NCG meeting demonstrates the power of networking
August 15, 2011 | 4:08 pm CDT
Members of the National Closet Group tour the
lean manufacturing operations of Rev-A-Shelf.


Some 30 members of the National Closet Group gathered at the legendary Galt House - October 6-8 - to participate in a free-flowing exchange of ideas that covered the waterfront of running a closets and home organization business.

The opportunities to network were plentiful, from the facilitated roundtable discussions that set the tone on day one of the NCG's meeting to the many informal one-on-one and small group discussions that took place at every meal and break, as well as on the featured plant tour to Rev-A-Shelf held on the event's second day.

David Noe, general manager of Rev-A-Shelf,
addresses NCG members about their hardware
and accessory product needs.

The topics of discussion ran the gamut from who sells the best wire baskets and pull-down rods and how to mount drawer slides more quickly through the value of direct mail vs. Internet marketing and frank discussions on how to compete against competitors who offer lower prices for their home organization products and services.

Discussions also centered on LED lighting systems for closets, how some members find new business at dental shows and the riveting story of the $200,000 master closet going into a $10 million home.

In short, NCG members never ran out of things to say to each other and were not shy about asking pointed questions like how much markup to add to value-added accessories, such as pull-down rods, or which machine was a "bad buy."

Field Trip to Rev-A-Shelf
NCG members were treated to a guided tour of Rev-A-Shelf's 475,000-square-foot manufacturing, warehouse and office complex. The two-shift operation, which employs about 250 hourly workers, has been bent on continuous improvements since embarking on a lean manufacturing program six years ago.

Highlights of the tour included a first-hand view of Rev-A-Shelf's injection molding machines for making lazy Susans. The company shoots for three-day turn-around from order to delivery of these products.

NCG members compare Rev-A-Shelf's prototype
of a heavy-duty pull-down rod, right, versus
competing products on the market.

The members also had an opportunity to see and test the prototype of a heavy-duty pull-down rod capable of holding 40-pound-loads as compared to Rev-A-Shelf's current product with a 25-pound load capacity.

The tour also included product demonstrations in Rev-A-Shelf's showroom and a presentation on lean manufacturing principles.

About the NCG
The National Closet Group is a professional association comprised of custom home storage companies located throughout the United States and Canada. According to the NCG's website, "Member companies are carefully selected from each market based on their commitment to customer service, product quality, revenue growth, and desire to actively participate in the development of new and innovative products. Each company is approved by a membership committee and must sign a code of ethics upon joining."

Find out more at


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