Thursday, February 10, 2022

Centuries-old family lumber businesses combine

Two of the oldest, family-owned building suppliers in the state recently joined forces as Mans Lumber and Millwork partnered with Dillman & Upton, the premier home improvement center in Oakland County.

Mans, located in Canton Township, also has operations in Ann Arbor and Trenton. Mans began as shipbuilders in 1900. While evolving to meet the changing needs of customers during the last century, Mans remains a family-owned and operated business.

The sale ensured the 110-year-old Dillman & Upton will also remain a family business, which was important to both partners, said Doug Mans, the president of Mans Lumber and Millwork. 

“We wanted to prioritize keeping it a family business,” said Mans. “It's part of our five-year plan to identify the need for locally owned building material businesses like ours to have both a plan for transition and succession.”

By teaming up with Dillman & Upton, Mans Lumber has created one of the largest suppliers of lumber and millwork in the region.

The partnership creates a company with more than 230 employees. Former co-owners Brad Upton and Todd Upton remain on staff as general manager and sales manager, respectively, along with all 60 of their employees. Saving local jobs, especially amid the pandemic, was important to both partners.

“This partnership will help us to continue to grow and improve our ability to compete in today's incredibly diverse and rapidly changing marketplace,” said Brad Upton and Todd Upton. “We have had a relationship with Mans Lumber and Millwork for decades; they're already like family, and now is the best time to join forces.”

The last few years resulted in soaring sales for Mans.  In 2020, Mans saw a 30 percent growth in sales, with 2021 projections expected to exceed that figure.