Like so many successful companies Lewis Cabinet Specialties began as a one-man operation. It was launched in Tremonton, Utah by Lanny Lewis more than 25 years ago.
“My three brothers and I grew up around woodworking," says his son, Beau Lewis. "We used to stand on pallets to sand panels.” When they grew up, Beau, along with brothers Brady and Bobby Lewis became executives in the company, while a fourth brother, Brett, also is involved in operations. This team helped grow the business prodigiously.
Lewis Cabinet also advanced technologically at the hands of the brothers, both on the manufacturing floor, and in the IT applications developed internally to manage purchasing, sales and human resources.
Now the Lewis family has changed roles. Bobby Lewis became CEO in October 2018, when Lewis Cabinet Specialties was acquired by LongWater Opportunities, an equity firm. Bobby had been production manager and headed Human Resources before the sale, and has brought an emphasis on the critical importance of workforce development and engagement to his new role as CEO. Oldest brother Brady Lewis, who was the IT expert, created a successful spinoff company, Allmoxy, an operations and components sales software business that he now heads.
And with the sale, Beau Lewis transitioned from CFO to Advisory Board member of Lewis Cabinet. He now also works full time at Allmoxy, which he co-founded, and leads Fight the New Drug Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to educating on the harmful effects of pornography. Having an eye for efficiency and an ability to connect with and motivate people, culture development has become a driving passion for his life.
Bobby and Beau Lewis share a unique perspective to motivating workforce, which has been the basis for driving dramatic growth in their cabinetry component business. Both are driven to connect with the people that work for Lewis Cabinet Specialties.
From the vantage point of two generations of family business, and an ownership change, the Lewis brothers have some important insights to share, which they will do as they address the Executive Briefing Conference in San Jose in April. Lewis Cabinet Specialties is one of three case studies at EBC, along with Don Casebier from store fixture innovator Bierson Corp. and Butch Reimer from United Cabinet's Tru Cabinetry, in addition to panels with more than two dozen wood industry executives.
The Lewis Family long credited the company’s success to it a culture willing to buck traditional industry practices and focus on how technology can revolutionize the wood industry. By focusing on ease of online ordering, rapid industry-leading turnaround times, premium quality, significant optionality and customization and first-class customer service, the Lewis Family says it was able to build a formidable enterprise that has disrupted the way cabinets are designed, ordered and manufactured.
Day to day, Lewis Cabinet Specialties produces custom cabinet box components, as well as ready-to-assemble cabinet parts, drawer fronts, glass doors, mullion doors, end panels, wainscot, stick goods, mouldings, valances, hoods, and other elements of kitchen cabinetry.
CNC and standard equipment are used extensively in the 25,000-square-foot shop to process the high volume of wood and panel components. Turnaround time on products is generally five to seven days.
“Brady developed the software that the company uses both for production purposes and as a popular tool to streamline ordering," says Beau. "It is a part of the package we provide that sets us apart. Every product featured in our catalog is completely customizable.”
Beau also praised the role of the Lewis Cabinet Specialties crew. “Products must clear every machine with lots of visual controls. Our strength is 5S, which takes out the error. Labeling also lets us have everything in its place.”
The 2019 EBC, running April 14-16 at the San Jose Marriott, provides strategic and practical information that addresses manufacturing challenges, and a forum for discovery. EBC helps executives anticipate business opportunities and beat the challenges that lie ahead and will ignite and inspire business leaders to create change when they return home. www.executivebriefingconference.com
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