LINCOLNSHIRE, IL — Strategies for growing market shares, improving productivity and developing new business in the wood products market were presented Nov. 30 in a special webcast by Woodworking Network. The presentation is available on demand at

WOOD 100 Success Strategies featured three speakers from a diverse group of companies: Northern Contours Inc., Elipticon Wood Products and A Perfect Closet and Cabinets.

Northern Contours is a Minnesota-based company specializing in components for the kitchen, bath and home organization markets, with six manufacturing locations and 393 employees. In 2010 the company recorded a sales growth of 8.6%, to $50+ million. In his presentation, Lary Skow, vice president of sales and marketing, discussed how the company survived the challenging economy becoming proactive, not reactive. Although the instinct is to hunker down and “pull in the reigns,” he said, companies should instead find opportunities to increase market presence, including launching of new products, advertising / trade show promotion and expanding its geographic reach.

The Wisconsin-based Elipticon Wood Products is a mid-size company that grew 20.2 percent in 2010, reaching sales of approximately $2. A manufacturer of high quality straight and curved historical reproduction and classic millwork, the company employs 22 people. John Wiley, president of Elipticon, detailed the strategies used to grow sales, including changing focus from niche producer to marketer emphasizing quality and service. Also detailed is the company’s conversion to lean manufacturing and the savings that have resulted.

The presentation by A Perfect Closet and Cabinets CEO Len Morreale details success strategies utilized by the small company. In 2010, the Florida-based manufacturer of home organization products grew 30.9 percent, to approximately $200,000, by not only expanding the product line, but by coordinating and selling machining capabilities and services to other area woodworkers.

All three companies were included in the Wood & Wood Products' "WOOD 100: Strategies of Success" annual feature with highlights the growth and improvement of North American woodworking companies. A digital edition of the W&WP September issue, with a  complete look at the 100 woodworking companies can be obtained here.

This special broadcast, part of Woodworking Network's Webcast series, was sponsored by Drawer Connection, Keystone Wood Specialties and Solid Wood Systems.



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