2011 WOOD 100: Business Strategies A

The art of negotiation — whether it concerns product and/or material costing, labor issues or some other component — has become an all too important technique in doing business.  But if done correctly, the successful strategy, like a jigsaw puzzle, will have all the pieces fitting into place.    

Centorbi LLC, St. Charles, MO — In today’s tough economy, the practice of compromise has become a major factor in how some companies are retaining or obtaining new business. Kitchen and bath manufacturer Centorbi LLC is no exception.  “We have negotiated the pricing in a few situations to win a project — something we had never done in the past,” says owner Derek Centorbi.

The art of negotiation has proven very successful for Centorbi, which recorded a sales growth in 2010 of 109% over the previous year’s figures. And the custom manufacturer is not resting on its laurels.
Aggressive in finding jobs, Centorbi works with both residential and commercial clients, designers, builders and remodelers to custom design and manufacture the cabinetry in a variety of styles. The company offers the Innovations cabinetry line for those who prefer antique or traditional styles, and Slimline for those whose taste runs to contemporary styles. And, Centorbi says, the cabinets can be fully customized to suit individual needs.

Founded in 1995, Centorbi’s manufacturing techniques merge craftsmanship and high technology, in a lean production environment. The company continues to focus on reducing non-value added time and using one-piece flow in the manufacturing process. This seamless flow of product allows the custom cabinet manufacturer to achieve high quality results while maintaining a fast turnaround time, says Centorbi.

A member of The Cabinet Makers Assn., the Certified Builders Guild and National Kitchen and Bath Assn., Centorbi has been recognized for its design achievements and sales growth, and is a multiple past participant of the Wood & Wood Products’ WOOD 100.

MASTER PLANS

Osborne Wood Products, Toccoa, GA
With employee recruitment and retention a top concern, Osborne is establishing a Topgrading approach to hiring, says Christian Smedberg, director of marketing at the decorative wood components company. This includes more in-depth job descriptions (Job Scorecards) and screening applicants from a Career History Form.

Brazos Intl Inc., Monterrey, Mexico
Art Kimbel, president of the contract furniture/seating manufacturer, says creating joint ventures with other companies helped Brazos grow 24.9% in 2010.  

PIN, Irving, TX
With 57.6% growth, this interior setups specialist reduced costs through training and development of its workforce, value engineering and technology, says Jeff Pray, president/CEO. “Set in motion is a plan to reset the entire factory in 2011 to increase efficiency,” Pray adds.

Innovative Storage Systems LLC, Hamilton, NJ
Owner Adam Sherry says “keeping expenses to a minimum as well as putting off large purchases” helped the home and closet storage firm stay on a steady course.

J.R. Stephens Co. Inc., Arcata, CA
President Jim Stephens credits aggressive bidding for the architectural working firm’s 23.4% sales growth.

Timber Wolf Forest Products, Hudson, NC
Ensuring an experienced workforce by having new employees work alongside older ones, and the use of new technology helped this components maker to grow 39.4% in 2010, says Randy Roper, president.

Pinnacle Furnishings, Aberdeen, NC
At 88.1% sales growth in 2010, this commercial/hospitality furniture maker knows success comes with good employees. “Do what you can to motivate the employee so that the employee is motivated for you,” says President Jack Berggren. New equipment, including a Biesse Rover, has also helped spur production.

PJ Works Inc., Shreveport, LA
For this custom cabinet and millwork manufacturer, success comes from finding the right balance between quality and price, says GM Brad Beardsley.  

MTC, Kula, HI
Owner Greg Davidge credits highly trained employees turning out “high-end products that clients can enjoy,” for the cabinetry and door firm’s 13.3% growth in 2010.

Tego Bathroom Solutions, Ottawa, ON
Mike Aubrey, operations manager, says the bathroom cabinetry and wall panel systems firm emphasizes job costing/controls to help constrain costs. Tego also was named a Consumer Choice Award winner for service excellence in the Ottawa area.

Stanley Furniture/Young America, Stanleytown, VA
Stanley ceased Asian production of its Young America juvenile furniture line and moved it back to the United States. “Made in the USA” is now a marketing promo for the line.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.