Thinking outside the box: Developing products that tap changing lifestyle trends, or with an altogether new value proposition for commercial applications, opens opportunities.


Photo courtesy Interior Woodworking Specialists.
Leading Innovations 
SpartaCraft, Connelly Springs, NC
Expanding from its traditional base of display
cases for members and veterans of the U.S.
Armed Forces, SpartaCraft has given heavy
emphasis on expansion into custom home theater
and related cabinetry.

Stone Age Millworks, Oak Harbor, WA
“We’ve worked very hard on standardization of
product components which has improved assembly
time and reduced rework,” says President Lee
Steigerwale. “Most of this is a result of the front
end submittal drawings and software/CNC
programing.”

Vorst Custom Cabinets, Findlay, OH
Improved organizational systems and job materials
flow are being implemented, as the firm establishes
a new cabinet manufacturing facility location.

INTERIOR WOODWORKING SPECIALISTS, Redmond, WA — When partner Tracey Hepner of I.W.S. foresaw the downturn, she started immediately to look “outside the box” to reach new and diversified markets. She hoped to sustain I.W.S. through the downturn, then catapult it “to being recognized as an industry leader,” Hepner says.

“To bring new products to market takes time and money, of which I.W.S. had little,” Hepner acknowledges. “And I wanted to vary the product offerings enough to allow for growth in a number of different cabinet arenas.”

I.W.S.’s first product is in the outdoor patio cabinet market. (See it at mypatiocabinets.com.) Other products are close to being marketable both in the healthcare and the modular products industries (shown).

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