5 tips for developing new products: WOOD 100 Strategies for Success

Raise a toast to some of the strategies used by the 2018 WOOD 100 companies to develop innovative products. This year's class includes cabinet and casework manufacturers, residential and office furniture producers, architectural woodworkers, store fixture manufacturers, wood component manufacturers, closet companies and more.

Photo: Kessick

Kessick Wine Storage Systems, Greenville, SC —  Business at Kessick Wine Storage is going strong, and looks to be even better in the coming years.

Kessick designs and manufactures wine cabinetry, cellars and wine racking. It is a wholesale supplier to the custom wine cellar industry, design community, and the building trades.

“Educating design professionals about how the strong trend in wine storage, wine rooms and wine cellars in the residential market, has created a fantastic opportunity for product expansion and ancillary sales,” said Robert Bass, founder/owner.

Kessick’s wine cabinetry features dowel and joinery construction and uses premium grade hardwoods, PureBond hardwood panels, hand wiped stains and multi-step finishes. To aid production, new machinery includes a Gannomat Drill/ Dowel and a Homag edgebander.

Hot Products

Caretta Workspace, Lewis Center, OH
Sales are strong at the designer and manufacturer of  high-end, solid wood technology desks and tables for the home and office. “We’re developing new products that are in demand in the market. For example, our new line of executive sit-stand desks fits a need for the upper end of the market,” said Andy Tracewell, director of marketing.

Gat Creek, Berkeley Springs, WV
2017 sales grew 15.6% at the solid wood furniture manufacturer. “We have developed a number of cool (color value) contemporary finishes for our line of home furniture,” noted Gat Caperton, CEO.  Aiding productivity is a new Homag sander, Intorex CNC and Homag 5-axis CNC.

Patsons International Inc., Orlando, FL
2017 sales grew 28.9% for the maker of Lazy Lee Revolving closets. “We have achieved a product that stands alone, and yet is able to hold over 8,000 pounds of weight while being able to freely rotate on the patent-pending bearing that we also manufacture,” said Andy Patel, president. Lockdowel fasteners and a new SNX contour bander are used in the production.

Hamilton Ross Millwork, Annapolis, MD
The architectural millwork and casework firm designed and fabricated a machine to add circle saw marks on lumber. “This lets us fabricate vintage looking doors, beams and mantels with flat and straight lumber, significantly reducing man hours,” said Steve Lichok, owner.  2017 sales grew 22.2%

The 2018 WOOD 100 is sponsored by Pollmier Inc.

Read more 2018 WOOD 100: Strategies for Success

Marketing Initiatives
Go-to-Market Strategies
Business Strategies
Productivity Enhancements
Technology Integration
Product Innovations
Customer Service
Return to WOOD 100 main page
Read the special 2018 Leadership issue of FDMC online


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

Profile picture for user karenkoenig
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]