Alan Wiggins is the founder of The WPC Board Factory, which makes PVC decking boards for decks, patios and various other projects. He’s been in the industry since 2002, which has given him a great deal of experience with the company and the industry in general. Alan Wiggins sat down to discuss his company, his philosophy on business and what he likes most about what he does. Here’s what he had to say.
What Does a Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) Actually Look Like?
If you’re anything like me, you may have looked at a number of different sources that discuss wood plastic composites and haven’t really been able to visualize what these things actually look like. Are they made up of two completely separate materials? Are they board-like? I finally decided to get some pictures myself so I could put an image in your head while reading about these products. Keep reading…!
Meet Albert Kim, CEO
CEO Albert Kim grew up in a small town in South Korea. Unlike many of his high school friends, who went on to universities and prestigious jobs, Kim wanted something different. While studying accounting at a local college, he became enamored with manufacturing and eventually decided that his true passion was working with wood, not numbers. I’ve always loved working with my hands, says Kim. This led him to start his own business—and one particular enterprise gave him an idea for success. I saw how well wooden fences were faring overseas, he says. He also recognized an opportunity within South Korea itself to use wood as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional concrete panel fences. Thus was born The WPC Board Factory.
How did the idea for WPC come about?
Bill Kovacs, our founder, had been working in construction since he was 18 years old and saw firsthand how much money was wasted due to poor workmanship and materials. He knew that there were a lot of ways to improve home building quality without putting undue strain on homeowners’ pocketbooks. And, so he started brainstorming! His original plan was to find a way to make natural wood products using newer technology and at a better price point. A year later his breakthrough arrived when he discovered that wood plastic composite (WPC) could be as strong as real wood but cost much less than traditional solid-wood products. At that point Bill founded what is now known as The WPC Board Factory in order to bring his vision of quality homes for all Americans into reality!
Where Does Our Wood Come From?
As it turns out, a lot of people are trying to find sustainable sources for their wood building materials. The problem is that there’s no industry-wide definition for sustainable wood sourcing. So, we set about defining what sustainability means to us as a company: first, we only source from reputable companies with sustainable practices in place; second, each of our suppliers goes through a thorough vetting process; third, we make sure that our suppliers are actually living up to our standards. The result? We source from companies that ensure that their products are made with sustainably-harvested wood—the kind of wood used doesn’t really matter so long as they follow through on their promise to maintain responsible harvesting methods and practices.
What Is Manufacturing Process?
At its core, manufacturing is about making things in large quantities. Whether it’s printed books, steel girders or electronic components for cell phones, manufacturing requires coordination and automation of a series of steps. The more high-tech a product, however, the more complex those steps tend to be. A printed book might require little more than arranging type into pages on a printing press and pressing print. But an automobile will demand precision assembly at each stage of its production process. As such, manufacturers frequently employ a variety of specialized equipment and individuals to help them create finished goods as efficiently as possible.