Owner Talks Services and Customer Satisfaction
Photographer / Elizabeth Hubbard
Levi Miller, owner of Miller Hardwoods, has made his business successful by ensuring that his customers are satisfied.
“I’ve been doing it that way since I started,” Miller says. “I began working in this business in February 1975. I worked with a portable sawmill, and I didn’t know one tree from another. I really had a lot to learn, but I worked hard at it.”
Miller started out part time, but was eventually able to turn his work into a full-time venture.
“I was also working at a trailer factory,” he says. “I worked full time at Fairmount Trailers, in the metal department. I put metal on the exterior of the trailers.”
Miller says he no longer works with hardwoods, and now focuses all of his attention on the mulch side of his business.
“The sawmill I worked with lasted several years, and now we are all about mulch,” he says. “We previously worked with green lumber, which is called hardwood. We had our own cutting crew that did a great job over the years. In 2006 we shut down the mill. We had a good run with it.”
Miller is glad he kept the mulch aspect of his business, which has thrived.
“We have between 80 and 90 semi trucks of mulch a year,” Miller says. “We have used two semis for deliveries, but we usually only use one semi.”
Miller Hardwoods dyes their mulch black and dark brown, which customers appreciate.
“Our customers are really happy with the mulch they get,” Miller says. “We keep really close tabs on all of our customers, and stay in touch with them to make sure they are satisfied with everything. They tell us they really like the texture of the mulch. I have a good reputation with my customers, and that really means a lot to me.”
Miller added that he regularly asks his customers what Miller Hardwoods could do to improve.
“We’ve received a lot of compliments over the years, and there’s nothing better than that,” he says. “I regularly call my wholesale customers, and ask them what I can do to enhance my products. I really want to get their feedback so I can work even harder to make them even more satisfied.”
Miller credits his employees with much of the business’s success.
“My wife Mary Ellen has been my secretary for the last 45 years,” he says. “We will have been together for 47 years this coming June. We have a good working relationship, and we enjoy working together.”
The couple believes positive word of mouth from happy customers has kept them in business for so long.
“We have a good delivery service, and we know how to treat people right,” Miller says. “We also use high-quality mulch that is not ground up. Our mulch is a premium mulch. Our customers love it. When they are happy, I’m happy.”
Miller Hardwoods is located at 8760 West 1350 North in Nappanee. Call 574-773-9371 for more info.