1

DIMENSION MILLWORKS INC.

San Antonio, TX

'95: $1,293,000 '96: $2,948,000

'96 Sales: +128.0% '97 Projection: N/A

Est. 1980 Employees: 50

Custom millwork and corporate & commercial interior doors

Adding CNC equipment, plus the purchase of a Holz-Her edgebander and the use of Pattern Systems software, has enabled Dimensions Millworks Inc. to become a competitive force in the custom millwork and interior door market. According to Otis Bakke, general manager, "DMI has put itself in a posture to successfully pursue country clubs, health clubs, casinos, hotels and other large commercial projects all over the United States." Bakke also cites an aggressive marketing drive as contributing significantly to DMI's growth.

 

2

AMERICA'S FINEST WOODWORKING TEAM INC.

Lexington, KY

'95: $1,272,000 '96: $2,796,000

'96 Sales: +119.8% '97 Projection: +25%

Est. 1994 Employees: 38

Custom high-end painted, natural wood & laminated store fixtures and custom case goods for offices, labs & schools

"Our phenomenal growth as a start-up company is because of the high-quality products made by our employees and the over 75 years combined experience of the owners. Because of this, repeat customers have been the mainstay of our business," says William Katz, president of America's Finest. Since 1994, the company's plant size has grown from 7,000 square feet to 22,700 square feet, including a finishing room with a heated air makeup unit. Other recent equipment purchases include a CNC panel saw, double line boring machine and widebelt sander. "Through a combination of creative outsourcing and purchasing of equipment at the right time, we have been able to meet our customers' needs and maintain quality," Katz says.

 

3

MUSCANELL STUDIOS

& MILLWORKS

Cortez, CO

'95: $129,000 '96: $266,000

'96 Sales: +106.2% '97 Projection: +12%

Est. 1986 Employees: 6

Decorative wooden boxes & desk items from burlwood, flooring and custom millwork

"We reached a point where we wanted to grow and realized there were limited possibilities for expansion of our box sales, due to both market conditions and the line's dependence on owners' labor," says Douglas Muscanell, owner of Muscanell Studios & Millwork. "So in 1995, we decided to pursue growth by adding a small flooring mill to our operation. Although box sales remain strong, most of our growth can be attributed to millwork sales," he adds. Recent purchases of millwork equipment, including a Mattison moulder, Mattison straight line ripsaw, 18-inch Northfield cutoff saw and Nielson profile grinder, "also gave us more capabilities in processing burlwood for other customers," Muscanell says.

 

4

ARTIFEX MILLWORK INC.

Wyoming, MN

'95: $601,000 '96: $1,141,000

'96 Sales: +89.9% '97 Projection: +20%

Est. 1993 Employees: 21

Custom commercial furniture, architectural millwork & store fixtures

Greg Richels, general manager, cites value engineering as the number one factor contributing to Artifex's growth. "In a survey we recently did, our customers felt we added value to our product by providing input throughout all phases of a project to address design, cost and installation issues. Keeping the lines of communication open enables us to quickly and efficiently resolve any unforeseen problems and creates a confidence level which leads to repeat customers and referral business," he adds. Other factors adding to the company's competitiveness include a new 20,000 square-foot facility, including a 1,900-square-foot finishing room, plus a new AutoCAD station, Holz-Her edgebander and Timesavers widebelt sander.

 

5

LEGACY CABINETS LLC

Eastaboga, AL

'95: $6,546,000 '96: $11,628,000

'96 Sales: +77.6% '97 Projection: +25%

Est. 1994 Employees: 150

Kitchen & bath cabinets

A good economy plus a marketing program which stresses customer service is what has helped Legacy Cabinets grow, says Rodney Suggs, president. "We sell stock cabinets in 15 door styles and four colors, but we'll also build special pieces," adds Suggs. "We're doing business the old way, with a personal touch. We give customers what they ask for," says Jimmy Fables, marketing department. Replacement parts for any damaged cabinetry are sent out immediately, Fables adds. Adding to the company's competitiveness has been the addition of 45,000 square feet of space to the facility, increasing the size to 106,000 square feet. Another 20,000-square-foot addition is in the works for next year.

 

6

CONSOLIDATED SERVICES

Buffalo, NY

'95: $418,000 '96: $742,000

'96 Sales: +77.5% '97 Projection: +60-75%

Est. 1970 Employees: 32

Custom cabinets, furniture & decorative inlays for new and renovated offices & homes

As Consolidated Services Owner Craig A. Sager Sr. knows from experience, a company's success is dependent upon the dedication of its employees. If the employees aren't producing quality work, the company won't grow. "I fired all but three employees in early 1994 because they were not doing quality work, which hurt the business. I invested in 18 Shopsmiths, each being a complete workshop, and outfitted six vans to carry the complete shop to the work site," Sager says. "I now have 14 vans totally outfitted and four complete Shopsmiths in the shop."

 

7

BYRNE MILLWORK

Wilmington, DE

'95: $705,000 '96: $1,193,000

'96 Sales: +69.2% '97 Projection: +400%

Est. 1992 Employees: 19

Architectural millwork & casework for commercial clients

There's no such thing as banker's hours for two-time WOOD 100 veteran Byrne Millwork. "Our growth has been mostly due to the bank work; approximately 85-90 percent is from banks," says Paidin Byrne, president. "We currently have enough work to keep our people on a seven-day schedule, working 10-plus hours a day." The company has an aggressive, continuous marketing program for maintaining and recruiting new clients. Also adding to its competitive edge has been the purchase of a Gannomat Pro Line 50 boring machine "to ease the bottleneck in our casework department," Byrne says. "Also, the upgrading of our edgebander has given us 3mm capabilities we did not previously have."

8

WISCONSIN BUILT

Deerfield, WI

'95: $2,394,000 '96: $4,044,000

'96 Sales: +68.9% '97 Projection: +20%

Est. 1988 Employees: 44

Laminated & wood cabinetry, store fixtures, general contractor work for schools, banks & clinics

Jeff Ball, president of Wisconsin Built, gives credit to his employees when discussing his company's three-peat performance in the WOOD 100. "A big part of our growth has come from our salesmen and partner Dan Peterson. He has been bidding on more and more retail work nationwide -- and getting the work," Ball says. "Our growth has also come from the shop floor. The guys like doing retail projects and they build it right the first time, so there is not a lot of rework, which makes for more capacity," he says. Added productivity has come from new equipment, including a Ritter case clamp, Gannomat 280 dowel inserter, Morbidelli U550 CNC boring machine, Cemco widebelt sander and Pattern Systems software programs.

 

9

THOEMMES CABINET MAKERS

La Habra, CA

'95: $903,000 '96: $1,481,000

'96 Sales: +64.0% '97 Projection: +20%

Est. 1969 Employees: 20

High-end custom cabinets, primarily for the residential market

Making a third appearance in the WOOD 100, Thoemmes Cabinet Makers owner Vincent Thoemmes credits new product developments for his company's continued growth. "We are a high-end, top-quality shop. We were finding we were losing a lot of business from contractors because we were priced out of the job. We were doing work with contractors, but only the 'custom fancy' work -- we wanted the whole job. So we developed an "Econo Line" of cabinets. They are still of top quality, the main differences being: less options to choose from, no real-wood interiors, limited color samples and 1Ú2-inch material instead of 3Ú4-inch material. The contractors and home owners love them," Thoemmes says. Keeping equipment up-to-date is also important, he adds. Among the company's recent purchases has been an SCMI sliding table saw and an SCMI jointer/planer.

10

COLONIAL WOOD CRAFT INC.

Bristol, CT

'95: $753,000 '96: $1,234,000

'96 Sales: +63.9% '97 Projection: +25%

Est. 1981 Employees: 14

Architectural cabinetry & millwork for schools, town halls, churches, libraries, etc.

It's been five years since Colonial Wood Craft participated in the WOOD 100, but the company is making its presence known this year with a 63.9 percent growth rate. President Bruce Schultz credits increased productivity for his company's success. In addition to the recent purchase of an SCMI sliding table saw, Schultz says, "We have expanded our use of computers, from order entry through invoicing. We're using AutoCAD for drawings and Microsoft Office for project management. This has allowed us to increase our sales, without increasing workers."

 

11

WOODEN MALLET

Aberdeen, SD

'95: $620,000 '96: $1,008,000

'96 Sales: +62.6% '97 Projection: +55%

Est. 1975 Employees: 13

Solid oak wall-mounted coat & hat racks, magazine racks and wood literature display racks

A high-five goes to Wooden Mallet, an annual participant in the WOOD 100 since 1993; between 1992 and 1996, the company recorded a total growth of 364 percent. President Jim Kreber credits a focused marketing program for Wooden Mallet's success. "Manufacturing a few good, limited lines of products and marketing them primarily through mail order catalogs has broadened our sales base throughout the United States and many other countries. Sales are no longer linked to local or regional economies," he says. "The hard part is anticipating fluctuations and supplying the product 'on time,' keeping distributors and customers satisfied."

 

12

FINE WOODWORKING INC.

Omaha, NE

'95: $638,000 '96: $1,032,000

'96 Sales: +61.8% '97 Projection: +10%

Est. 1990 Employees: 16

Laminate-clad commercial cabinets

Increased productivity and teamwork are cited by company President Mike Klemmensen as the reasons behind Fine Woodworking's rise in sales, in this its second year in the WOOD 100 since 1994. "We believe that our growth is due to increased productivity from our employees," says Klemmensen. "We increased gross sales without increasing the number of employees. We also established an employee incentive program that rewards employees if labor hours are less than estimated. This has increased employee efficiency and promoted teamwork," Klemmensen says.

 

13

GIFFIN INTERIOR & FIXTURE INC.

Bridgeville, PA

'95: $7,148,000 '96: $11,268,000

'96 Sales: +57.6% '97 Projection: +25%

Est. 1980 Employees: 140

Custom display fixtures, showcases, cashwraps, retail perimeters, furniture, desks, conference tables, hospital casework, mouldings, architectural millwork, residential built-in units and solid surface products

Giffin Interior makes its fourth appearance in the WOOD 100 by focusing on increased productivity and equipment purchases which have helped make the company more competitive. "We consolidated our office into one area," says Gordon Giffin, president, of the move to put the engineering department in closer contact with the rest of the production team. "We have also focused more on front-end (estimator) involvement and attention throughout the project. We have significantly improved communications throughout the company and eliminated considerable waste energy and resources," he adds. New equipment purchases aiding productivity include a Holzma HPP81 panel saw, Weeke BP-12 machining center with bar coding equipment, an additional Holz-Her edgebander, plus the upgrading of existing systems.

 

14

BONITO MFG.

North Haven, CT

'95: $1,436,000 '96: $2,207,000

'96 Sales: +53.69% '97 Projection: +50%

Est. 1991 Employees: 28

Clocks, case goods, kitchen cabinets, refacing & millwork

Bonito Mfg., which has the distinction of ranking No. 1 in both 1995's and 1996's WOOD 100, turns in another successful year with 53.7 percent sales growth. This year, Bonito Mfg. can technically be considered three separate companies under the Bonito directorship. Acquired late last year, New England Clock Co. accounts for $376,000 of Bonito's sales, while the two-year-old Woods Are Us specialty retail store contributes more than $300,000 to the total amount. Bonito Mfg. alone garnered sales of approximately $1.5 million in 1996. "But as with any growing company, we're always looking for growth opportunities," says James Bonito, president.

 

15

NORTHLAM INDUSTRIES INC.

Concord, ONT

'95: $4,118,000 '96: $6,328,000

'96 Sales: +53.67% '97 Projection: +26%

Est. 1991 Employees: 48

Engineered wood components using a variety of substrates & finishes

Northlam credits its "dynamic management team" with helping it gain more than 53 percent sales growth. "In business (marketing, new products, quality control, increased productivity and employee training) are required in order to be successful," says Bruno Colozza, vice president of sales and marketing. "At Northlam, we have instilled a total team effort in our approach to running the company. Our individual strengths complement one another in the various operations," he adds. Buying the right equipment at the right time, including the recent purchase of two IDM edgebanders which are linked in-line, and the addition of a Busellato SuperMaster series CNC boring machine, has also aided in the company's productivity, Colozza says. Summing it up, Colozza adds, "the dynamic ability of the people who are Northlam have contributed most to our company's success."

 

16

WEND-WOOD INC.

Wichita, KS

'95: $1,731,000 '96: $2,649,000

'96 Sales: +53.0% '97 Projection: +3%

Est. 1982 Employees: 23

Architectural woodwork, specializing in laminate casework & countertops

Daniel Wendell, president of Wend-Wood, credits employee training programs with helping his company achieve its fifth appearance in the WOOD 100. "By using seminars by the Architectural Woodwork Institute and by in-house crosstraining, we were able to shift employees to area's where bottlenecks occurred. This increased productivity and improved quality control," he says. Also aiding productivity is the recent purchase of a Striebig panel saw, he adds.

 

17

BABY'S DREAM FURNITURE

Buena Vista, GA

'95: $7,600,000 '96: $11,540,000

'96 Sales: +51.8% '97 Projection: +30%

Est. 1992 Employees: 214

Baby furniture

Making its third consecutive appearance in the WOOD 100, this five-year-old company produces a full line of competitively-priced children's furniture, including cribs, dressers, mirrors and nightstands. President Fereydon Felfeli says the company has successfully introduced four new product lines since 1993. Helping productivity has been the recent purchase of a Rhodes case finishing system, Bacci double round-end tenoner, Timesavers top/bottom widebelt sander, Comec 16-head slotter and three new drilling machines.

 

18

WKP INC.

Carver, MN

'95: $633,000 '96: $957,000

'96 Sales: +51.2% '97 Projection: N/A

Est. 1977 Employees: 15

Children's bedroom furniture, custom office and residential furniture

Maintaining a close relationship with customers has helped drive WKP's sales figures to more than 50 percent growth for 1996. "I've been working closely with my retail customers and developing new lines of furniture," says Owner Gregg Witt, adding that the company is also redesigning its bunkbeds. WKP's children's furniture is sold through local and out-of-state retailers. Office and residential furniture is also sold to the local market. Helping productivity has been the purchase of a dual head widebelt sander, 33-head boring machine and a pocket screw machine.

 

19

TATCO MILLWORK INC.

Maspeth, NY

'95: $1,836,000 '96: $2,743,000

'96 Sales: +49.4% '97 Projection: +5%

Est. 1992 Employees: 40

Architectural millwork

In its second consecutive year in the WOOD 100, Tatco's company President Peter Arena attributes its success to one simple philosophy: Service. "Clients today want service. Many companies can do what we do. But we have gone out of our way to become a company that is easy to deal with," Arena says. The company recently added an SCMI sander along with some spray equipment and hand tools to aid in productivity. Arena is also a firm believer in employee training and says the company tries to make sure the less experienced people keep learning their trade.

 

20

GRANT'S WOODSHOP INC.

Charlotte, MI

'95: $496,000 '96: $739,000

'96 Sales: +49.0% '97 Projection: +30%

Est. 1973 Employees: 11

Wooden stakes for surveyors & contractors, production component parts for furniture

After a 1-year hiatus, Grant's Woodshop rejoins the WOOD 100 with a successful '96 sales year. Don Grant, owner and president, credits machinery purchases and a new dust collection system with turning production into profits. "The machinery purchased in the last several years has greatly increased our production and increased our capabilities. A couple of years ago we purchased a Northwood CNC router that now runs 24 hours a day," Grant says. "(Before) we always used smaller collectors which blew saw dust into plastic bags. The Carter Day system blows clean air into the building -- and we don't have to spend the time changing the bags." The future for Grant's Woodshop also looks bright. Grant says he envisions the components end of the business moving ahead of the stake business in the near future.

 

21

CUMBERLAND MFG. INC.

Nicholasville, KY

'95: $427,000 '96: $624,000

'96 Sales: +46.13% '97 Projection: +5%

Est. 1991 Employees: 9

Custom commercial casework

Making its third appearance in the WOOD 100, Cumberland Mfg. manufactures custom commercial casework to general contractors, institutions and industrial customers. President Harry Hardy credits increased productivity, including the addition of updated hardware insertion machines, with helping his company's profitability. "Increased productivity along with employee training has allowed our sales to increase. Increased productivity has also allowed us to expand our market area. A larger market area equals more customers, which equals more sales," Hardy says.

 

22

J. MANHEIM CUSTOM FURNITURE

Dallas, TX

'95: $397,000 '96: $580,000

'96 Sales: +46.09% '97 Projection: +50%

Est. 1994 Employees: 16

Custom high-end furniture

Direct mail marketing combined with a personal touch have helped J. Manheim Custom Furniture (formerly JLM Custom Furniture) increase sales 46 percent, in this its second consecutive year in the WOOD 100. "We specialize in 17th century to 19th century period reproductions as well as Art Deco reproductions. We also make a custom-designed original furniture line and do furniture restoration," says James Manheim. "We have marketed our services to the public through direct mail postcards and ads in Southern Accents, Veranda and the Dallas-Forth Worth Design Guide," Manheim adds. The company also places an emphasis on personal contacts as part of its marketing program.

 

23

CUSTOM WOOD FURNITURE INC.

Newton, NJ

'95: $464,000 '96: $660,000

'96 Sales: +42.2% '97 Projection: +35%

Est. 1989 Employees: 10

Office furniture, conference rooms, workstations, reception desks and storage cabinets

John Kweselait, president, says CWF's main objective is to provide its customers with the most thoughtfully designed furniture of the highest quality. A marketing program stressing CWF's high-quality work and some recent machinery purchases, including an edgebander and a table saw, have helped this company grow by almost 80 percent since 1994. Kweselait says that maintaining good labor relations is an important factor in his business. "We strive to make CWF a worker-friendly atmosphere where everyone feels they are part of a great team," says Kweselait.

 

24

N2 MILLWORK SERVICES INC.

Vacaville, CA

'95: $1,304,000 '96: $1,843,000

'96 Sales: +41.3% '97 Projection: +49%

Est. 1992 Employees: 30

 

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