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Diversification keeps Lone Star shining.

DIVERSIFICATION KEEPS LONE STAR SHINING

This Austin, Texas, architectural millworker achieves a healthy growth rate by offering full service to a variety of markets.

"I think what's made us successful is that we've chosen to be a diversified millwork company," said Jack Miesch, president of Lone Star Millwork, Austin, Texas. The company reached annual sales of $3,705,000 in 1990, up 151.3 percent over 1989, which also was a banner year, with sales 115.1 percent above 1988.

Diversification takes two forms at Lone Star. First, the company has a wide range of capabilities; it can handle every aspect of a job from design, production and finishing through installation. "We have a finish mill and a rough mill," Miesch said. "We also run our own mouldings in-house. We don't sell any retail mouldings. All mouldings are just for our own jobs." The only thing the company does not do in-house is lay up its own veneers. Miesch said that Lone Star buys its veneers from several local vendors.

Second, Lone Star has diversified its markets and does both laminate casework and premium quality architectural millwork. The company was a residential cabinet shop when Miesch bought it in 1985, but he changed the focus to commercial.

Currently, Miesch estimates that 60 percent of his business is in the architectural market, with the balance in laminate casework for institutions. He said the company expanded in the premium grade millwork market because there are fewer companies in the area that do that type of work. "We say that we pay our bills with the laminate casework and make our money on architectural millwork," Miesch said.

To accommodate fluctuations between casework and millwork jobs in the plant, all employees are crosstrained to do both types of work, Miesch said. It took a lot of time to do this training, he said, but it helps maintain a smooth production flow.

"Project engineering and coordination are of major importance," said Miesch, "because there are many more variables to completing a job on time than simply running it through the shop."

PHOTO : This restaurant fireplace is an example of the high-end architectural millwork done by Lone Star.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Vance Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:The Wood 100; furniture production and installation services offered by Lone Star Millwork of Austin, Texas
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Words:362
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