WOOD 100 Strategies for Success 2013: Productivity Enhancements

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 09/08/2013 7:52PM

 

Lexington Manufacturing, 2013 WOOD 100

Lexington Manufacturing, Minneapolis, MN — An OEM supplier of components to manufacturers of residential windows and commercial architectural doors, Lexington’s sales grew 34.2% in 2012, due in part to the company’s ability to lean its production. “In our commercial door division we combined two plants in order to reduce overhead and streamline operations,” says Bill DeWitt, account manager. Read more about Lexington

RiverCity Cabinets Inc., Austin, TX — The job of manufacturing, delivering and installing high-end custom cabinets has been a successful one for the 8-year-old firm, which has worked with many of Austin’s prestigious custom home builders, interior designers and architects. Read more about RiverCity

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Funder America Inc., Mocksville, NC
A melamine panel processor, Funder also offers component manufacturing and MDF powder coating. “This is driven by our innovation, technology, and vision to provide flexibility and value added services to our customers throughout the United States,” says Peter Funder, president. In 2012 the firm added a Homag 2262 single-sided edgebander to better service smaller and more project-based production. Sales grew 9.1%.

California Woodworking, Oxnard, CA
Offering a full service package for commercial projects, including project management, fabrication, delivery and installation, the caseworks and countertop maker has focused on maximizing its capabilities more efficiently. ”With a rebounding economy, we continue to streamline all of our processes including estimate take off, shop drawing preparation, CAD/CAM processing, assembly methods and installation methods so that we remain competitive in the recovering commercial market,” says Luke Vickery, vice president.

Chandler Cabinets Inc., Pilot Point, TX
The custom cabinetmaker grew 6.7% in 2012, due in part to investments in newer and more productive machinery, says Josh Chandler, vice president. Customer service is also key and the company offers CAD renderings and competitive pricing.

Eastern Millwork, Jersey City, NJ
Using AutoCAD and information flow to facilitate “high velocity manufacturing,” the millwork firm says it perfects plans before it cuts, rather than adjusting fit on site. Our goal is to not be the biggest, but rather to be recognized to be the best.

Greenline Ind., Beaufort, SC
Jeff Farlow, sales rep, says the veneer products manufacturer is FSC certified and offers fast lead times while “reaching out to and establishing a broader supply chain.” Also aiding productivity is the recent purchase of an automated trim line, sander and press. Sales for the company grew 11.1% in 2012.

Oshkosh Designs, Winneconne, WI
“Although we did not have any new equipment purchases we did ‘revamp’ several of our existing machines by researching the additional capabilities that the machines had and utilizing them to further streamline our processes. Additionally we continue to work closely with our lumber suppliers to keep raw lumber inventory at a manageable lower level that still allows for our production team to produce product within minimal lead times,” says Jennifer Henke, marketing. Sales for the decorative flooring manufacturer rose 16.7% in 2012.

RLE Millwork Inc., Warminster, PA
The move to a larger facility helped the company reduce turnaround time and grow sales 9.1%. The store fixture maker’s plans for 2013 include “Manufacture as lean as possible, outsource to the most competent competitive shops and watch progress with project management closely,” says Robert Oxley, general manager. Also on the docket: purchase of a CoJet digital printer.

J’s & L Moulding, Haleyville, AL
The decorative mouldings and accessories maker grew 10.2% while improving productivity and profitability. “We moved away from buying rough lumber and now buy dimensioned moulding blanks,” says Blake Harmon, general manager. “We reduced our scrap factors and improved our profit margin.”

Paladin Industries, Kentwood, MI
Sales for the components maker grew 74.7%. The company specializes in CNC machining and has a fleet of multi-axis machining centers, advanced material handling systems, and robot technology processing.

El Paso Wood Products, Puertas Del Norte, Mexico
In just the past few years, El Paso expanded its plant by 20,000 square to accommodate the growing furniture component side of its business, which now comprises 50% of its business. “We are running two shifts on four Shoda routers, about 1,000 frames a week for one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the U.S. that set up shop in Mexico,” says Francisco Fernandez. Of the firm’s custom door business, “We have kept it going by downsizing our operation, cost cutting and diversifying the custom wood products we manufacture,” he adds.

Custom Cupboards, Wichita, KS
Using a proprietary process, the company can digitally print designs and artwork directly onto cabinet doors, drawer fronts, solid stock and paneling. The Facets line debuted at KBIS 2013.

Laminate Technologies, Tiffin, OH
Laminate components maker Lam Tech expanded its membrane press and furniture division with a 30,000-square-foot addition. The expansion followed on the heels of the company’s investment of more than $2 million to open a manufacturing plant in Henry County, VA.

Timberlane Wood Products, Toronto, ON
High efficiency and cost savings helped the mouldings, components and edge-glued panels firm grow 25.0%, says President Willy Tencer. Mills are located in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ontario and Quebec.

KI, Green Bay, WI
For the fifth consecutive year, KI earned a spot on InformationWeek’s 500 Report as one of the top innovators in business technology. Only organizations with $250 million or more in annual sales are considered. KI manufactures furniture and wall systems for education, healthcare, government and corporate markets.

Read more 2013 WOOD 100 Strategies for Success

click image to zoomWOOD 100: Fast-Growing Wood Industry FirmsSee the list of fast-growing woodworking firms.


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About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at kkoenig@woodworkingnetwork.com or Google+.

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