Transforming an Industry: How Robert Weed Corporation Stays a Step Ahead

How Robert Weed Corporation Stays a Step Ahead_2
Photo Courtesy: Robert Weed Corporation

By: Maria Williams

Disruption is the new “It” word in business, and plenty of CEOs want to think of it as their hallmark, but few are willing to put their money where their mouth is and start with their own company. That’s what Will Weed, of the Robert Weed Corporation, did. 

After getting involved in the family business from the tender age of 14 and eventually taking over four years ago, Will began a top-to-bottom reimagining of the company and the industry. Today, only 15% of the company’s original executives remain after bringing in a wide range of diverse individuals, and its workforce is being systematically upskilled in a way the industry has never seen.

Even the company’s name is different. It had been Robert Weed Plywood, founded by Will’s grandfather in 1966. As Robert Weed Corporation, it now provides a full suite of RV components, including panel products that go into flooring and walls and many other components RVs contain. They also have state-of-the-art mill room capabilities and deal in raw plywood, composite, and plastic composite, as well as laminated panels, wrapped profiles of all kinds, and engineered products and fixtures. 

It’s a lot to handle, but Robert Weed Corp has become the type of company that rises to industry-betterment challenges. They’re proud to drive change, both in their own industry and in those of their partner companies. Lost opportunities keep Will up at night, “there are billions of dollars’ worth of opportunities out there,” says Will, so “I get excited about helping our customers tap into that money.”

How Robert Weed Corporation Stays a Step Ahead_2
Photo Courtesy: Robert Weed Corporation

A primary driver of this opportunity for Robert Weed Corp is continued investment in its workforce. Will thinks the industry is overlooking the real value of its laborers. “The four generations of individuals we have within our organization are the fabric, culture, and DNA of who we are and what we stand for,” Will says.

In the new Robert Weed Corp, laborers receive regular training and opportunities to improve their skills. Will says this is “so they can better take care of their families, have better working conditions, work fewer hours but earn more money. I call this “taking our laborers and upskilling them into technicians and engineers.” 

At first glance, Will’s approach may seem unusual—is he advocating for less work? However, in his forward-thinking industry, the focus isn’t on sheer hours but maximizing workers’ effectiveness, leading to a more fulfilled workforce. Will wants to “maintain the culture of a family-owned business but bring the sophistication of a Fortune 500 company.”

Robert Weed Corp has seen great results from these changes—customers become collaborators—and laborers are happier, more skilled, and do better work. Plus, there are more opportunities to provide higher value to more businesses. What’s more, they’re ready to revolutionize the entire supply chain, from sustainable resourcing to delivery. Will believes that other companies in the industry will see these results and follow. 

However, Will also acknowledges that “Our company has been a victim of our own success.” Robert Weed Corp’s current success has further highlighted how “the industry is likely 15 years behind the times in terms of implementing technology, connectivity, and best practices.” Nevertheless, Will is optimistic that they can bring the industry up to date and lead it forward.

After all, the company motto is “A Step Ahead.” That’s a value Will has clearly inherited from his grandfather—and he plans to live up to it.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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