Last summer's purchase of Philadelphia Furniture by Artone Manufacturing Co. Inc. has turned out to be mutually beneficial. Projected revenue income for Philadelphia Furniture has increased in its first full quarter since the acquisition, while Artone Mfg. has enlarged its manufacturing capacity.

"Philadelphia Furniture provides us not only with a significant expansion of capacity, but also with a highly skilled workforce which produces a magnificent product," says Michael Calimeri, Artone Mfg. president. "We are excited to have been able to incorporate the company into the Artone group."

With 102 employees, 35-year-old Artone Mfg., located in Jamestown, N.Y., manufactures custom-built cabinetry for the hospitality, retail, contract and medical industries. Customers include major hotel and leisure groups, as well as high street retail chains throughout the United States.

Founded in 1923, Philadelphia Furniture, based in nearby Salamanca, N.Y., employs 82 people, who produce furniture for the hotel and hospitality industries.

A complementary fit

Calimeri cites two reasons for the purchase. First, his company determined that Philadelphia Furniture's product dovetailed into Artone's existing customer base and product mix. "Secondly, the factory would have shut down if we did not purchase it and make some changes, causing 80-plus jobs to have been lost," he says.

Despite a common ownership, the two companies remain separate. "They are run totally independently, but see both companies as a team in selling multiple products to the same customers," Calimeri says, "as well as utilizing and sharing the vast knowledge from people at both companies."

He says Philadelphia Furniture was able to make the sharp turnaround because it is now using the same model created at Artone Mfg.: from design to installation. Philadelphia Furniture's current products will remain the same going forward. "However, we are going to broaden and diversify into other markets, such as retail display work, contract work and millwork," Calimeri says.

Efficiencies, equipment

Other changes also have been implemented. "We are working on creating efficiencies in the plant and have brought on a lean manufacturing professional to help accomplish this," Calimeri says. The company has purchased a new moulder and will be looking at sanding equipment and a double-end tenoner. It also is hiring more sales and project management personnel.

As for the future, Calimeri foresees operational improvements and additional growth. "We will continue to upgrade equipment, processes," he says, "and hire additional people in our sales, marketing and project management departments."

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