PLANO, TEXAS – Eighteen months after the purchase of Armstrong Cabinets, cabinetry manufacturer acpi™ today announces the creation of Echelon Cabinetry and Advanta Cabinets, as the culmination of a rigorous rebranding and reinvention process. Delivering a 35 percent increase in production capacity and offering a better kitchen cabinet customer specification and buying experience have been acpi’s top priorities. Over $7 million has been invested into operational enhancements and process improvements, focused on improving overall service levels to customers.
Building on six decades of industry excellence to offer their customers new tools, better product value and more professional customer support, acpi will meet an increasing demand in a market currently challenged by supply and service issues, through the creation of their two new cabinetry lines: Echelon Cabinetry for home builders, dealers and remodelers and Advanta Cabinets for multifamily clients and architects.
In 2012 the Armstrong Cabinets division was acquired by American Industrial Partners (AIP) and taken private. Now known as acpi, headquarters are based in The Colony, Texas with primary production facilities in Thompsontown, Pennsylvania.
“For more than 18 months we’ve quietly, very aggressively reinvented the company from top to bottom to prepare us for more business and to serve our customers better,” said Nick Billig, CEO of acpi. “For home builders, dealers and remodeling professionals and their customers, Echelon offers a better overall cabinet experience. For multifamily professionals, Advanta means you have a cabinet partner 100 percent dedicated to your style, performance, delivery and service needs. We’re heavily invested into making Echelon and Advanta the trusted sources for kitchen cabinets, delivered on-time and 100% complete” said Billig.
“We also brought in an experienced and dynamic executive team, with a good combination of industry experience and successful track-records in and out of the cabinetry industry,” continued Billig. “Acpi has also engaged end-users, in extensive qualitative and quantitative research. This led us to new insights which we have been applying in unique ways to improve our customers overall cabinetry experience.”
Echelon Launches Commercial Tools to Help Builders, Remodel Dealers and Professionals
The Echelon Cabinetry Visualizer is upgrading the upgrade experience for home builders and remodelers by allowing them to offer their customers a new digital tool, available via the builder’s web site, which virtually reinvents the way home buyers and remodelers select their kitchen cabinet styles, woods and finishes.
The Echelon Cabinetry Visualizer enables home buyers and remodelers to see their cabinetry options including style, wood, color and even accessories through a digital rendition of a kitchen setting chosen to match their layout.
After conducting market research, acpi created this tool to help builders and remodelers do a better job of presenting upgrade options to capture increased upgrade dollars.
“The exciting part of our new brand is the opportunity to dramatically enrich our value proposition to home builders and remodeling professionals,” said Steve C. Stephens, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at acpi. “As part of that process, we drove both quantitative and qualitative research initiatives to find out what new home buyers and remodelers could tell us about how we could improve their cabinetry experience.”
According to Echelon’s national survey of recent home buyers, remodelers and those who were in the market to buy a new home, 61 percent feel they would have made a different cabinet decision if they could have visualized their upgrade options better.
“We did our homework, then rolled up our sleeves and created revolutionary new visualization and upgrade tools to help our builders and remodelers showcase upgrades, ensure closings and create a happier long-term and repeat customer.”
The Visualizer will be offered at no cost and can be co-branded for qualifying home builders and remodelers then tailored to and offered on their web site.
Advanta Promises On-time/Complete/Delivered/Installed
Advanta Cabinets for multifamily owners is focused on creating improvements in other areas—particularly the production process—using the mantra “on-time/complete/delivered or installed.”
“No construction contractor or multifamily owner can afford a project delay because of missing kitchen cabinets. Yet, for some reason, shipping on-time and delivering defect-free multifamily product is a continuing challenge for kitchen cabinet makers,” says Billig.
“Everything we do at Advanta is focused on on-time/complete/delivered or installed. We’ve invested heavily in capital equipment to bring certainty to kitchen cabinet ordering. Real-time metrics bring unprecedented visibility to our manufacturing process. We know right down to the final cabinet door where we stand on any order. I’d put our process up against any competitor.”
Together Echelon and Advanta Represent the Reinvention of Armstrong Cabinets
Advanta ships on-time nationally via truckload quantities to make use of intermodal transportation for maximum efficiency. This strategy has proven to be efficient for projects coast-to-coast.
Echelon has also taken steps to ensure consistent lead times, and 100-percent-complete deliveries. Their product line-up has been fine-tuned to represent the “best of the best” offerings, and product selections are now tiered by enhanced good-better-best categories to simplify decision-making.
“We even overhauled our finishing process, adding more value with a better, stronger finish,” said Stephens. “All that, plus new door styling, colors, and finishes. We’ve accomplished a lot. But we’re not standing still. We get very excited about identifying unmet customer needs and working hard to find ways to solve them. This is an ongoing process at Echelon Cabinetry and Advanta Cabinets.”
“Acpi is proud to launch this new phase of our business, capitalizing on six decades of experience, and a lot of work to re-energize the mission to deliver a superior kitchen cabinet experience for our customers and their customers with Echelon Cabinetry and Advanta Cabinets,” continued Billig.
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