12 new products customers love: WOOD 100 Strategies for Success

New product innovations are raising the bar and opening doors to more business for this year's WOOD 100 companies. This year's class includes cabinet and casework manufacturers, closet and home organization providers, residential and office furniture producers, architectural woodworkers, store fixture manufacturers, wood component manufacturers, and more.

Now in its 31st 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. Here's what some of them had to share about their product innovations:

ClosetMaid, Orlando, FL —  Business has been booming for the home organization specialist, as consumers look to renovate their closets and other rooms while they shelter in place.

New products on the market include ClosetMaid’s ShelfTrack EVO – an adjustable shelf system engineered for both the homeowner and builder. “With re-engineered hardware, premium melamine shelving and quick-install accessories, ShelfTrack EVO gives professionals in the industry a fast, easy-to-install solution,” explained George Hanus, marketing manager.

EVO combines wire and wood components that can be easily expanded or customized, and meets ADA requirements for adjustable systems. Accessories include drawer kits with modern and traditional fronts, shoe shelf kits.

Indiana Furniture, Jasper, IN —  The contract furniture and casegoods giant continues to expand its portfolio, including seven lines launching this summer.

According to the company, the additions were designed to provide style and functionality across a broad range of applications, including helping companies to better outfit working spaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

This latest launch includes: Iconic Casegoods, Rockstar Seating, Fifteen Lounge and Fifteen Pods, Runna Pouffes, Strut Table Legs, and Screens+Dividers (above), to easily create space division within any environment.

“These designs represent craftsmanship, grace, and modern sensibility. They represent yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” said Mike Blessinger, vice president of sales & marketing.

More hot products:

Panel Processing Inc., Alpena, MI
The custom flat panel fabricator added a new TFL press and color line as part of its new product development into new markets, said Stacy LaFleche, national marketing manager. Panel also invested in flat bed routers, cabinetry software, and dowel insertion machines. “We start with your idea, utilize multiple substrates including raw thin and thick HDF, MDF, particleboard, plywood – you name it, then Panel adds value.”

Woodfold Mfg. Inc., Forest Grove, OR
Product developments, including new finishes to accordion doors, helped spur 2019 sales to 15.4% growth, said Doug Twyford, vice president-Products. “It’s been a team effort in all areas, from customer service to quality manufacturing.” Woodfold manufactures ADA-compliant accordion doors for separating spaces, custom hardwood coiling doors, residential elevator doors and custom hardwood shutters.

W. W. Wood Products Inc., Dudley, MO
“Developing trend-setting products and investing in state-of-the-art equipment to improve quality and efficiency” contributed to 9.5% sales growth in 2019, said Kenneth Carmode, vice president sales & marketing. New technology at the residential and commercial cabinetry manufacturer includes Venjakob sprayers, CNC routers and a panel saw.

North American Plywood Corp., Parsippany, NJ
The producer of architectural panels and components added a drawer blank manufacturing line as part of its “increased investment in state-of-the-art machinery and employee development,” noted Donald Kuser, general manager. NAP also offers digital printing and staining, CNC machining, UV coating, and gloss and matte lamination; it recently announced it will switch to antimicrobial coatings. 2019 sales grew 3.9%.

Monadnock Millwork, W. Swanzey, NH
The shutters and barn door hardware provider has developed the Barnfold Hardware system, which replaces a bypass system. It features patent-pending articulating hardware which enables users to completely open barn door shutters, and is capable of supporting up to 100 pounds of weight. Applications include: closet doors, cabinetry, entertainment centers, wine racks, room dividers, TV and window coverings, and displays.

Panolite Inc., Lac-Mégantic, QC
Sales grew 12.5% for the producer of  lightweight panels and custom components, and new products and processes, including high volume 5x10-foot panels, continue to be developed, noted Jean-François Fortier, sales rep. Panolite’s products are used in architectural, commercial, institutional and residential applications. Equipment purchased in 2019 includes a Biesse edgebander.

Northern Contours, St. Paul, MN
The manufacturer of cabinetry and commercial components continues to introduce new products for the kitchen and bath, home organization, refacing and contract furniture industries. Among the new offerings are 3DL Shaker Louvre and Shaker Inset profiles, and the Bare paintable MDF product line.

Yoder Lumber Co., Millersburg, OH
The company manufactures Appalachian hardwood products, such as S4S, stair treads and mouldings, as well as custom components made to specification. Hot products include custom hardwood tabletops, booth tops and wall cladding.

Versteel, Jasper, IN
The contract furniture giant launched five new products to support today’s safety requirements. The “Healthy Spaces” products include acrylic privacy panels and privacy shields, mobile and freestanding privacy screens and OH! privacy screens. The company notes the materials used are also highly cleanable.

Decore-ative Specialties, Monrovia, CA
Recent new products by the cabinetry components manufacturer include the patented Elk Grove Design, a unique three-piece cabinet door and drawer front that is CNC routed and 3D laminated, giving the look of a five-piece construction.

Read more 2020 WOOD 100: Strategies for Success

Marketing Initiatives

Business Strategies

Productivity Enhancements

Technology Integration

Product Innovations

Customer Service

Return to WOOD 100 main page

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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]