Now in its 30th year, the WOOD 100: Strategies for Success highlights the innovative as well as tried-and-true initiatives put in place by 100 North American wood products manufacturers to grow their businesses. This year’s WOOD 100 class includes cabinetry and closet manufacturers, residential and office furniture producers, casework manufacturers, architectural woodworkers, store fixture manufacturers, wood component manufacturers, and other industry segments.

Marketing initiatives

Member programs, targeted marketing, online ordering and promotions, social media and increased networking opportunities are just some of the ways the 2019 WOOD 100 companies keep their names and brands at the forefront of customers’ minds.

Here’s what some of the firms involved in the closets and home organization industry had to say about their marketing initiatives:

Closet America, Landover, MD — The large manufacturer of custom closet and home organizational systems continues to find innovative ways of marketing its brand.

“We expanded our sales staff, diversified our marketing approach, and created a client-centric environment that puts the needs of our clients first,” noted Tim Brooks, marketing manager.

This year also saw the launch of the President’s Club for top designers and Closet America University, a new training facility for designers and installers to expand their expertise.

On the manufacturing side, Closet America continues to invest in technology, including a new Schelling panel saw.

Following a 17.6% growth in 2018, the company projects 2019 sales to be good, and 2020 to be excellent.

More top closet marketers

Timberline Cabinet Doors Inc., Cedar City, UT - The company’s wood doors, drawer fronts, custom mouldings, RTA cabinetry and closet components are made to specification and “sold to contractors, home builders, and the general public through our easy-to-use online ordering system and 3D cabinet designer,” said Brett Messer, COO. 2018 sales grew 5.7% at the firm, which also focused on creating a team atmosphere, training and upgrading equipment, including a custom Voorwood shape and sand machine.

A Better Closet, Calera, AL - Sales for the closet and home storage solutions manufacturer grew 27.9% in 2018, and projections are excellent for 2019 and 2020. A key emphasis on customer service, plus increasing the advertising budget to 6% of its gross sales, helped spur growth, said Robert K. Duff Sr., owner. New equipment included a Kaeser rotary screw compressor.

Morantz Custom Cabinetry Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL - The firm markets complete home packages – cabinetry, closets and custom furniture – to high-end builders and designers of large budget and “snowbird” clients. “The client has a reliable go-to shop for all their needs and we provide an integrated plan and budget that is totally inclusive,” said Harold Morantz, president. 2018 sales grew 28.0%.

Business strategies

Changes in workplace procedures, market area growth, acquisitions and expansions are just a few of the ways these WOOD 100 firms grew sales and improved their long-term business prospects.

Here’s what some of the firms involved in the closets and home organization industry had to say about their business strategies:

Genesis Products Inc., Elkhart, IN —  “In 2018, Genesis Products made great strides towards focusing on new product development and launches, as well as, major improvements to quality and manufacturing excellence,” said Abbie Thomas,  creative manager - Marketing.

2018 sales grew 5.4%. “Product innovation and overall customer experience led towards growth in new markets and market share gains,” she added.

Genesis serves a broad range of industries including: cabinet and storage, store fixture, office and education, recreational vehicle, furniture and transportation.  It has 9 facilities, with 950,000-plus square feet of production, assembly and warehousing space. “The flexibility and size of these facilities allow us to respond quickly and efficiently to our customers’ manufacturing and supply chain needs.”

More master plans

Diplomat Closet Design, West Chester, PA - Sales at the home organization firm grew 3.3% in 2018, with projections “excellent” for 2019 and 2020. “We focused on team and personal goals, company culture and core values,” said Ryan Lindstadt, president. The firm also revamped its manufacturing facility, including Cabinet Vision software, a Weeke/Homag CNC with offload and labeling, and invested in marketing. “We also invested heavily in our staff and getting the right people on the bus,” added Laura Bryan, director of marketing.

Customer service strategies

Today’s wood products manufacturers must work faster, harder, and smarter than their competitors while providing service, quality and added-value to the wood products.

What follows are some of the ideas one of the companies involved in the closets and home organization industry revealed with regards to its customer service strategies:

Kitchens and Closets by DEA, Gilbert, AZ - Owner Eric Marshall credits “hard work and long hours getting our customers happy,” with helping the closet and home organization firm grow sales 74.9% in 2018. DEA provides products for the master bedroom, kids playroom, pantry, garage, laundry and other areas the home. It also designs and installs Murphy bed systems

New products

New product innovations are opening doors to more business for these 2019 WOOD 100 companies.

Here’s what some of the firms involved in the closets and home organization industry had to say about their product innovations:

Decore-ative Specialties, Monrovia, CA —  The company was awarded Patent No. 9,845,637 for its invention of the Elk Grove Design, a unique 3-piece, custom cabinet door and drawer front, that is CNC routed and pressed with 3D laminate.

“Appearing to be 5-piece construction, these components are produced by a patent-protected process offering custom inside profiles, raised or recessed panels, and custom size frame widths,” noted Joel Boyles, vice president. The cabinet doors and drawer fronts are complemented with a collection of mouldings and accessories.

Decore-ative Specialties provides custom cabinet components to the kitchen, bath, closet, garage, office, remodeling, and refacing industries. Product offerings include: RTA cabinets, doors, drawer fronts, drawer boxes, mouldings, accessories, finishing and hardware. Products are manufactured in wood, plywood, 3D laminate, melamine, and aluminum.

Northern Contours, St. Paul, MN — The cabinet and commercial components manufacturer serves the kitchen and bath, home organization, refacing and contract furniture markets, with products including wood veneer, 3D laminates, acrylic, FENIX NTM and 5-piece doors. 2018 sales grew 14.0%.

“Our manufacturing expertise resides in membrane pressing, miter folding, laminating and edgebanding, machining and routing, and 5-piece door assembly,” said Melissa Sjerven, marketing director.

In 2018 Northern Contours acquired Nubold Industries in London, Ontario. “This added another manufacturing facility, with capability in membrane pressing and 5-piece door assembly. We also continued our successful approach to product innovation with key product introductions, focusing on the latest advancements in EIR and smart matte technology.”

Rosehill Wine Cellars Inc., Mississauga, ON - “Staying current with the latest trends in this industry,” helped the custom wine cellar producer grow sales 6.6%, noted Gary LaRose, president. “We’re also producing unique designs to showcase our skill set,”  he said.

Technology integration

New technology helps these WOOD 100 companies finish first by reducing time, labor and improving quality.

Here’s what one firm involved in the closets and home organization industry had to say:

PT Signature Cabinetry LLC, Lebanon, MO - Sales projections are “excellent” for the custom residential and commercial cabinet and closets firm. Along with customer service, Owner Abe Penner cited the purchase in 2018 of a CNC router, automated edgebander and straightline ripsaw, for helping productivity and quality. 2019 purchases include a RazorGage automatic saw system.

Productivity enhancements

Lean manufacturing, training, new technology and some innovation are helping these woodworking manufacturers increase production while improving quality and efficiency.

Here’s what some of the firms involved in the closets and home organization industry had to say about their productivity enhancements:

JB Cutting, Mt. Clemens, MI — The components manufacturer invested in technology and focused on efficiency improvements to increase productivity and profitability.

“Although we stayed flat and didn’t show growth over 2017, we were more profitable by focusing on efficiencies and rework, said Debra Behring, president.

The company’s recent investments in technology include nested-based CNC routers, a flipper and buffing station for the press and another five-piece door machine.

Founded in 1995, JB Cutting specializes in 3D laminate and five-piece doors, drawer fronts and accessories for the kitchen, bath, home organization, store fixture, and healthcare furnishing environments.

The Closet Works, Inc., Montgomeryville, PA - A lean manufacturing/Kaizen advocate, “We are continually exploring new technologies, systems and methodologies to improve our customer experience as well as our employee experience,” said David Cutler, president. 2018 sales for the manufacturer of custom organizing systems grew 10.4%.

The above firms were among those profiled in the Leadership edition of FDMC, published in mid-October. To view coverage on all 100 companies and their strategies for success, visit WoodworkingNetwork.com/WOOD-100. For information on the 2020 WOOD 100, please contact [email protected].

The 2019 WOOD 100 is sponsored by Pollmeier Inc.

 

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