftersix weeks of setting up, Justin and the team at 5 Star Timbers commenced trading from the Queensland’s suburb of Staplyton, where the site still stands today.
However, It was a rough start for the Lanyon family. The recession in the construction sector was hitting Queensland and Australia at the time, which meant a tense period.
As the global financial crisis hit, Queensland timber suppliers started to struggle. Justin remembers it being a trying time for everyone.
So how did 5 Star Timbers go through this period and come out on top? As Justin explains, it was achieved by ensuring no opportunity was wasted. After so many decades working in the timber industry, the Lanyon family was not prepared to give up easily.
“There was then, and is now, nothing that we aren’t willing to do for our customers, so we made sure during that time we went that extra step,” he says.
Following that turbulent period, 5 Star Timbers emerged stronger than ever, acquiring major manufacturing machinery including a gas solar kiln, moulder, bandsaw, optimised docker, end matcher, and a protective oiler.
KEEPING IT MODERN
Today, Justin and his team are focused on adapting to the changing business environment, including utilising the digital age to their advantage.
“We’ve just revamped our website, and we have Brooke Bourke, a media and marketing executive, working for us as well. She has done a great job and it has changed the way that we do business.”
Brooke’s work with 5 Star Timbers includes a section on the website that houses news and advice, as well as answers to technical questions that customers often need help with.
While he is the first to admit that future goals are constantly changing, Justin remains true to himself when it comes to business prospects.
“We’re opportunistic as a business, so when things pop up in front of us, we’ve got to look at them for their worth – and then make the decisions.
In future, Justin and his team are eager to focus on improving their two branches, rather than expanding.
“We have a general plan going forward for the next five years, and that plan realistically encompasses building on the two branches that we’ve already got.”
Source: Timber Trader News
Monday 12th October 2015