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Productivity no longer a concern for Environments Inc.


CNC machinery and a new building improve the productivity of Environments Inc., a Minnesota-based store fixture manufacturer.

Roger Wothe, president of Environments Inc., attributes his company's success in 1990 to the addition of CNC machinery and a new facility. The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company manufactures store fixtures, stock market trading desks and custom casework. Though the company has never had to look for business, Wothe said, adding CNC machinery helped increase its production capacity, pushing sales up nearly 74 percent in 1990 to reach $6,239,000.

"We have aligned ourselves with successful clients such as Disney and Natural Wonders, and others that want quality, on-time delivery at a reasonable price," said Wothe. By adding a Shoda CNC router, a Giben SPT 2000 automatic panel saw and a Wang VS5300 integrated computer system, "we were able to take on even more work."

The integration between CNC machines and the computer system has also significantly increased the company's productivity. After switching to CAD/CAM manufacturing, Environments Inc. acted more like a "production shop" and has experienced no downtime, said Wothe. "Now we can produce 100 one-of-a-kind items versus one one-of-a kind item." Though the company has been manufacturing more production items, Wothe is quick to add that, "Environments Inc. can still take care of the tricky custom work."

A new office and manufacturing facility designed to meet specific needs also made Environments Inc. more productive. The company added recreational facilities such as volleyball, horseshoe and basketball courts and an exercise room to encourage employee interaction outside of the work environment. According to Wothe, "If we can learn to play together, we can learn to work together."

PHOTO : Close to 160 retail Williams-Sonoma stores have been designed by Environments Inc.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Vance Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:The Wood 100
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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