CENTENNIAL KITCHENS INC.
'95: $3,772,000 '96: $5,248,000
'96 Sales: +39.1% '97 Projection: +15%
Est. 1990 Employees: 42
Kitchen cabinets and bath vanities manufactured and installed with laminate countertops
Centennial Kitchens had a busy 1996, including moving from a 12,000-square-foot facility to a 48,500-square-foot facility, then filling the extra space with new machinery purchases such as a Holz-Her Speedy 207 point-to-point boring machine, a Holz-Her 1402 edgebander and an Aget central dust collection system. "With this badly needed space we have designed a material flow system that optimizes the usage of each machine," says President Charles B. Tucker Jr. "We cut melamine to size, machine, edgeband and construction bore, then we assemble cabinets on a per-job basis. No completed cabinets are inventoried; only parts that are ready to assemble 'just-in-time.'"
(dba CARLSON STORE FIXTURES)
'95: $8,920,000 '96: $12,200,000
'96 Sales: +36.8% '97 Projection: +25%
Est. 1992 Employees: 165
High-end department store fixtures, fragrance/cosmetic islands, panel wall systems for commercial & residential building
Carlson Store Fixtures' two manufacturing plants in Watertown, SD, and in Eagan, MN, boast more than 100,000 square feet of automated production space, linked together by a recent investment in computer equipment. "The key to our success is that we care about our people -- we hire the best and treat them right," says Dave Roby, CEO. "We will continue to focus on our core values and also work to expand our partnering relationships with our customers and suppliers."
BLACKHAWK FURNITURE INC.
'95: $14,648,000 '96: $19,790,000
'96 Sales: +35.1% '97 Projection: +15%
Est. 1983 Employees: 225
Contemporary & traditional oak bedroom furniture
Blackhawk attributes much of its success to the merchandising of its gallery program. "In as little as 300 square feet of showroom space, we have the ability to give the customer a choice between two beds and a vast selection of case goods," says Mark Hoing, vice president of sales & marketing. "Because of this, gallery showrooms are producing more than $500 per square foot in sales." As for the future, Blackhawk plans to keep a watchful eye on economic trends and continue to increase efficiencies with the help of its new state-of-the-art "synergy" software package and additional bar code stations.
GRAYBAR FURNITURE WORKS LTD.
West Allis, WI
'95: $672,000 '96: $905,000
'96 Sales: +34.7% '97 Projection: +20%
Est. 1982 Employees: 18
Custom-built, classic-styled furniture covering the entire spectrum of furniture design -- from contemporary to the most ornate Jacobean
Graybar Furniture now stands alone as the only company to be featured in all eight WOOD 100 reports. The company has achieved 459 percent growth since 1989, which President Craig Graybar attributes in part to his employee training program. "Our training program is still our number one priority," says Graybar. "Good help is very difficult to come by these days and skilled help is nearly impossible to find. Hence, we grow our own through our training program. A variety of incentives create an upward skill path that promotes safety and productivity that ensures individual as well as company success." Graybar also says that the expansion of his sanding shop is nearly complete, allowing for a more productive, low-dust environment and more production space.
ST. LOUIS CLOSET CO.
St. Louis, MO
'95: $728,000 '96: $973,000
'96 Sales: +33.7% '97 Projection: +28.6%
Est. 1991 Employees: 21
Custom-designed organizational systems for closets, pantries, laundry rooms, garages and other areas in the home
Full manufacturing capabilities were established at St. Louis Closet Co. in May 1995 with the purchase of an Altendorf F-90 sliding table saw, a Ritter line boring machine and a Holz-Her 1441 edgebander. Following that, the company increased its manufacturing plant from 1,200 square feet to 4,600 square feet in October 1996. Jennifer Quinn Williams, president, says St. Louis Closet Co.'s success is also due in large part to its marketing program. "Our company is marketed on a daily basis, from clean simple ads in local newspapers to clean white vans with our logo and telephone number. All ads and literature are designed with a consistent logo and design to create an overall awareness."
THE CABINET CONNECTION
'95: $761,000 '96: $1,012,000
'96 Sales: +33.0% '97 Projection: +10-20%
Est. 1985 Employees: 12
Modular household cabinets
Since 1994, The Cabinet Connection has achieved nearly 200 percent growth without adding any production workers, due to the purchase of several machines including an SCMI Alpha 32C beam saw and a Unique shaper/sander. "There's no doubt that the strong economy has helped fuel our growth, but our machinery investments have been instrumental in keeping our costs down," says President Tom Richter. While the company is not shooting for rapid growth, Richter does hope to increase his company's market share over the next couple of years by aligning himself with another builder, bringing salespeople on board and continuing to increase his word-of-mouth business.
B & L CABINET & SUPPLY INC.
'95: $1,195,000 '96: $1,559,000
'96 Sales: +30.5% '97 Projection: +5%
Est. 1965 Employees: 20
Custom kitchen & bath cabinets for new construction & remodeling and raised panel doors
Larry Allen, vice president, says that B & L's continued success is due to increased productivity throughout the company. "We increased our sales force by two salesmen and we brought on four additional production workers. We also bought a Voorwood 2/2 profile sander to increase door production, a 43-in. double-drum platen sander and a 43-in. orbital sander. This has increased our door production by 30 percent," says Allen. Allen's future goals include setting up a new training program and investing in new computerized equipment that will reduce labor requirements.
TOP DRAWER COMPONENTS INC.
'95: $928,000 '96: $1,198,000
'96 Sales: +29.1% '97 Projection: +100%
Est. 1989 Employees: 23
Dovetail drawer boxes
Rick McMahon, sales and marketing manager, attributes Top Drawer's improved success to changes including increased advertising and product offering of woods and materials, coupled with realignment of the customer service department and freight carrier service to provide more competitive prices for a larger market. According to McMahon, the company will overcome slow economic periods by aggressively seeking new opportunities with wood products that have dovetail potential, thus making use of its two new Omec F8 dovetail machines.
'95: $9,400,000 '96: $12,100,000
'96 Sales: +28.7% '97 Projection: +5%
Est. 1978 Employees: 140
Fixtures for full-store interiors, cafes, kiosks, casework & showcases
Millrock took advantage of an opportunity by offering complete design, value-engineering and prototyping to customers facing the realities of reduced budgets and fewer personnel than in the past. According to Marty Liebmann, president and CEO, Millrock expanded its facility by 50,000 square feet and heavily marketed its expertise and value to the trade. The increased PR efforts will also help Millrock find good employees by increasing awareness of the company, according to Liebmann.
COLUMBIA OAK INC.
'95: $1,621,000 '96: $2,076,000
'96 Sales: +28.1% '97 Projection: +10%
Est. 1982 Employees: 35
Contemporary household furniture sold through its own stores
Al Dargis, general manager, says Columbia Oak has been successful since it took over a furniture store, added more variety to its floor products and purchased a Holzma HPP81 CNC panel saw, a Jonsdorf CNC Unidrill and an AccuSystem dowel inserter. Dargis says Columbia Oak's backlog has been substantial enough to get it through rough economic periods and adds that he looks forward to a successful 1998.
'95: $2,693,000 '96: $3,436,000
'96 Sales: +27.6% '97 Projection: +30%
Est. 1992 Employees: 38
Case goods for the institutional market including schools, hospitals & laboratories
President Bruce Humphrey stresses increased productivity at Caseworx. "We are efficiency nuts here. Buying equipment with the latest technology is a start, but then you need to 'tweak' the machine so that it is optimized for your own kind of work flow," Humphrey says. The company recently purchased a second point-to-point boring machine that is downloadable from the office and has fabricated several machines to its own custom specifications.
SMITH & ROAN INC.
(dba Royal Cabinets)
'95: $12,161,000 '96: $15,483,000
'96 Sales: +27.3% '97 Projection: +50%
Est. 1984 Employees: 325
Precision cabinetry for new home developers and for resale in retail home centers
Royal Cabinets has increased its market share by adding manufacturing equipment for frameless cabinetry production, as well as laminating equipment, resulting in lower costs and greater consistency and control. According to A. Kay Brown, CFO, expansion of the product line has extended Royal's competitive edge in both the developer and retail home center markets. The company is also looking to expand into foreign markets to meet the growing demand for its products.
P.J. MILLIGAN & CO.
Santa Barbara, CA
'95: $2,204,000 '96: $2,804,000
'96 Sales: +27.2 % '97 Projection: +30%
Est. 1991 Employees: 53
Traditional, antique-style cabinets & furniture including kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities
The largest contributions to P.J. Milligan's success over the past two years have been new product development and a continual effort to upgrade manufacturing methods, leading to new products, shorter lead times, increased quality control and injury reduction. The company has doubled output with the same workforce with the help of a four-head, twin-table CNC router, a widebelt sander, a Rosenquist RF gluer and a Ritter case clamp.
ARCHITECTURAL CABINET TECHNOLOGIES INC.
Long Branch, NJ
'95: $313,000 '96: $396,000
'96 Sales: +26.5% '97 Projection: +20%
Est. 1986 Employees: 5
High-end commercial & retail cabinetry and millwork in modern & traditional styles
The company has invested in a new computer and Cabnetware software as well as a Holz-Her 1265 panel saw and construction boring machine. President Paul Casale also lists increased productivity as a success factor due to employee skills getting better over time, the type of work being processed and acceptance of jobs that fit better into the company's custom system.
BRACEY LUMBER CO. INC.
'95: $1,988,000 '96: $2,505,000
'96 Sales: +26.0% '97 Projection: +40%
Est. 1932 Employees: 29
High-end residential & commercial millwork applications and authentic restoration
Bracey is making its fourth straight appearance in the Wood 100, and the improvements keep coming. John A. Bracey Jr. reports that the company has begun advertising in regional periodicals targeted toward upper-income households. Two showrooms have been built and an apprenticeship program with local high schools has been founded to encourage good employee skills. New machinery including a new dust collection system, straight line rip saw, mortisers, tenoners and a cut off saw has also been added.
ZONGKERS CUSTOM WOODS INC.
'95: $628,000 '96:$788,000
'96 Sales: +25.5% '97 Projection: +25%
Est. 1990 Employees: 12
Custom designed, built & handcrafted office & residential furniture
Dan Zongker, vice president, said he believes the company's success has come from launching a nationwide marketing strategy for high-end residential and office furniture. Zongkers has added government furniture contracts to its customer base and has created a Web site to enable customers to learn about the company without taking the time to visit its facilities. Zongker adds employee skills are the backbone of the company. "Our craftsmen are trained from the ground up and pay attention to minor details," Zongker says.
ANDERSEN CABINETS INC.
North St. Paul, MN
'95: $2,670,000 '96: $3,329,000
'96 Sales: +24.7% '97 Projection: +15%
Est. 1972 Employees: 30
Custom case goods, commercial fixtures, store fixtures and solid surfacing
Andersen's new machinery purchases have been the biggest factor in its growth, resulting in greater productivity and more sales, according to Mark Andersen. Andersen also says that production flow is smoother because employees are now comfortable with the new Holz-Her edgebander and Biesse point-to-point boring machine. The company's factory has also grown to 25,000 square feet including its showroom.
DYNASTY FURNITURE MFG. INC.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
'95: $1,101,000 '96: $1,370,000
'96 Sales: +24.432% '97 Projection: +20%
Est. 1991 Employees: 17
Melamine & solid surface office furniture
A new marketing idea called the "Quick Pick" program was behind Dynasty's success this year, according to Edward Di Cuia, president. Di Cuia explains the program as one "where a store can call or fax an order in and pick up its furniture in 24 hours." The company's large inventory of panels and drawers makes this possible, and in the future Di Cuia says he hopes to be able to anticipate usage even farther in advance.
EURODESIGN CABINETS INC.
'95: $12,057,000 '96: $15,002,000
'96 Sales: +24.425% '97 Projection: +47%
Est. 1981 Employees: 250+
Kitchen, bath & bar cabinets and entertainment centers for residential housing
Several purchases, including automated sanders, veneer splicing and guillotine machines, edgebander, Anthon CNC panel sizer, and an automatic drilling and inserting machine have increased efficiency in panel processing, finishing and case construction at Eurodesign. The company lists new product development as the major contributing success factor, with several new door styles, new stain and paint colors as well as items such as glass front pasta drawers, architectural columns and special furniture legs at islands. The company has also added laminate flooring to its product mix, says Fariba Shaygan, director of sales and marketing.
'95: $15,162,000 '96: $18,812,000
'96 Sales: +24.1% '97 Projection: N/A
Est. 1969 Employees: 85
Store fixtures, custom casework and stock market trading desks
Since 1989, Environments Inc. has achieved 424 percent growth while adding only 20 employees. New to the company this year are a vacuum hold-down system for CNC routers and finishing equipment. According to Roger Wothe, president, the company will be looking to add to its client base over the next couple of years as a safeguard against any changes in the economy.
Fergus Falls, MN
'95: $13,125,000 '96: $16,184,000
'96 Sales: +23.3% '97 Projection: +15-20%
Est. 1992 Employees: 205
Laminate, veneer & solid wood components for kitchen & office industries
Since being in last year's Wood 100, Northern Contours/Norcon Hardwoods has purchased a solid wood door manufacturing company, allowing it to be more vertically integrated and offer customers a more complete line of products, says President Michael Rone. Customer service is also a priority at the company. "We have a team of very dedicated employees who work very hard to meet or exceed our customers' expectations," Rone says. "We attempt to be flexible and open to new ideas to help solve problems."
LEEMAN ARCHITECTURAL WOODWORK
'95: $7,422,000 '96: $9,099,000
'96 Sales: +22.6% '97 Projection: N/A
Est. 1987 Employees: 100
Cabinetry and millwork produced in laminate & wood
Major changes have taken place at Leeman in the past year. A Morbidelli CNC machining center, programmable saw and two computerized edgebanders add to the $1.5 million in production equipment purchased since 1994. Since being commissioned by Home Depot for a number of display centers, the company's investment has been put to good use, and will be instrumental to future growth as it continues to automate and increase production capability, says President Gary Leeman.
HOLLYWOOD WOODWORK INC.
'95: $6,993,000 '96: $8,557,000
'96 Sales: +22.4% '97 Projection: N/A
Est. 1968 Employees: 82
Architectural woodwork, millwork, institutional casework and store fixtures
President/CEO Yves Des Marais attributes Hollywood's success to the company's multi-step marketing program. Budgeting, value engineering, commitment to quality and service, plant visitation and education, local industry support and follow-up are all factors in "developing a long-term relationship with customers," Des Marais says. Useful investments have included point-to-point CNC equipment and improved moulders, sanders, computer hardware and software, finishing materials and personnel training.
WOOD MATIC ENTERPRISES
'95: $2,988,000 '96: $3,642,000
'96 Sales: +21.9% '97 Projection: +20%
Est. 1989 Employees: 42
Commercial & residential cabinetry, custom furniture, store fixtures and prototype furniture
Wood Matic has achieved nearly 700 percent growth since its first appearance in the WOOD 100 back in 1992, while adding just 22 employees. Owner/President Paul Van Drunen says his employees are the driving force for the success of his company. "Because of a stable and conscientious workforce, I have seen an increase in productivity over the past couple of years. Many of our employees have been with us several years and with each passing year they get better and better at what they do. Now, more of them can truly say 'If you can draw it, we can build it.'"
NATIONAL WOODWORK MFG.
'95: $519,000 '96: $632,000
'96 Sales: +21.8% '97 Projection: +50%
Est. 1985 Employees: 7
Cabinetry & millwork for commercial and institutional applications
President Christine Merrigan attributes National Woodwork's success to "our dedication to continually strive to exceed our customers' expectations.... Our entire crew takes customer service seriously and works every day to provide a quality product without missing a delivery date." The company's in-house apprentice training program results in skilled cabinetmakers and a "family-like environment," says Merrigan.
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