WOOD 100: 1-20

D&L Custom Interiors, perched atop this year’s WOOD 100 list of fast-growing woodworking companies, was established in 1993 by Doug Hartman.

Prior to launching D&L, Hartman plied his woodworking skills making exhibits and displays for zoos, museums and pet shops. His career path changed, however, when he was approached by a customer to build an entertainment center. The successful completion of that job led to word-of-mouth referrals for other custom woodworking projects.

Today the Loganville, GA-based company is a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute specializing in custom cabinetry, furniture and trim. The eight-man shop saw sales climb 194% between 1998 and 1999. Hartman expects sales to increase an additional 85% this year, which would bring his company’s sales to approximately $600,000.

1. D&L Custom Interiors Inc.
Loganville, GA

‘98: $110,000 ‘99: $324,000
Sales ‘99: +194.5% Color Projected ‘00: +85%
Est. 1993 Employees: 8

Custom cabinetry, furniture and trim
“Employees are the key to our company,� says Doug Hartman, D&L’s president. If it was not for their dedication and willingness to produce superior products each time, my business would fail. They strive to produce a perfect product and stand behind everything they produce.� The company manufactures custom bars, wine cellars, libraries, interior trim, poker tables and other high-end products. To produce those products, D&L depends on a Weinig Profilimat 23 ATS moulder, Weinig 930 grinder, Cain panel saw and a Kremlin Airmix spray system.


2. Steflo Builders Inc.
Greensburg, PA

‘98: $250,000 ‘99: $627,000
Sales ‘99: +150.8% Color Projected ‘00: +80%
Est. 1990 Employees: 10

Custom millwork
Steflo is a custom manufacturer of commercial millwork. The company’s products include plastic laminated casework and woodwork for the retail, healthcare and restaurant industries. “We’ve tried to pull away from the installation,� Steve Pevarnik , Steflo’s president says, “and are concentrating our energies on manufacturing. There is more control in the shop as opposed to out in the field. Over the past few years, we saw installation as not being profitable in the overall project.� Equipment purchases in the last two years include a Bridgewood 16-in. jointer, Bridgewood 37-in. belt sander, 5-hp tilting-spindle sliding-table shaper and a 5,000-pound-class forklift.


3. Solid Tops LLC
Easton, MD

‘98: $380,000 ‘99: $875,000
Sales ‘99: +130.3% Color Projected ‘00: +20%
Est. 1997 Employees: 5

Custom solid-surface countertops
Evan Kruger, president of Solidtops, attributes the company’s success to “increased productivity involving both employee skills and dedication coupled with improved technology. Service and quality are our goals; price is secondary, although we remain very competitive in our market. With a booming economy and market, we can only maintain our service and quality through increased productivity.� To achieve that productivity, Solidtops relies on two Streibig panel saws and a Powermatic shaper and feeder, both purchased in the last two years. “We are in the process of diversifying our offering to include granite and engineered stone panels,� Kruger says, “and keeping overhead lower by using automation instead of labor.�


4. Athenaeum International
Glasglow, KY

www.aiboulder.com

‘98: $1,093,000 ‘99: $2,420,000
Sales ‘99: +121.4% Color Projected ‘00: +28%
Est. 1991 Employees: 19

Office work environments
“Athenaeum’s mission is to design and build superior work places that facilitate creativity and enhance productivity in collaborative group or individual office settings,� says Brian Ross, plant manager. “We provide an integrated system of beautiful, durable furniture and custom technology that facilitates unique approaches to problem solving and production in the modern workplace, which we call ‘knowledge-based work environments.’� Athenaeum has exported its products to England, Singapore, France and the Netherlands. Equipment includes a Black Bros. pod press, 42-in., two-head widebelt sander, Weinig moulder and a Whirlwind with a TigerStop system.


5. Madsen Fixture & Millwork Inc.
Forest Lake, MN
www.madsenfixture.com

‘98: $1,055,000 ‘99: $2,249,000
Sales ‘99: +113.4% Color Projected ‘00: +25%
Est. 1999 Employees: 35

Retail store fixtures
According to Jason Eveland, Madsen’s owner and treasurer, the company attributes its success to its reputation. “Most of our work comes from word of mouth,� he says, “because of our service, on-time performance and quality.� Eveland lists diversification as one of the company’s strategies for the future. “You can’t put all of your eggs in one basket,� he says. “We must broaden our customer base, and we have.� New equipment includes a Biesse CNC point-to-point machine, Holzma beam saw, Holz-Her edgebander, a widebelt sander and a welder.


6. New Concepts & Design
Chicago, IL
www.thebestcabinets.com

‘98: $205,000 ‘99: $415,000
Sales ‘99: +102.4% Color Projected ‘00: +200%
Est. 1979 Employees: 20

Custom cabinets and furniture
What is the secret of New Concepts success? “We set our attention on total quality and focused our advertising on our most profitable customers and the results were astounding,� says Dan Diewald, president of New Concepts “We concentrate on three key areas: quality, service and total customer satisfaction. Our best advertising actually comes from our customers. Generally, we receive at least three referrals for each customer we service. We send out satisfaction questionnaires and all of our customers have rated us in the 90%-plus category.� Recent equipment purchase include Delta shapers, a Powermatic table saw and a JLT clamping system.


CABINETRY MADE FOR LIVING: "When our customers make Ovation Cabinetry a part of their homes," says Joseph Lorentz, president, "they experience the pleasure, the personality and the power we build in every piece. Cabinetry made for living by people who care."

7. Ovation Cabinetry Inc.
Salina, KS

‘98: $1,462,000 ‘99: $2,870,000
Sales ‘99: +96.3% Color Projected ‘00: +50%
Est. 1995 Employees: 18

Custom kitchen and bath cabinets
“From manufacturing to sales,� personnel make the difference,� Joseph Lorentz, Ovation’s CEO says. “If you take care of your employees, the rest will follow.� In the last two years, Ovation has purchased and implemented a new packaging system, added to its truck fleet and developed a new finishing system. In looking to the future, Lorentz says Ovation will try to control the things that are in its hands. “You can determine the course of your future if you want to badly enough,� he says.


MIGHTY FINE FURNITURE: Cherry Valley Woods is a contract manufacturer of furniture for the hospitality, home, institutional and library furnishings markets.

8. Cherry Valley Woods LLC
Palmer Lake, CO

‘98: $555,000 ‘99: $1,003,000
Sales ‘99: +80.7% Color Projected ‘00: +25%
Est. 1984 Employees: 15

Contract furniture
Since coming under new ownership in 1998, Cherry Valley has focused its marketing efforts on developing multiple sales channels through which the company can offer contract manufacturing, says Matthew Hoeven, director of sales. “These marketing efforts have reduced our historical sole reliance on institutional markets. While overall sales grew more than 80%, the institutional market sales fell as a percent of total from 95% to 45%,� Hoeven says. A CNC router acquired last year, has contributed significantly to Cherry Valley’s manufacturing capacity, Hoeven says. “We have mastered new techniques for generating the highest quality finishes using water-borne materials.�


CABINET EMPIRE OF THE SOUTH: Republic Ind. has aggressively sought to build a coast-to-coast network of cabinet companies in the South through acquisition. Recent purchases include Sunshine Kitchens of Miami, FL, and Legacy Cabinets of Eastaboga, AL.

 

9. Republic Industries
Marshall, TX
www.republicind.com

‘98: $61,974,000 ‘99: $111,704,000
Sales ‘99: +80.2% Color Projected ‘00: +20%
Est. 1975 Employees: 1,150

Kitchen cabinets
In addition to the parent company, Republic Industries, other group members include EuroCraft Inc., Sunshine Kitchens and Legacy Cabinets LLC. Gene Ponder, Republic’s president, attributes much of the company’s success to its marketing program. “We have split the U.S. into specific sales regions,� he says, “and added new sales personnel to cover all areas and to introduce our new thermal foiled doors to both our Republic and EuroCraft lines. In addition, our new maple line became available in June.� Republic hopes to achieve continued success, Ponder says, “by better diversification of products by region of the country and by product price levels to reach good, better, best customers –– as a group we want to cover all levels. Recently installed equipment includes computerized panel saws and four computerized point-to-point thermal foilers to increase productivity and improve yields.

 

 


STRIKINGLY ELEGANT: McClung Lumber Co. completed this ambitious fire restoration of the Luten Shapiro Law Offices.

10. McClung Lumber Co. Inc.
Salem, VA

‘98: $529,000 ‘99: $914,000
Sales ‘99: +72.8% Color Projected ‘00: +3%
Est. 1913 Employees: 9

Architectural millwork and windows
New product development has contributed to the success of McClung Lumber, according to Andrew Stratton, president. “Development of industrial cut-to-size products provides steady monthly billings,� he says. “This eliminates the valley created by the unpredictable contract due dates of the custom millwork industry.� Future plans call for diversification of the company’s product base. McClung has invested substantially in new equipment in the past two years, including computer system and accounting software, job-tracking software, widebelt sander, hinge-boring system, rotary-screw air compressor, resaw, two sliding table saws, laser alignment system and six-head moulder.


11. CNC Industries Inc.
Houston, TX
www.cnc-ind.com

‘98: $843,000 ‘99: $1,438,000
Sales ‘99: +70.6% Color Projected ‘00: +30%
Est. 1992 Employees: 21

Airport millwork, panel lay-up, kiosks and turn-key millwork
Time management, partnering and design issues are all part of the recipe for success for CNC Industries. “We changed to four 10-hour shifts,� says Eric Eilers, CNC’s president and CEO, “which leaves Friday open for overtime when necessary. Additionally, we have added a two-hour shift for operation of the CNC machinery centers. We also partner with other companies that complement our company. Lastly, we resolve all design issues before parts are machined. This speeds up assembly time and ensures the accuracy and quality of the product.� The company recently relocated to a 35,000-square-foot production and storage facility.


12. Woodtech Industries Inc.
Lake City, FL

‘98: $2,912,000 ‘99: $4,959,000
Sales ‘99: +70.3% Color Projected ‘00: +42%
Est. 1989 Employees: 60

Architectural woodworking and high-end laminate
This year’s WOOD 100 marks the third consecutive year Woodtech has been included. Since its appearance three years ago, the company has recorded a two-year gross sales increase of 160%. Woodtech’s employees seem to be the chief contributor to this success. “In a fast-growing business, such as ours,� says Richard Nickelson, president of Woodtech, “the performance pressures are enormous. Even in regard to the facility and additional equipment, if we hadn’t had the overwhelming dedication and support from a number of key employees, we would not be successful today.� Woodtech is reciprocating by instituting an in-house educational program. The goal of the program is to help employees train one another and then to pass those skills or knowledge to other employees who need that skill or knowledge. This year, Woodtech expanded from 20,000 square feet under production to 40,000 square feet.


13. P.K. Designs Inc.
Arlington, WA

‘98: $163,000 ‘99: $274,000
Sales ‘99: +68.1% Color Projected ‘00: +110%
Est. 1996 Employees: 5

Component manufacturing with some assembly and finishing
What accounts for P.K. Designs’ success? “Technology, realizing your niche and being flexible,� according to Peter Hawes, president of the firm. “As I found opportunities, I would purchase multi-tasking equipment for that opportunity, and to complement other projects. Now I can fill the need for products that other companies can’t do or afford to do.� New technology added by P.K. Designs includes a Busellato Optima boring machine, Homag Espana panel saw, Castle pocket drill machine, SCMI Sandya Uno and Cabnetware Optimizer Designer software.


14. A&K Millwork Ltd.
Winnipeg, MAN, Canada

‘98: $9,243,000 (Can.) ‘99: $15,518,000 (Can.)
Sales ‘99: +67.9% Color Projected ‘00: Same

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