BriMar Wood Innovations Inc. credits continuous product diversification, as well as a talented workforce, with making it the fastest growing company in the 20th annual WOOD 100.

President/CEO Brian Roe and Vice President of Operations Mark Wert started BriMar Wood Innovations in 2004. The company is predicting another sales increase in 2009.

Growth is nothing new for Goshen, IN-based BriMar Wood Innovations Inc., the fastest growing company in this year’s WOOD 100. The company, founded in February 2004 by Brian Roe and Mark Wert, began its initial operations out of a modest 2,400-square-foot pole building, utilizing smaller equipment and only one part-time employee beyond the two owners. By the next year, that had changed.

“By August of 2005, the company had to move into a larger 10,000-square-foot facility and had to add larger equipment and staffing to keep up with customer orders,” Roe says. “Within two years, there was another 10,000-square-foot addition to expand with even larger automated equipment and employee numbers, and another 8,000-square-foot building was added to focus on the veneer lay-up process.”

The pair credits the company’s ranking in the WOOD 100 to a variety of factors. “Being #1 in the WOOD 100 is a fantastic achievement and milestone to the hard work that not only we, but all of our employees, have put into the growth and success of the business,” says Wert. “BriMar’s success is based on our drive to continuously diversify with products and services that we offer to our customers. The dedication of our skilled employees is the foundation that promotes the ability for us to provide our customers with innovative product and schedule solutions. This has resulted in incredible growth in sales opportunities every year that we have been in business.”

BriMar Wood Innovations manufactures both standard and high-end wood veneered office products, including casegoods, large conference tables and unique reception desks, as well as lightweight curved and monolithic products for the recreational vehicle market.

The Products and the Processes

BriMar manufactures both standard and high-end wood veneered office products, including casegoods, large conference tables and unique reception desks. In addition, the company builds lightweight curved and flat monolithic veneered products for the recreational vehicle market, such as curved and flat cabinet doors, end panels, header/fascias and room passage doors.

All of BriMar’s custom products are designed in-house using AutoCAD programs. “Our project managers do plans, elevations, section and detail shop drawings that match the quoted specifications,” says Roe. “These drawings are submitted to our customer or their designer for review and approval. They are then issued to the shop floor along with a complete bill of material for our production employees to build the products.”

Since its humble beginnings utilizing a 10-inch table saw and small hand tools, BriMar has seen significant changes in its manufacturing processes.

“Currently our production processes utilize several automated pieces of equipment that allow us to push lean manufacturing, focusing on product flow throughout our entire production area,” says Wert. “These key pieces of computerized equipment include a Fisher Ruckle combination veneer splicer; Holzma panel saws; Brandt edgebanders; and a Bütfering Diamond individual platen veneer panel sander. These additions to our production capabilities stemmed from our customers’ requests for BriMar to provide large-scope projects with less lead-time.” Wert adds that the company’s future equipment plans include the installation of a Heian single-head, dual-bed CNC router and the upgrade of its panel sander to incorporate cross-sanding capabilities.

Looking ahead, BriMar’s future practices won’t stray too far from its current successful ones. “BriMar’s goal for the future is simply to provide a great working place for our employees while taking care of our customers,” Roe says. “Our success is the result of staying focused on doing what we do best and never becoming complacent by implementing continuous improvement in all areas of our business. Our biggest challenge is managing our business in the same efficient manner that we have the past several years, yet staying proactive and ahead of the tremendous growth that we face over the next few years. Our biggest opportunity is maximizing our margins by implementing better process controls, utilizing our current floor space, and maintaining our current work force while growing the business through increased sales.”

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