WOOD 100 -- NUMBERS 76 TO 100
PAONE WOODWORKING CORP.
'94: $4,807,000 '95: $5,306,000
'95 Sales: +10.4% '96 Projection: +10%
Est. 1967 Employees: 60
Store fixtures, video game cabinets, casino fixtures & architectural interiors
Paone Woodworking has made a science out of manufacturing video game cabinets and casino fixtures. "We have purchased state-of-the-art computerized machinery (including a Giben panel saw and Morbidelli U-550 point-to-point boring machine) and have almost doubled our production," says Samuel Paone, purchasing manager. Paone's top concern is the cost of insurance and safety in the shop. "We have organized a safety committee and we hold bi-monthly meetings for suggestions to avoid injuries and improve safety in our workplace," Paone says.
ORIGINAL CRAFTS, INC.
DBA STUMPY ORIGINALS
'94: $425,000 '95: $468,000
'95 Sales: +10.1% '96 Projection: +7-10%
Est. 1978 Employees: 9
Low-ticket wood souvenirs & wire puzzles
This optimistic company is a real do-it-yourself operation. "Our staff builds the machines to meet our needs," says Ramona Cook, vice president. "This saves our company hundreds of man hours. Production is up and we have fewer accidents." Cook attributes the company's continuing success to its marketing program, which includes exhibiting at craft shows. "Having people in the booth who care about Stumpy's, distributing catalogs, cards and information, has made a big difference in sales for us," says Cook.
THE KELLER MFG. CO. INC.
'94: $46,775,000 '95: $51,311,000
'95 Sales: +9.7% '96 Projection: +10%
Est. 1895 Employees: 650
Solid wood dining room & bedroom furniture
This 101-year-old company has been producing furniture since the early 1940s, when it abandoned its farm wagon production. In the past few years, Keller has introduced three new lines of dining room and bedroom furniture, including the Chestnut Creek line. "We introduced Chestnut Creek three years ago, and now it is 25 percent of our total volume, making it the best introduction ever for us," says Dan Utz, vice president of finance. Although it has been around for over a century, Keller is still focused on the basics. "Our concern is to have better training programs developed within our operation," says Utz. "We need to find ways of finding and keeping good people."
'94: $9,572,000 '95: $10,486,000
'95 Sales: +9.55% '96 Projection: +10%
Est. 1979 Employees: 120
Custom kitchens, commercial cabinets, van conversion parts & stock kitchen cabinets
Making its sixth consecutive appearance in the Wood 100 during which time the company has grown in excess of 700 percent, Bremtown Kitchens is introducing its first stock cabinet line to fill a void in its market area. "We are always trying new products in our different lines," says Dennis M. Yoder, president. "We believe this keeps us in front and keeps our employees wanting to try new products." Yoder also says that his company's top concerns include employee skills and finishing VOC regulations.
PATRICK INDUSTRIES, INC.
'94: $330,981,000 '95: $362,519,000
'95 Sales: +9.53% '96 Projection: +11%
Est. 1952 Employees: 1,800
Custom laminating, profile wrapping, hardwood doors & mouldings, aluminum extrusions, water-based paint & print line, drawer components, precision cut-to-size, edgebanding and edgefoiling
Yes, those sales figures are correct. Patrick Industries, with over $360 million in sales in 1995, is the biggest company ever to make an appearance in the Wood 100. In the past two years, Patrick has purchased a long list of machinery, including three Schelling panel saws, three Taylor glue clamps, two Timesavers grinder/sanders, two Weinig moulders and four Voorwood wrappers. The company operates facilities in 13 states. "Patrick has focused intensively on the acquisition of machinery and equipment to enhance productivity," says Steve Vogel, executive director of operations at Patrick. Vogel also says he is concerned about the direction the economy is turning. "It is difficult to address a downturn in the economy. The best thing you can do is take advantage of the current stable market. 'Make hay while the sun is shining.' We will continue to fine tune our operations, making them more capable of handling an economic downturn."
'94: $3,084,000 '95: $3,375,000
'95 Sales: +9.4% '96 Projection: +15%
Est. 1978 Employees: 44
Finished & unfinished wood mouldings for the picture frame, architectural & component part industries
Making its fifth straight appearance in the Wood 100, Boyce Highlands continues to keep ahead of its competition by being aware of what its customer base is looking for. "New designs are the lifeblood of our markets," says Steven Malinsky, president. "We are constantly seeking new product lines which fit into our manufacturing processes. We need to develop new finishing colors and use other wood species based on our customers' wishes." Over the past couple of years, Boyce has purchased a Makor splitter and a Makor foiler for hot stamping, which have increased its productivity and competitiveness in the marketplace.
COWLEY'S LUMBER &
WOOD PRODUCTS, INC.
'94: $2,525,000 '95: $2,742,000
'95 Sales: +8.6% '96: Projection: N/A
Est. 1979 Employees: 20
Standard and custom mouldings
Machinery purchases have been a big part of Cowley's Lumber & Wood Products' success. "New equipment gives you better control of your products. In return you can give your customers better quality and quality is what keep customers coming back," says Sarah Cowley. Helping the moulding manufacturer make its first appearance in the WOOD 100 has been the purchase of a Mereen-Johnson multi-rip saw and a Weinig H 23 moulder.
FLEETWOOD INDUSTRIES, INC.
'94: $6,362,000 '95: $6,889,000
'95 Sales: +8.3% '96: Projection: +30%
Est. 1969 Employees: 75
Custom wood and metal store fixtures
Fleetwood Industries made appearances in the Wood 100 in '92, '93 and '94. During the first quarter of 1996, Fleetwood expanded into a new 70,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility, improving the company's manufacturing efficiency and workflow. Fleetwood has also purchased new production equipment including adding a new sanding and finishing department and a new air makeup system. Since 1990, Fleetwood has grown 146 percent, while adding only 27 employees.
OAK CRAFT, INC.
'94: $11,338,000 '95: $12,230,000
'95 Sales: +7.9% '96 Projection: +8%
Est. 1983 Employees: 175
Manufacturer of kitchen & vanity cabinetry, distributor of Top Stone solid surface countertop
Making its sixth appearance in the Wood 100, Oak Craft started out 1996 by moving into a new manufacturing plant and adding major pieces of equipment, including a completely new finishing line. Daniel Spitler, president, says the company has been focusing on the upper end of the housing market. "In a management meeting in 1994 we decided to focus our products and our marketing to this section and we have been expanding and improving our product line in order to accomplish this," says Spitler. "We have also completed the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to service the cabinetry needs of the Middle East."
GIFFIN INTERIOR & FIXTURE, INC.
'94: $6,644,000 '95: $7,148,000
'95 Sales: +7.59% '96 Projection: +25%
Est. 1980 Employees: 120
Custom display fixtures, showcases, furniture, desks, conference tables, hospital casework, mouldings, architectural millwork, residential built-in units & solid surface products
Gordon Giffin, president, attributes some of Giffin's continuing success to improved communications. "We have increased senior management-level attention on production issues and are continuing to work on eliminating excess overhead," says Giffin. "On the other hand, we have also had more production-level involvement in management decisions and an overall improvement in communications." Giffin's plan for the immediate future includes both broadening the scope of its work and geographic markets and striving for increased production.
Long Branch, NJ
'94: $291,000 '95: $313,000
'95 Sales: +7.56% '96 Projection: +8-10%
Est. 1986 Employees: 6
High-end custom kitchen & bath cabinetry, home theater furniture and commercial/retail custom cabinetry
This 5,000-square-foot shop does more than half of its custom cabinetry work for office parks, medical and dental offices and other commercial/retail uses. "The things that have helped us the most have been our fair pricing policies and our complete service, which bring back repeat business," says Paul Casale, president. "Our business has been booming lately, and we have rented another shop to keep up. We had three times our usual business in July." Casale says one of the biggest concerns facing his shop is the lack of a custom woodworking or cabinet-maker SIC code. "Small businesses like mine need the change in the SIC codes to help us survive our taxes and insurance costs."
PRECISION MILLWORKS, INC.
'94: $4,668,000 '95: $4,976,000
'95 Sales: +6.6% '96 Projection: +18%
Est. 1989 Employees: 78
Wholesale manufacturer of custom wood, PVC & aluminum products
Precision specializes in custom sizes and shapes including windows, doors, casing, rosettes, plinths and a true divided light insulated double-hung sash. Over the last couple of years, the company has invested in mortise and tenon equipment, insert cutterheads and aluminum radius application machinery and has built or adapted its own special application machinery. Since 1992, Precision has grown 185 percent, while adding only 13 employees. "We have established and maintained the shortest lead times on special units and will continue to offer the highest quality product while improving our efficiency and controlling costs," says W. Bailey Bowline, president. Bowline also has a plan for continuing to grow. "Our efforts to give our customers the product knowledge they need to sell special millwork will also increase our sales."
SIELING & JONES, INC.
New Freedom, PA
'94: $3,358,000 '95: $3,578,000
'95 Sales: +6.55% '96 Projection: +7%
Est. 1949 Employees: 53
Manufacturer of custom & architectural hardwood veneer faces & plywood
Making its sixth appearance in the Wood 100, Sieling & Jones boasts 95 percent growth since 1989. Over the past couple of years, the company has acquired a new James L.Taylor automatic glue clamp and a Heesemann 63-inch widebelt automatic sander. "While the addition of the new machinery has enhanced our productivity, we are firm believers that the skills and attitude of our employees make or break the success of the company," says Edward G. Jones III, president. "Therefore we are constantly in a training mode to improve employee skills and morale, and we will continue to develop better compensation packages to keep good employees." Jones says the company is also increasing its warehouse space by 7,000 square feet to allow for greater buying capabilities.
W W WOOD PRODUCTS, INC.
'94: $8,997,000 '95: $9,567,000
'95 Sales: +6.3% '96 Projection: +6%
Est. 1977 Employees: 150
W W Wood Products has been keeping itself busy over the past couple of years. In addition to moving into a new 55,000- square-foot plant for kitchen cabinet manufacturing, it has added a Timesavers seven-head sander and two Weinig six-head moulders. "The sander has improved the quality of our work. We used to use two different machines and switching to one plus our Timesavers orbital sander has helped to eliminate cross-grain scratches," says Ron Wunderlich, owner.
THOEMMES CABINET MAKERS
La Habra, CA
'94: $850,000 '95: $903,000
'95 Sales: +6.2% '96 Projection: +75%
Est. 1969 Employees: 22
High-end custom cabinetry
This family-owned business specializes in kitchens, wall units, computer centers, fireplaces and other high-end work. Thoemmes' new SCMI sliding table saw, SCMI joiner/planer and new water-based finishing products will contribute to what the company expects to be a record 1997. "We work as a team with our employees and make them aware of how the company is doing at all times," says Vince Thoemmes, owner. "A lot of pride is put into every project we do, and by keeping the employees excited about what they are doing we keep the customers happy with our work as well."
'94: $537,000 '95: $570,000
'95 Sales: +6.1% '96 Projection: +13%
Est. 1987 Employees: 13
Custom raised panel doors, wainscotings, drawer fronts & drawer boxes
John Hutchinson, owner of Tescott, has a five-point plan for continuing the success of his company: "Emphasizing quality and customer satisfaction, continuing to work hard with our vendors to ensure top-quality materials, expanding to include a finishing line, utilizing off-color material and reducing waste." Tescott has been investing in machinery to boost its productivity, including a gang ripsaw, a pin router, a panel saw, a 30-hp air screw compressor, a crossgrain remover sander, an air tenon jig and templates and an air makeup system.
WIND MILL WOODWORKING, INC.
Sheboygan Falls, WI
'94: $9,121,000 '95: $9,653,083
'95 Sales: +5.8% '96 Projection: +5%
Est. 1980 Employees: 83
Slatwall & panel components
Mark Hunt, vice president of operations at Wind Mill, says the company's strengths lie in its laminating and cutting to size services. "We plan to put more emphasis on our panel processing and component part capabilities and to increase productivity by adding new and improved equipment in the laminating line and optimizing our panel saw capabilities." Wind Mill has recently invested in a Selco panel saw, Pattern Systems software, a Busellato Super Junior point-to-point machining center and a Monco panel cleaner/panel pusher. As Hunt continues to work toward increasing the company's productivity, he says he plans to "pray for a Republican administration, keep shopping insurance options and keep training employees."
'94: $574,000 '95: $605,000
'95 Sales: +5.4007% '96 Projection: N/A
Est. 1985 Employees: 10
Job shop, panel cutting, cut-to-size for industrial customers
According to John Rutzen, president, 90 percent of Timberjack's business is from its cut-to-size service. It is because of the company's focus on cut-to-size that Rutzen feels the company can remain competitive in a price cutting environment. Rutzen is increasing his company's chances by investing in equipment including a panel saw, an edgebander, a forklift and by moving into a new warehouse/shipping dock. Timberjack's sales have increased 116 percent since 1992, while its number of employees has only increased by two.
'94: $11,537,000 '95: $12,160,000
'95 Sales: +5.400% '96 Projection: +20%
Est. 1984 Employees: 300
Custom cabinetry & cabinetry for retail sale
This company specializes in the manufacture and installation of precision cabinetry for new home developers in southern California, and also makes cabinetry for resale in retail home centers. "In addition to our diverse line of framed cabinetry, we've expanded our manufacturing capability to include a line of precision frameless cabinets which extends our competitive edge for both developer and home center markets," says company CEO, A. Kay Brown, who adds that acquisition of laminating equipment has resulted in lower costs, product consistency and control. "Working closely with governmental agencies that regulate VOCs," Brown also says, "will be the best course of action in the coming year."
APPALACHIAN WOOD PRODUCTS
'94: $17,728,000 '95: $18,648,000
'95 Sales: +5.2
'96 Projection: +12%
Est. 1987 Employees: 155
Hardwood dimension kitchen doors, drawer fronts & framing
This company manufactures hardwood kitchen doors, along with drawer fronts and framing for the cabinet industry. Recent equipment purchases include a Barr-Mullin Wonder saw, a Carlson automatic door pinner, and computers and software, and the company plans to purchase more automated equipment. "Our philosophy from day one has been product quality and service, which has been the biggest part of our success," says president Dennis L. McCahan. "We use several quality control checks including a final inspector and spot check for final quality." The company plans to purchase an optimizing saw and a Group Seven gang rip system for waste and cost control.
Des Moines, IA
'94: $1,518,000 '95: $1,595,000
'95 Sales: +5.07% '96 Projection: +10%
Est. 1988 Employees: 25
Plastic laminated casework, countertops & solid surface work
The company specializes in supplying plastic laminated casework and countertops for hospitals and commercial projects, and "is getting more involved with solid surface work," says general manager Mark Rasmussen. "We are very involved with AWI," he says, "and I am currently IA/NEB chapter president. Quality control is a key to our success. We are proud to be a part of the AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP)." The most recent equipment purchase was a cutting station from Midwest Automation to cut post-formed countertops. "Our employees are involved in the QCP written test, which we passed with a perfect score," Rasmussen adds. "We try to keep our people current on technology through shop tours, education and cross training."
WOODCRAFT INDUSTRIES, INC.
St. Cloud, MN
'94: $58,018,000 '95: $60,949,000
'95 Sales: +5.05% '96 Projection: +2%
Est. 1945 Employees: 700
Hardwood components including face frame materials & assemblies, drawer fronts & parts, mouldings, door components & assembled doors
The company constructed a new plant on a 31-acre site in Bowling Green, KY, that includes a lumber pre-dryer, dry kilns, wood-fired boiler, a computerized ripsaw and a panel planer/grader; and added optimizing cross-cut saws, CNC single-side tenoner and several PCs to its Minnesota operations. A supplier to high-volume kitchen cabinet and furniture manufacturers, the company "implemented improved tooling and machine programs along with an employee training program," says marketing manager Steve Wilhelm. "A 'Product Specification Program' is in use that establishes five grades of products based on appearance."
MONARCH INDUSTRIES, INC.
'94: $31,292,000 '95: $32,739,000
'95 Sales: +4.6% '96 Projection: +5%
Est. 1955 Employees: 400
Architectural woodwork, store fixtures
"We have purchased our fifth panel saw, a CNC machining center, a V-fold machine and a drawer assembly machine," says vice president Nicholas Tartaglione. "We have increased our marketing and exposure to new markets by adding sales people in the West and Southeast," he adds. The company plans to address its top concerns (finishing VOC regulations, employee skills and price cutting by competitors) by continuing to research and develop new products, methods and equipment.
St. Paul, MN
'94: $23,492,000 '95: $24,030,000
'95 Sales: +2.3% '96 Projection: 10%
Est. 1965 Employees: 205
Hardwood architectural mouldings, door and window grilles & picture frame products
"Within the last few years," says Jeanne Germain, corporate communications manager, "our employees have dramatically improved in the areas of productivity, quality and efficiency. By listening to our employees' suggestions, we have reorganized virtually every production layout, and by restructuring to a team-based atmosphere, we have seen improved morale and support within work groups." The company's approach is to work closely with its vendors to develop long-term agreements to meet growing demands for top-grade lumber while researching opportunities to utilize the full grade mix with new products.
ARBEK MANUFACTURING, INC.
'94: $17,490,000 '95: $17,737,000
'95 Sales: +1.4% '96 Projection: +5%
Est. 1982 Employees: 250
Household furniture, home entertainment products & upholstered living room furniture
A manufacturer of household oak, pine and upholstered furniture products, Arbek "has doubled pine furniture plant capacity and increased upholstered plant capacity," says vice president and general manager Bud Cunningham. "We have introduced a pine 'Sundance' collection with a Southwestern flair, the pine 'Morningside' collection in a cottage style, and our oak 'Altezza' collection. Along with our Theatreks division for home entertainment furniture, these groups have produced outstanding sales results on a national basis that have been supported with vigorous marketing plans," he adds. The company plans to address its top concerns (economy, price cutting by retailers) "by continuing to develop and produce high quality household furniture with a strong 'value to price' perception," Cunningham says.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.