Monarch Cabinetry & Mouldings
Sales 2001: +21.026% Projected 2002: +325%
Est. 1981 Employees: 18
High-end cabinetry, furniture and wood mouldings
Greg M. Wiebers, manager, credits Monarch Cabinetry & Mouldings' attention to customers. "Over the last year and a half we have been striving to catch the attention of the high-end builder by doing complete follow up on a day to day basis. We keep the telephones right at our ear everyday. It makes customers know that we are doing what we say we are going to do." Monarch has purchased equipment to speed productivity, including: a Komo Mach II S VR512 CNC nested-based router, a 24-in. double-sided planer and a straight-line ripsaw. Wiebers says he has high hopes for 2002; sales are anticipated to grow 325%, to $1,475,000.
The J.S. MacLean Co.
Sales 2001: +20.4% Projected 2002: +8%
Est. 1888 Employees: 75
Custom manufacturer of perimeter and loose display fixtures
The J.S. Maclean Co. returns to the WOOD 100 for its fourth appearance and its first since 1995. The company's sales have doubled from $6,260,000 in 1993 to its current $12,454,000. The company's success in the past year is due to customer service. Richard V. Gomez, vice president of finance, says, "We make sure we give our customers quality fixtures and competitive bid prices. We also make sure we never miss a store opening with our fixtures.”? The company has recently added a Shoda CNC router and AlphaCAM software.
The Shutter Mill/dba Kirtz Shutters
Sales 2001: +19.91% Projected 2002: +13%
Est. 1988 Employees: 76
Custom interior shutters featuring exotic, and natural furniture-grade hardwoods
By offering the "unusual," WOOD 100 newcomer Kirtz Shutters has been able to increase sales of its custom products by almost 20%. President Chris Tietz explains, "The customer can choose from 12 exotic furniture-grade woods. We also offer any architectural shape and movable louvers." The company has also been able to decrease its turnaround time through the installation of an American Finishing Systems lineal spray operation. "We expect this investment to reduce our turnaround time by 1 to 1-1/2 weeks," Tietz says.
Mortensen Woodwork Inc.
Union City, GA
Sales 2001: +18.63% Projected 2002: 0%
Est. 1987 Employees: 200
Architectural woodworking including wall panels, trim, prefinished and plastic laminate casework, and commercial furniture
Mortensen Woodwork made its debut in the WOOD 100 in 1995. Since 1993, for which figures were recorded, it has grown 402%. "In three years we have doubled our manufacturing facility (to 110,000 square feet)," says Greg Kasten, president. "Most importantly, we have expanded and improved our engineering department to be able to handle the growth of our operation." Along with the plant expansion, the company added two finishing booths, for a total of five, and purchased its second CNC router.
Damar Wood Products
Sales 2001: +17.31% Projected 2002: +15%
Est. 1981 Employees: 95
Custom pre-finished cabinet doors, drawer fronts, mouldings, dovetail drawer boxes, wainscot panels and plantation shutters
Making its first appearance in the WOOD 100, President Brian Baines attributes Damar's success to the increasing market for wood cabinet doors in the southeastern market. "We are currently retooling the plant with new equipment and material handling processes for increased productivity, as well as introducing many employee training programs for skills development, quality assurance (based on the ISO 9002 Standards) and safety," Baines says. Among the recent equipment purchases made by Damar are a Raimann optimizing rip system, a Grecon Dimter optimizing chop system and a Gabbiani GDG tenoner.
Artifex Millwork Inc.
Sales 2001: +17.27% Projected 2002: 0%
Est. 1992 Employees: 25
Architectural custom millwork, furniture and fixtures for corporate and retail environments
Following a two-year hiatus from the WOOD 100, Artifex Millwork is back ‚ and stronger than ever. Recent equipment purchases include a Casadei automatic panel saw, Accu-Systems case clamp and Tritec/Gannomat drill/dowel insertion machine. "The purchase of more equipment, together with more emphasis on the store fixture industry, has contributed to our company's success," says Shannon Ramberg, office manager.
Elipticon Wood Products Inc.
Little Chute, WI
Sales 2001: +16.60% Projected 2002: +25%
Est. 1993 Employees: 15
Custom curved millwork, curved jambs, 1,500 profiles for straight millwork, custom commercial and residential components
President John Wiley attributes Elipticon's third consecutive appearance in the WOOD 100 to customer service. "Being a custom shop, we must meet the customer's real needs in terms of job definition, timing, quality and convenience. The better we get, the more customers we attract and keep." Helping the company maintain its production schedule have been the recent acquisitions of a six-knife Weinig moulder and Weinig knife grinder, a custom built curved millwork machine, as well as upgrades and modifications to its existing curved moulder.
Majestic Woodworking Inc.
Coon Rapids, MN
Sales 2001: +16.25% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1984 Employees: 38
Custom residential cabinetry
"Developing and maintaining a culture of continuous process improvement has contributed the most to the success of Majestic Woodworking Inc.," says Scott Lennes, president. "It affects every employee and every aspect of the organization. Some great improvements have been made in the manufacturing operations relating to work flow changes and component part processing. In addition, we have devoted significant resources to the development of internal software, including job tracking, production scheduling, contact management, estimating and human resource management. Finally, our improvements to processes are always done with the customer in mind, leading to significant improvements in service and product quality. All employees have had a hand in these improvements; usually the best ideas for improvement come from those closest to the level of implementation."
Modern Woodcrafts Inc.
Sales 2001: +15.80% Projected 2002: +9%
Est. 1959 Employees: 150
Custom high-end specialty shop interiors and fixtures
The ability to retain good employees is the top reason behind Modern Woodcrafts' success, says Donald Ramsay, president and CEO. Many of its employees have 25-plus years of service, with some, like Ramsay, surpassing the 40-plus year mark. The company's secret? "Just treat (employees) right, give them adequate overtime and avoid layoffs like the plague," says Ramsay. "Even though we are union shops at both locations, we usually pay well above rate for qualified employees." Health and pension benefits, an employee-contribution 401k plan plus a factory-incentive program shared 50/50 between the company and the employee pool are also provided.
Impressions Architectural Millwork
Sales 2001: +15.79% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1981 Employees: 6
Architectural casework, primarily fixtures and production casework from plastic laminate and wood veneers
Owner/President Brian Dumaine cites employee skills and job dedication as the reasons behind his company's success in this its third consecutive appearance in the WOOD 100. "Our employees are a team. They have seen our business grow and know it takes hard work and dedication to succeed. They take pride in a job well done. In turn, they have also seen personal growth which encourages dedication."
Bird-in-Hand Woodworks Inc.
Sales 2001: +15.32% Projected 2002: +5%
Est. 1972 Employees: 115
Early-education furniture and equipment
A successful marketing program, combined with more than $2 million in capital equipment purchases over the past few years, have helped increase sales, enabling Bird-in-Hand Woodworks to make its third consecutive appearance in the WOOD 100. "In the first part of 2001, we recognized that it was going to be a difficult year," says David Hommel, vice president of manufacturing. "We decided to add to our sales force. We also aggressively sought additional distribution outlets for our products," including many education-oriented catalogs. Recent equipment purchases include Giardina UV flatline and vacuum coater finishing systems, a Superfici edge coater, two Heesemann sanders, a Busellato point-to-point, two Komo CNC routers, a Scientific dust collector and Kaiser compressor.
Centennial Kitchens Inc.
Sales 2001: +14.82% Projected 2002: +5%
Est. 1990 Employees: 49
Manufactures and distributes frameless, melamine-finished residential kitchen and bath cabinetry. Wood and thermofoil doors are offered in a variety of finishes.
Three simple words are the reason behind Centennial Kitchens return to the WOOD 100 following a five-year hiatus: New product development. According to President Charles Tucker Jr., "Public demand for new finishes in cabinetry is constantly changing. We are working very hard to keep up with the trends and have the finishes developed and available to our customers. The glazed finishes, along with the more exotic ‘brush strokes' and ‘worn' finishes are being requested more every day. It has been challenging to have the finishing techniques developed and ready to market."
AJ Stairs Inc.
Sales 2001: +14.37% Projected 2002: +20%
Est. 1980 Employees: 90
Standard and specialty wood stairs and rails with emphasis on custom stairs (curves, flares, winders, spirals, ellipses) and custom designed and fabricated balustrades
Stephen Hasse, vice president sales and marketing, credits great customer service for giving this four-time WOOD 100 participant the winning edge. "The most significant contributor has been the ‘raising of the bar' of customer service standards, and the maintenance of service at this higher level," Hasse says. All employees, he adds, "take responsibility for the satisfaction of a customer request, question or problem." In addition, AJ Stairs recently hired six full-time sales professionals, including four outside salespeople and a sales manager, to increase revenue. Another investment was the recent purchase of a Micropulse central dust collection system, which not only provided for a healthier work environment but freed up floor space for other machinery.
Woodharbor Doors & Cabinetry Inc.
Mason City, IA
Sales 2001: +14.05% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1993 Employees: 375
Interior doors, millwork and cabinetry for a nationwide network of independent dealers.
An aggressive, one-stop-shop marketing, program, tied into the nationwide "Woodharbor Home" slogan, has been the driving force behind this first-time WOOD 100 company's success. "The ‘Woodharbor Home' offers consumers a package of products to bring complete design consistency and convenience to their home millwork purchase," says Karen Wistrom, ASID, marketing director.
Coulburn Furniture, div. of Gillam-Ivey Woodcraft
Sales 2001: +13.64% Projected 2002: 0%
Est. 1981 Employees: 23
Durable pine furniture associated with "Crate & Barrel" and "This End Up" style
Increased productivity via improved production flow layout has helped Coulburn Furniture increase sales by 13.64%. "We have moved all our equipment into a better flow pattern," says Tim Ivey, president. "We also added three new spray booths and expanded our finishing and sanding capabilities," he adds.
Quality Plywood Specialities Inc.
2000: $8,390,000 2001: $9,532,000
Sales 2001: +13.61% Projected 2002: +5%
Est. 1994 Employees: 29
Wood and wood products produced for wholesale distribution
Enhancing the company's image, through the addition of a 6-acre state-of-the-art warehouse operation, as well as the addition of new employees, has helped Quality Plywood score on its competitors. "We now service our customers better than most of our larger competitors," says Michael Jankowski, president. "They made little or no improvements, and with the downturn in the economy, they were hurt badly."
St. Louis Closet Co.
St. Louis, MO
Sales 2001: +13.27% Projected 2002: +15%
Est. 1991 Employees: 29
Custom closets and organizational systems for residential and commercial clients, including: closets, pantries, garage units, playrooms and home offices
President Jennifer Quinn Williams credits "exceptional customer service" for the company's success in this, its fifth entry in the WOOD 100. "(It) is the one thing for absolute surety that will bring back a repeat customer and ensure referrals. St. Louis Closet Co. prides itself on a 30% repeat business and 38% referral business. These figures continue to grow each year." Also helping the company in its success have been some key equipment and product additions, including a switch to the Blum Metabox drawer system in 1999, the offering of Northern Contours raised panel doors in 2002 and the purchase of a Homag SE-90300/S2 edgebander in 2001.
Suss Woodcraft International Inc.
Lasalle, QC, Canada
Sales 2001: +12.58% Projected 2002: 0%
Est. 1964 Employees: 200
Architectural millwork for hotels and department stores, cabinets and vanities, valences and hotel furniture, store fixtures
By expanding its niche market, Suss Woodcraft increased sales during a tough economic climate. "Previously, the company specialized in the department store and retail trade, but after 1999, it slowly became involved in developing a customer base in the hospitality industry and concentrated on this area for increased volume," says Samuel Suss, secretary-treasurer. "Today, this area represents 30% of our annual volume."
Central Wisconsin Woodworking Corp.
Sales 2001: +12.04% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1991 Employees: 15
Custom architectural woodwork and plastic laminate casework
Increased productivity through the acquisition of new equipment has helped this second-time WOOD 100 entrant to improve its sales by more than 12%. "We have added an additional machining center (Busellato Jet 4000), updated our edgebander from a Holz-Her 1436 to a Holz-Her Triathlon 480 and added a Schelling 430 panel saw," says Scott Fletcher, president. Key personnel have also been added to head up its engineering and production areas, he adds.
WW Wood Products Inc.
Sales 2001: +11.90% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1977 Employees: 300
Wholesale kitchen cabinets
Custom touches, such as korbels, fluted columns and miter doors, plus a new glazed finish option, have added to the success of the company's product line, says Ron Wunderlich, president. Within the past two years, this 10-time WOOD 100 member has built an 80,000-square-foot addition to house rough mill, and moulding machinery, including two Weinig, moulders and Mereen-Johnson rough mill equipment. The total facility size is now 313,000 square feet. Plans call for adding another 80,000 square feet this year for contract manufacturing, Wunderlich says.
Sunshine Kitchens Inc.
Sales 2001: +11.81% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1971 Employees: 140
Frameless-style home cabinetry and countertop products
Increases in its territorial base for marketing throughout Florida, as well as new product additions, have helped propel Sunshine Kitchens to double-digit sales growth this past year, says Tony Hammoliti, vice president of sales and marketing. Using high-tech equipment, including a recently purchased Northwood CNC router, Sunshine produces a full line of melamine cabinets in 12 colors, thermofoil raised panel doors in various colors, raised panel woods doors in maple, oak and cherry, and a high-end custom line available with glazing and speckling finishes.
Valley City Mfg. Co. Ltd.
Dundas, ON, Canada
Sales 2001: +11.14% Projected 2002: 0%
Est. 1884 Employees: 150
Laboratory furniture, specialty furniture for libraries and courtrooms, specialty seating
"We believe that customer service and our problem-solving capability represent our ‘distinctive value' and give us a competitive advantage," says Robert Crockford, president. "We have invested heavily in staff training and development in recent years. We also have established a number of external and internal measures of performance, which if met consistently, make it almost impossible for us to fail." Among the improvements made at the company was the recent acquisition of a Weinig Profimat 26 moulder "which has allowed us to reduce cycle time and batch size while improving the quality of the moulding we produce," Crockford adds.
Precision Architectural Products
Sales 2001: +11.09% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1997 Employees: 70
Custom millwork for luxury homes and the hospitality market. Products include wood mouldings and millwork, and interior doors.
It's a three-peat for Precision Architectural Products, which credits quality control improvements for helping it to surpass the $11 million mark. Recently, President Mike Williams says, the company has implemented a continuous improvement process that flows from the production floor, to the customer, and and back, "to ensure customer satisfaction."
U.S. Customized Finishes Inc.
Sales 2001: +10.43% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1991 Employees: 20
MDF doors and drawer fronts in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles, plus mouldings and related products
For this six-time WOOD 100 participant, new product developments have been key to its success. "We have introduced a line of five-piece MDF doors, expanded our offerings of thermofoil colors and now manufacture our own mouldings," says Phillip Clark, president. The addition of an SCMI R130 router brings the number of CNC routers at the plant to two. A miter saw and Weinig moulder are also recent additions, purchased specifically for the new door line.
Bluegrass Furniture Co. Inc.
2000: $657,000 2001: $725,000
Sales 2001: +10.35% Projected 2002: +10%
Est. 1995 Employees: 14
Custom residential furniture: home theatre, home office, corner cabinets, entertainment centers, plus architectural millwork
In a repeat WOOD 100 performance, Bluegrass Furniture President Kenneth Dietel again credits product developments for his company's success. "We're offering cabinets for larger TVs and more detailed mouldings. The company is also moving more toward upper-end furniture to satisfy customer desires," he adds.
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