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How Sweet It Is!
All of the companies making the 16th Annual WOOD 100 Report are celebrating double-digit growth; most look forward to an even sweeter future.
Speeding tickets might be on the docket for WOOD 100's Sweet Sixteen class, as every representative on this year's annual report is sporting double- or triple-digit growth - a first in Wood & Wood Products' history.
The median growth for these 97 U.S. and three Canadian companies was 27.5%, up from last year's 16.8%, and ranges from 13.6% to 306.9% - also some of the best numbers posted by WOOD 100 companies.
Compound that record-breaking growth with the fact that 88 companies are predicting another double-digit year, and 59 representatives say they expect 2005 to be their "best year ever," and that makes for a very sweet year indeed.
Another WOOD 100 first, Centerpiece Surfaces Inc. of Rogers, MN, is the pioneer solid surfacing manufacturer to reach the No. 1 spot. The 14-year-old, four-employee company saw its sales increase to $704,000 in 2004, up 306.9% over 2003's $173,000.
Each of the top five companies also earned more than 100% growth last year. In fact, No. 2 Drawer Box Associates of Zebulon, GA, enjoyed 153.3% growth after nabbing the No. 4 spot last year with an 84.8% increase. Between 2002 and 2004, the dovetail and dowel drawer box manufacturer went from $250,000 to $1,170,000.
All WOOD 100 companies, regardless of their "rank," have sustained solid growth records this year. Twenty-two percent of them point to customer service as the number-one reason for their success, though increased productivity, marketing programs and new product development are close favorites. (See chart.)
It is perhaps a bit surprising that these fast-growing North American woodworking companies still worry about money matters. Even though 61 of the companies say their profit margins increased compared to three years ago, while just 15 report lower margins, "profit margins" was one of the top three identified concerns for the 2005 WOOD 100 Report, and "economy" nabbed the number-one concern spot for the sixth consecutive year.
Rounding out the top three was the ever-present "employee recruitment/retention" category, which when combined with the closely related "employee skills" category would beat out economy as the number-one concern. (See complete story.)
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