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The Wood 100.

WOOD 100


Div. of States Industries Inc.
 Eugene, OR
'89: $229 '90: $855 +273.4%
Est. 1988 Employees: 15

Main products: Custom components, package drawer assemblies

"The generally improved acceptance of components by major furniture manufacturers" was a key factor behind Wood Cabinet Components' 1990 success, according to Bill Powell, marketing manager of parent company States Industries Inc. Access to States' distributor network and its wide variety of panel products, as well as its expertise in prefinishing and reputation for on-time delivery also spurred the division's tremendous growth, Powell said. From a production angle, WCC manufactures a dovetailed drawer using seven- or nine-ply 1/2-in. plywood, which other companies have not been able to perfect, Powell said. WCC's final product is light, strong, competitively priced and very attractive, he said.

 San Diego, CA
'89: $353 '90: $1,001 +183.6%
Est. 1988 Employees: 20

Main products: Plastic laminate 32mm case goods

Gateway was established as a sister company to Quality Cabinet and Fixture Co. to produce plastic laminate 32mm case goods, which Quality could not handle cost-effectively, said owner Tim Paradise. It has been especially successful inthe large local medical industry, which now accounts for 85 percent of its sales, Paradise said. Its clients have included major West Coast HMO organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente and Sharp Rees Stealy, as well as Bullocks department stores and corporate headquarters for Mail Box Etc. It also has done projects for Walt Disney Co. The company was able to grow tremendously and quickly because of Quality's excellent reputation in the area, he said. It also was able to price its products very competitively in the medical market, he added.

 North Little Rock, AR
'89: $591 '90: $1,625 +175.0%
Est. 1981 Employees: 30

Main products: Custom wood products and Corian fabricator

Greenfield expanded its business significantly by becoming a subcontractor for a local company producing lamp parts, said owner Jimmy Greenfield. The company added a new building, which enabled it to increase its workload, Greenfield said. It also hired an outside sales rep to visit contractors and building supply shops on a daily basis.

 El Paso, TX
'89: $654 '90: $1,622 +148.0%
Est. 1986 Employees: 40

Main products: Promotional bedroom case goods, desks, tables and entertainment units

President Virgil Summers attributes the company's overall success to improvements in delivery and service while maintaining competitive pricing. During the past two years, the company bought a new panel saw, laminator and drilling equipment, which boosted Summertime's competitiveness.

 Austin, TX
'89: $1,514 '90: $3,705 +144.6%
Est. 1985 Employees: 65

Main products: Architectural millwork, laminate casework, doors, mouldings

Diversification has helped Lone Star Millworks succeed, said President Jack Miesch. He said the company can handle jobs involving large laminate casework as well as high-quality architectural millwork, which allows it to bid on jobs that have both types of work. To accommodate doing a variety of jobs, Miesch said that employees are crosstrained. "It took a lot of time to train everyone, but it helps with the fluctuations based on different project schedules," he said. Hiring motivated, skilled personnel and improving plant layout also contributed to Lone Star's success. It bought new rough milling equipment, an edgebander and a finish booth, and added a complete job cost system, Miesch said.

 Las Vegas, NV
'89: $587 '90: $1,340 +128.3%
Est. 1975 Employees : 15

Main products: Architectural millwork, mouldings, cabinets

New equipment purchases, including: a panel saw, edgebander, moulder, gang ripsaw and panel boring and assembly equipment, enabled Ziebart to expand its product lines into more commercial work, and increased efficiency and production, according to Paul Ziebart III. Increasing the outside sales force also helped the company grow, he said.

 Riverside, CA
'89: $1,624 '90: $3,675 +126.3%
Est. 1983 Employees: 70

Main products: Mid-line contemporary bedroom furniture

Blackhawk keeps in close contact with its customer base and tailors its line to the styles, price points and features that its accounts can sell. As a result, it has developed extremely viable mid-line collections of oak furniture, contributing to a steady sales growth, said President Bruce Masterton. He also cited the efforts of Blackhawk's nationwide and inside sales teams and the customer service department as being "invaluable to our success."

 Sanford, ME
'89: $2,480 '90: $5,259 +112.1%
Est. 1981 Employees: 75

Main products: Standard and custom wood and laminate store fixtures, signage, turnkey store projects

In 1988, Millrock moved into a new 60,000-square-foot facility, which improved production flow and efficiency of operations, material handling and scrap, said Marty Liebmann, president. The company added a custom manufacturing department and began to incorporate other materials, such as wire, metal and acrylic, which also contributed to the company's growth. Another plus was the initiation of "product classes" to expand the knowledge of production, purchasing and customer service employees, Liebmann said.



Table : Dundas, Ontario, Canada
'89: $10,072 '90: $21,110 +109.6%
Est. 1884 Employees: 147

Main products: Architectural woodwork, institutional and laboratory case goods, church furniture and seating "We continue to invest in equipment and staff training so as to enhance our quality and our flexibility to respond to our customers' needs," said Robert Crockford. The company recently upgraded its finishing oven, adding a state-of-the-art flow-through pneumatic drier, and purchased a Celaschi electropneumatic programmable double-end tenoner, which it calls "the heart of our case goods operation." Valley City also expanded its customer base by pursuing major educational and research institutions, Crockford said.



Table : Holland, MI
'89: $2,445 '90: $5,016 +105.2%
Est. 1988 Employees: 67

Main products: Commercial dining room seating and decor Educating employees to develop a strong team effort is one factor behind Charter House's success, said General Manager Darrell Sult. The company has taught new skills to some of its employees and broadened the skill levels of others. Charter House's growth also stems from its ability to bring new products to market quickly and successfully, Sult said. He also attributed the company's success to "high quality, listening to our customers' wants and needs and just having fun." The purchase of new machinery, including an edgebander, a panel saw, postforming equipment and a fiberglass chop system helped make the company more competitive.



Table : Naples, FL
'89: $1,003 '90: $1,904 +89.8%
Est. 1981 Employees : 35

Main products: Custom wood shut-Aggressive marketing and customer service are the top concerns at Naples Shutter, according to Frazier Gardella, vice president and director of marketing. He said that every customer is treated as being very important, and the company follows through with on-time delivery and good service.




Table : East Dundee, IL
'89: $197 '90: $372 +88.8%
Est. 1986 Employees : 8

Main products: Commercial custom cabinetry and countertops A relocation in 1990 and expansion from 2,500 to 10,000 square feet provided additional space for new equipment purchases and allowed the company to utilize the 32mm system and increase production, said Scott DeGenova, vice president. New machinery included: a Holz-Her 1437 edgebander, Holz-Her 1265 vertical panel saw and SCMI FM3T construction drilling machine. New Pattern Systems optimization software reduced human errors and made cost tracking easier, DeGenova said, as well as helping in material optimization. Custom Veneered Interiors also developed a prospect data base, which helped the company control the tracking of bids, qualification of leads and increased the amount of bids generated, DeGenova said.



Table : Bremen, IN
'89: $1,386 '90: $2,597 +87.4%
Est. 1979 Employees: 96

Main products: Custom wood kitchens and custom van conversion parts Bremtown made a very aggressive push to increase sales by adding more sales personnel, said Dennis Yoder, president. The company also completed development of a showroom and added three new dealers to increase sales, he said. On the manufacturing side, Bremtown's purchase of a Fladder sander and a flat-line spray machine boosted production in the spray room, Yoder said. The company also bought a new computerized cut-off saw to increase productivity.



Table : Gardner, MA
'89: $2,099 '90: $3,881 +84.9%
Est. 1982 Employees: 50

Main products: Ceramic tile and Corian dining sets Factors that contributed to Saloom's healthy growth rate in 1990, said Purchasing Agent Robert Bettez, included a commitment to "custom" production and a highly skilled, crosstrained workforce. The company relies heavily on buying completely machined wood components and builds an "innovative product designed with the customer's input," Bettez said. It uses low-cost, dedicated machinery and instituted a "produce-to-ship" finished product system. Bettez also credited a management staff that "has energy, no preconceived principles and a willingness to try new ideas." One of the company's most successful ideas was institution of a hangtag program. The hangtags promote the company's 15-year limited warranty and include a personal message from Saloom's owners.




Table : Boulder, CO
'89: $118 '90: $215 +82.2%
Est. 1979 Employees : 5

Main products: Commercial casework, custom cabinetry and furniture In 1989, the company made a concerted effort to enter the commercial market. Its efforts paid off in 1990, when it landed several large contracts and ongoing work with some large local contractors. According to owner Bruce Kranzberg, about 80 percent of his work is now commercial and the company has established a good reputation for quality casework and millwork, plus on-time delivery.



Table : Allentown, PA
'89: $840 '90: $1,517 +80.6%
Est. 1972 Employees: 17

Main products: Architectural case goods and store fixtures Bomboy's growth was facilitated by the construction of a new plant, which allowed for better machinery layout, said President Craig Bomboy. New equipment purchases included: a Holzma HPP21 panel saw, a Homag edgebander, a Hofer hot/cold press, a Murphy Rodgers dust collection system, and a Martin shaper, jointer and thickness planer. The company also initiated a joint venture with a German firm to introduce a new product line in the United States.



Table : Minnetonka, MN
'89: $3,588 '90: $6,239 +73.9%
Est. 1969 Employees: 65

Main products: Store fixtures, stock market trading desks and custom casework Taking care of employees is a top priority at Environments Inc., according to Roger Wothe, president. The company's new office and manufacturing facility includes recreational facilities, such as volleyball, horseshoe and basketball courts, plus an exercise room "to encourage employee interaction outside of the work environment," Wothe said. "If we can learn to play together, we can learn to work together." The plant also houses new equipment to increase productivity, including a CNC router, automatic panel saw and integrated computer system for shop floor data collection, inventory, production planning and job cost accounting.



Table : Stigler, OK
'89: $629 '90: $1,085 +72.5%
Est. 1988 Employees: 29

Main products: Modular custom wood cabinets Meeting the needs of the end user is what makes Rosewood so successful, according to President Greg White. The company sells through dealers to the end user and offers more than 700 custom colors and stains, he said. The company also will do any custom item requested, he said, and ships its products within two or three weeks after receipt of the order. "Our prices are very competitive and we have good people working hard within our company to make it all happen right," White said.



Table : Walworth, WI
'89: $2,852 '90: $4,815 +68.33%
Est. 1946 Employees: 70

Main products: Point-of-purchase displays, KD furniture, wood components Walworth has found a niche by being a full-service manufacturer of point-of-purchase displays, taking a job from conception through engineering, fabrication, assembly, warehousing and shipping, said James Lantz, vice president and co-owner. Capital improvements, including the purchase of a Biesse 327 point-to-point machining center and an automatic strapping machine, have allowed the company to provide high-quality products at an economical price, Lantz said.



Table : Liverpool, NY
'89: $577 '90: $974 +68.80%
Est. 1984 Employees: 9

Main products: Custom store fixtures, exhibits, theatrical seating/platforming systems "Service, space, maturity and people" are the four "secrets" behind Shopworks' success, said President Bob Davidson. Davidson said he thinks of Shopworks as a service company, not a manufacturer, and all work is custom. Moving into a new building made a "huge difference" in providing necessary working space, he said. "Maturity" means getting the right equipment, using the proper materials and allowing proper time to do things right, Davidson said. Finding, keeping, training and nurturing the staff are other priorities.



Table : Suring, WI
'89: $310 '90: $520 +67.7%
Est. 1985 Employees: 20

Main products: Pastry boards, drawers, library display furniture, skateboards, institutional stools and dimension lumber Among the factors contributing to KAPS' success are an increase in warehouse, manufacturing and office space, plus the purchase of new equipment, including a moulder, gang ripsaw and chop saw. The company worked closely with distributors and sales reps to develop new products and has tried to hold down purchasing costs to keep prices competitive, said CEO Kenneth Wayne. Getting orders out on time has also been crucial, he said.




Table : Milwaukee, WI
'89: $773 '90: $1,277 +65.2%
Est. 1932 Employees : 30

Main products: Architectural millwork, hospital casework, custom furniture Changes in management as well as establishing a better production flow in its facilities have been instrumental to Lange Bros.' success, said Randolph Lange, treasurer. Also significant is the company's concentration on niche markets, he said. "By producing work of the highest quality, Lange Bros. has sought to exceed the standards set for architectural millwork," the company's brochure says. The recent purchase of a Weinig moulder and a Foley grinder have helped make the firm more competitive, Lange said.




Table : Ft. Collins, CO
'89: $1,267 '90: $2,082 +64.3%
Est. 1985 Employees 48

Main products: Architectural millwork, custom kitchens and wooden athletic lockers President Tim Brown attributes the company's strong growth during the past year to the addition of wooden athletic lockers to its product line. "Our lockers are now marketed worldwide and are responsible for approximately 75 percent of our growth since 1988," Brown said. The addition of a moulder, resaw and a complete door department, along with an Accudata job costing system for tracking labor and materials, also has helped keep the company competitive, according to Brown.




Table : Chatsworth, CA
'89: $2,443 '90: $3,933 +61.0%
Est. 1976 Employees: 70

Main products: Millwork, custom doors and windows Primarily a door company until mid-1990, Voorhees expanded its products to include frames, windows, stained glass and arched units for both doors and windows, said Rodger Haseltine, controller. To combat the economic slowdown, the company hired sales people to solicit large-scale remodeling projects and bid not only doors, but also window and trim designs. Voorhees expanded from being a door company to making windows, too. The company has plans to cultivate a solid retail division through home improvement centers over the next two years.



Table : St. Paul, MN
'89: $4,955 '90: $7,703 +55.5%
Est. 1965 Employees : 100

Main products: Colonial Craft hardwood mouldings, door and window grilles Previously known as "the world's largest door grille manufacturer," in 1990 Rasmussen expanded its product line by acquiring a moulding manufacturing facility and adding a complete line of hardwood mouldings, said Jeanne Germain, communications manager. This increased the customer base and allowed the company to become a one-source supplier for many of its existing clients. Rasmussen also began introducing its products to several foreign markets, shipping grilles to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and England.



Table : Hoyt Lakes, MN
'89: $1,745 '90: $2,694 +54.4%
Est. 1987 Employees: 55

Main products: Hardwood and softwood dimension products One factor in the company's success has been an aggressive capital equipment program, including the purchase of: a Weinig moulder, a Barr-Mullin Compu-Rip saw, a Mereen-Johnson double-end tenoner, an automated James A. Taylor clamp carrier and a Carter-Day dust collection system. The company also instituted a complete outgoing parts inspection program which uses a statistical approach to verifying quality. Partridge River concentrates on a relatively small core group of customers with which it can grow.



Table : Phoenix, AZ
'89: $2,608 '90: $3,937 +51.0%
Est. 1984 Employees: 60

Main products: Modular cabinetry with semi-custom upgrades and accessories Oak Craft expanded into the cabinet market during a severe recession, and President Daniel Spitler credits its marketing strategy with achieving its success. The company sells its products through kitchen dealers, which allows it to keep overhead at an absolute minimum while concentrating on manufacturing a high-quality product at a competitive price and on time, Spitler said. He added that success is also due to the cabinets' appeal in both the low-and high-end markets.




Table : Olympia, WA
'89: $1,111 '90: $1,674 +50.7%
Est. 1973 Employees : 33

Main products: Commercial and institutional casework and cabinets Doubling its plant size to 25,000 square feet has enabled Ritter to add equipment, ease congestion and provide a better flow through the production process, said Vice President Susan Ritter. The company uses the 32mm system and recently purchased: an Altendorf table saw, a Hendricksaw vertical panel saw, a Brandt edgebander, an Ayen boring machine, a Hess case clamp, an SCMI 245 panel saw and an SCMI Uno double-headed sander. Dedicated, highly qualified employees add to the company's success, Ritter said.



Table : Columbia, MD
'89: $1,198 '90: $1,803 +50.5%
Est. 1978 Employees: 13

Main products: Low-pressure melamine panels Sequoia produces a 100 percent thermofused melamine panel with totally saturated basis weight papers with a melamine resin and says it can lay up any color of the rainbow and match any high-pressure laminate color. The company will produce small runs as well as truckload and carload quantities and offers various sizes and thicknesses.




Table : Redlands, CA
'89: $5,531 '90: $8,282 +49.7%
Est. 1981 Employees: 100

Main products: Architectural casework for schools, hospitals, labs; pre-finished casework, countertops and fixtures Modular Casework's purchase of a local competitor in 1988 coupled with an increase in its plant size of 300 percent were a key to the company's success during the past two years. According to Stephen J. Stallmeyer, vice president, the purchase of the other company gave Modular Casework new equipment required to produce additional sales volume. The company also bought a finish line for wood casework, which increased sales volume another 10 percent, he said.



Table : Laurel, MT
'89: $127 '90: $190 +49.6%
Est. 1985 Employees: 27

Main products: Wood components for trophy and ASI industries "Training key personnel" is the single factor cited by Big Sky as contributing to its overall success. The company also purchased a larger facility during the past two years and added a new edge shaper/foiler for producing MDF plaques, said President Bob Toombs.



Table: Dallas, TX
'89: $607 '90: $890 +46.6%
Est. 1986 Employees: 15

Main products: Architectural millwork, primarily commercial Streamlining production via new equipment purchases, plus building a reputation for quality work and competitive pricing have been a winning combination for Watson & Cochran. The company bought a Holz-Her 1265 panel saw, Holz-Her 1401 edgebander and a Jet widebelt sander to increase productivity. It has adapted to the current "soft" market without sacrificing quality or service, said Kyle Cochran, president. It continues to offer quality work with little or no problems to the general contractor or owner, generating a lot of repeat business, he said.



Table : Traverse City, MI
'89: $600 '90: $879 +46.5%
Est. 1988 Employees: 18

Main products: Commercial casework and architectural millwork Strata Design says it increased the efficiency of its office by buying Macintosh computers and software and investing the time to use them successfully for CAD, cutlist programs, panel optimizing and inventory. The company relies on good accounting and "good, aggressive bidding," as well as producing a quality product with on-time delivery.




Table :Sheboygan, WI
'89: $1,205 '90: $1,750 +45.2%
Est. 1983 Employees: 40

Main products: Postformed countertops, laminated products, custom wood office furniture A new Giben SP2000 panel saw expanded the company's market to include cut-to-size panels for other manufacturers and enabled it to build its own products with greater speed and accuracy, said Robert VanDerPuy, vice president of marketing and product development. A new Homag edgebander that can apply solid wood edges increased Free's speed and consistency, he said. The company produced a new four-page brochure which it sends to prospects, plus an 80-page table catalog and a standards program.




Table : Kingsville, MO
'89: $252 '90: $365 +44.8%
Est. 1978 Employees: 11

Main products: Wooden souvenir and novelty items The company moved into a new shop in January 1991 and hired more staff, which fostered the development of new products and streamlined the manufacture of existing items, said President Larry Cook. The additional personnel has allowed the shop manager to focus more time on upgrading the shop's efficiency, he said. The company also created a marketing and customer service department, which contributed to its increased sales volume.



Table : Jackson, WY
'89: $170 '90: $245 +44.1%
Est. 1985 Employees: 4

Main products: High-end kitchen and bath cabinetry Palomba Construction added advanced computer software during the past year and said the No. 1 factor in its success is its computer design and parts generation. Robert Palomba also cites the company's maintenance of an extremely clean and professional shop and sales area, plus "trying our best to build the most top quality at a competitive price, with as much detail as we can." Good service and on-time delivery are very important to the company, he said. 37



Table : Chicago, IL
'89: $384 '90: $550 +43.2%
Est. 1983 Employees: 9

Main products: High-end custom cabinetry, media centers, furniture and architectural woodwork "We have reinvested all earnings in the company with the goal of purchasing capital equipment to either reduce labor or create a technological advantage," said Thomas Gleason, president. Equipment purchases included: a vacuum press, an edgebander, an overhead router and a double-spindle shaper. The company also increased its space to 8,500 square feet and has pursued new clients, updated its portfolio of work and professionalized its presentation.



Table : Huntingburg, IN
'89: $24,162 '90: $34,548 +43.0%
Est. 1978 Employees: 300

Main products: Wood and laminate office furniture One key to the company's success is its adherence to the principles it was founded on, namely, service to the customer in a consistent quality product and on-time delivery, said Thomas Spangler, vice president of operations. Implementing a plan to market and manufacture products in laminate, as well as a 48-hour immediate ship program for selected items also contributed to the company's growth, he said.




Table : Largo, FL
'89: $5,217 '90: $7,428 +42.4%
Est. 1988 Employees: 48

Main products: Component parts This three-year-old company uses a wide variety of high-tech equipment to produce component parts for the kitchen cabinet, office furniture and store fixture industries. The parts are made from particleboard and plywood core and topped with HPL, melamine, vinyl or painted overlay. Mike Williams, president, said Stiles Machinery was instrumental in engineering his company's startup. Equipment includes Giben panel saws, Homag edgebanders and Weeke boring machines as well as a Walco continuous vinyl laminator. A computerized order entry system helps the company to track orders and provide quick turn-around.



Table : Lititz, PA
'89: $127 '90: $179 +40.9%
Est. 1984 Employees: 6

Main products: Production wood products, including residential and restaurant furniture, drawers, mouldings and millwork "We find getting more efficient machines and plenty of square feet in our shop is what is helping us progress," said President Clair Zimmerman. "We would rather invest our money in newer, more efficient machinery rather than in more employees..." During the past two years the company has purchased: an AEM twohead widebelt sander, a Dodds SE-15 dovetailing machine, a Diehl SL52 straight line ripsaw and C.R. Onsrud inverted routers. The plant covers 17,000 square feet.




Table : San Diego, CA
'89: $1,110 '90: $1,550 +39.6%
Est. 1981 Employees: 35

Main products: Store fixtures, architectural woodwork, custom casework President Bruce Moon attributes the company's success to its commitment to personalized customer service. Part of the service is to assign a manager to each new job to oversee every phase of the project. Moon also maintains continuous contact with project architects, space planners contractors and clients. This allows the company to respond quickly and efficiently to unforeseen changes. These steps also have resulted in a good record for on-time performance. "We have never missed a project deadline in 10 years," Moon said. "Our clients count on that."




Table : Monroe, NC
'89: $1,566 '90: $2,180 +39.2%
Est. 1981 Employees: 26

Main products: Wood preschool educational equipment In addition to providing top quality at competitive prices, the company credits strong customer policies involving all departments with its success. Dealers are served and supported well, and the company says it maintains good relationships with vendors to ensure on-time delivery of supplies. The company offers a generous discount to customers to encourage fast receivables and maintain a good cash flow. It conducts strict credit checks for new customers and doubtful accounts are asked to send payment with order. Outstanding employees are also "one of the greatest company assets," said John Price, president.




Table : West Allis, WI
'89: $162 '90: $221 +36.4%
Est. 1982 Employees: 9

Main products: Custom built furniture "Customer, quality, safety and innovation" are Craig Graybar's strategy for success. He said that customers are the company's greatest asset and they are involved in nearly all stages of a project. The company has a team-spirited skilled crew dedicated to top quality through safety and flexibility. The company has held down insurance costs with a safety record of only three minor injuries with no lost time in nine years, Graybar said. Because of its concern for the environment, and to prepare for stricter air quality laws, the company invested in new finishing equipment, Graybar said.



Table : Dillsburg, PA
'89: $455 '90: $620 +36.3%
Est. 1983 Employees: 10

Main products: Custom cabinetry Seifert relies on the quality of its work, which it achieves with a combination of skilled employees, top-notch equipment and a capable sales representative, said President Denise Seifert. The company is aggressive in the local marketplace and stays abreast of current trends, she said. The business is housed in a 200-year-old barn that Denise and her husband Stephen have renovated. Seifert said that many local customers came to the company after watching their hard work in renovating the building. One customer said that he chose Seifert because, "I watched you renovate and take care in your buildings, and I knew you were serious and committed to what you are doing."



Table : Santa Fe Springs, CA
'89: $1,922 '90: $2,574 +33.9%
Est. 1974 Employees: 45

Main products: About 50 different styles of office seating, primarily in Northern red oak and alder Among the winning strategies employed at Office Chairs has been increasing the ability of the company's computer system to help process and bill orders and provide additional inventory control, said owner Donald Simek. The company also expanded its sales force for better coverage and updated its brochures and catalog. Older chair lines were dropped and about 20 mid- to upper-priced lines were added. "The one thing our customers keep telling us is that we are one of the most consistent suppliers of chairs when it comes to delivery date," Simek said. "It's never more than two to three weeks from when the order is received." In terms of production, Office Chairs has become more computerized during the past two years, according to Simek. In addition, more chair lines are now being produced with a more modern ultraflex-type seat, rather than the standard system of steel springs, Simek said. "Our product is considered very durable and consistent in quality," he added.



Table : Charlotte, NC
'89: $1,198 '90: $1,598 +33.4%
Est. 1980 Employees: 16

Main products: Sets and props for TV commercials and movies, seasonal decor for malls, exhibits and custom cabinetry Finding its niche and sticking with it have helped Studio Displays grow, said owner Tom Pope. "We have developed a niche that relies heavily on individual craftsmanship, with an artistic side to the final product," he said. Finding creative craftsmen and retaining them over the years also is important to the company's success, he said. "This has helped us develop a reputation for quality, on-time performance and budget consciousness."




Table : Pico Rivera, CA
'89: $6,375 '90: $8,465 +32.8%
Est. 1953 Employees: 175

Main products: Custom high-end carved and upholstered furniture The company expanded its market base by attaining national representation, said James M. Stewart, vice president and general manager. He also attributes the company's success to its coming out with new products and a new catalog each year. In addition, Beverly is "not limited to standard products," Stewart said. "We manufacture to designer's specifications." The purchase of a new trim and bore/shaper/24 spindle carving machine also boosted Beverly's competitiveness, he said.




Table : Grand Junction, CO
'89: $1,548 '90: $2,050 +32.4%
Est. 1974 Employees: 35

Main products: Custom kitchen and bath cabinets Osburn increased its marketing territory to the West Coast, selling through dealers, said Jesse Osburn, vice president of sales, and added 5,600 square feet to its existing plant to meet the higher volume. Next year it will relocate to a new 30,000-square-foot facility. New purchases included: a Brandt A2500/8 edgebander, an SCMI T130 shaper, an SCMI MB63 boring machine, an SCMI 263 planer, an Altendorf F45 sliding table saw, an SCMI Z32 panel saw, an Onsrud 242-10 inverted pin router, a Time-savers 137 double-headed belt sander and a Jet POS 18 cutoff saw.



Table : Sterling, VA
'89: $1,160 '90: $1,530 +31.9%
Est. 1987 Employees: 20

Main products: Commercial cabinets, architectural millwork, store fixtures and specialty items Company co-founder Robert Fauteux, president, said, "Our success has been to remain faithful to the philosophy of producing a diverse range of high-caliber, competitively priced products by integrating select skill level personnel with the best manufacturing equipment available. We take great pride in paying attention to detail, from itemized proposals and CAD drawings to quality control throughout all phases of the manufacturing process." Recent machinery purchases include Gannomat boring equipment, a Wimer case clamp, a Streibig panel saw, and individual software for drafting and accounting.



Table : Arcata, CA
'89: $129 '90: $169 +31.0%
Est. 1988 Employees: 7

Main products: Displays for the jewelry industry The company has adjusted its product line because of a slowed economy and now builds a lot more smaller-sized displays, according to co-owner Michael Turi. Since the profit margin is lower on smaller displays, efficiency and design became critical, he said. To boost the firm's competitiveness, it purchased a new widebelt sander, edge sander, power feeders and a urethane foam in place packing system.



Table : Suffern, NY
'89: $196 '90: $255 +30.1%
Est. 1988 Employees: 5

Main products: Laminate frameless cabinets, millwork and furniture The company did some research to find the gaps in what the "bigger guys" were doing, said Richard Piccininni, vice president It decided that being competitive on pricing with standard colors and door styles while offering upgrades to a better drawer system or any color would help the company grow. He said that the company now is building a network of dealers to cover a 100-mile radius and will expand its sales force and advertising for more dealer support. Service has been the greatest asset, Piccininni said, building a strong customer loyalty and good referral base.




Table : Chester, PA
'89: $2,937 '90: $3,816 +29.93%
Est. 1970 Employees: 67

Main products: Professional sound systems and wood cabinets When the company began producing its first wood cabinet line in 1987, it was an immediate success. It was so good, in fact, that the company had to meet new problems created by large back orders and a drop in quality, said Charles Moore, general manager. To correct the problems, production staff was stabilized to reduce the turnover rate through greater safety measures, more training, and making quality control and inspections a part of the process. Dealers and reps were involved in the strategy, and the company turned around and was successful with the new line.



Div. of Fountain Hill Holdings

Table : Surrey, B.C., Canada
'89: $672 '90: $873 +29.91%
Est. 1986 Employees: 20+

Main products: MDF doors Prior to 1989, the company manufactured furniture but found it very hard to compete. It decided to pursue a different niche and purchased a CNC router and started making MDF doors. As demand increased, the company began finishing its doors as well and has continued to enjoy rapid growth. To accommodate the new line, it recently purchased: SCMI and Shoda CNC routers, Fladder 300 and Gyro 300 sanders, and a Binks spray booth.



Table : Claresholm, Alberta, Canada
'89: $770 '90: $990 +28.6%
Est. 1979 Employees: 12

Main products: Moulding, cabinet and furniture component supplier of hardwood dimension parts President Mike Hartigan credits Woodsmith's growth to "a constant upgrading of material supply, up-to-date tools, technology and systems, a constant search for responsible employees of substance and a solid commitment to their education and training, plus a total commitment to supply our customers with goods and services of consistent quality (we stress the word consistent over the word best) designed to solve their production problems and improve their profitability." Recent equipment purchases which helped boost the company's competitiveness include: a Barr-Mullin Compu-gauge, a Weinig 936 automatic grinding system, Doucet clamp carriers and a glue dipper.




Table : Kingwood, TX
'89: $431 '90: $550 +27.6%
Est. 1984 Employees: 9

Main products: 32mm plastic laminate casework Controlling the cost of materials while increasing productivity and reducing errors were the main factors behind LayneCorp's growth, said Kalen Gralka, general manager. Although the company purchased the new Blum Metabox drawer system, capital improvements have been minimal, Gralka said.



Table : West Hollywood, FL
'89: $450 '90: $570 +26.7%
Est. 1972 Employees: 15

Main products: Custom furniture As the number one growth company in last year's Wood 100, Creative Wood Design fell short of its 127.3% gain in 1989, but still enjoys a healthy growth pattern. President Wolfgang Siebald credits the hard work of all employees, which include his wife and children, as the driving force behind the company's ongoing success. The company specializes in producing a unique faux stone finish on its custom furniture, some of which is sold nationwide through upscale department stores. The company also stresses high quality. "We use birch drawers, ball-bearing slides and high-pressure laminate for top quality," Mike Siebald said. "We won't leave a job until people are happy, even if it means losing a little money," he added.



Table : Forest Grove, OR
'89: $2,675 '90: $3,385 +26.5%
Est. 1980 Employees: 32

Main products: Hardwood kitchen cabinet doors, face frames and mouldings "Many factors have contributed to our success," said President Joe Stork. "We have worked to establish a productive environment where well motivated people using modern, efficient equipment are free to make things happen. If we see the need for a new machine to do a job better and easier, we buy it. In turn, productivity goes up and so does our quality. Productivity lowers our costs and quality sells the product. It's as simple as that."




Table : Clearfield, PA
'89: $5,175 '90: $6,540 +26.4%
Est. 1987 Employees: 80

Main products: Hardwood dimension parts for kitchen cabinets The company has expanded from manufacturing only cabinet and door frames to providing a complete line of cabinet products in order to become a one-stop shop for customers. The company also has become well known for its ability to match profiles, its overall machining quality and profile sanding, said Dennis McCahan, president. Customers can count on consistency, he said.



Table : Brook Park, OH
'89: $4,818 '90: $6,038 +25.3%
Est. 1956 Employees: 50

Main products: Millwork, cabinetry, doors and mouldings CEO Fred Nagele attributes the company's growth to its new manufacturing facility which has provided more production capacity. Nagele said that the company pursues more aggressive sales activity and more bidding, as well as tighter control of its manufacturing costs.




Table : Sheboygan Falls, WI
'89: $4,168 '90: $5,109 +22.6%
Est. 1980 Employees: 54

Main products: Store fixtures, slatwall display panels and display accessories Company expansion has centered around building a 15,000-square-foot addition to the existing facility and investing in a custom built 21-spindle slatwall router with diamond tooling, said Jay B. Hogfeldt, president. The company also hired three fulltime salesmen and manufacturers reps and joined trade organizations for education, networking and sales, Hogfeldt said. The company continues to stress service, quality and price to customers, he added.




Table : McAllen, TX
'89: $296 '90: $362 +22.3%
Est. 1985 Employees: 4

Main products: Furniture refinishing and upholstery Being a woman and having a customer base that is 90 percent female is the best asset the company has, according to owner Delia Castillo, because "there is better communication between us." Castillo also guarantees all work, and every piece that leaves the shop is personally inspected by her or her foreman. Castillo said she does all estimating herself and has complete faith in the abilities of her shop crew's skills. "I feel that the |secret' to our success is that we're a team," she added.



Table : Oconomowoc, WI
'89: $704 '90: $859 +22.02%
Est. 1975 Employees: 12

Main products: Architectural millwork, furniture and cabinetry World of Wood concentrates its marketing efforts on a sophisticated clientele that appreciates attention to fine details, said Sales Director Jerry Erdmann. "The attitudes of teamwork, timely delivery, professionalism and quality are the foundation on which we operate," he said. The company enjoys a reputation for premium quality woodwork, which has created customer loyalty and repeat business, he said. Marketing efforts are directed to both design professionals and the end user. The company also owes its success to its skilled craftsmen, who are committed to the success of the firm, Erdmann added. "Our customers know that every product leaving our plant is the best it can be," he said.



Table : Greensburg, LA
'89: $264 '90: $322 +21.97%
Est. 1986 Employees: 7

Main products: Custom cabinets, furniture, mantles and specialty woodwork Changes in the finishing room which allowed Forest Millworks to begin offering a painted product for a new look generated increased interest and sales, said Anthony Campo, vice president and partner. The company matches all wood for color and grain pattern and strives for consistent finish in every product, he said. Consistent quality is a key to success, he added. The company became more cost effective by buying some materials milled and ready to cut to length and assemble.




Table : Ooltewah, TN
'89: $2,332 '90: $2,843 +21.91%
Est. 1987 Employees: 40

Main products: Cabinets, store fixtures and architectural millwork "We have reinvested our profits for the first three years to pay for and expand our production equipment and shop," said Larry Leigh, president. The shop increased from 12,000 square feet to 32,500 square feet during the past two years. The company uses 32mm construction for casework manufacturing, Leigh said, and bought new machines as it received contracts. The company also expanded its customer base by meeting deadlines and providing good quality products, service and price, he said. Southeast Millwork and Door Inc. worked with designers, owners and architects specifying its products, which added to its sales.



Table : Menomonee Falls, WI
'89: $8,585 '90: $10,409 +21.2%
Est. 1950 Employees: 70

Main products: Custom wood store fixtures and architectural woodwork The factors contributing to T.J. Hale's success "are very straight forward," said Executive Vice President J. Reed Felton. They include: focusing on providing exemplary service to customers; service is accomplished through hiring only the most talented employees and giving them what they need to perform their job, including competitive wages that reflect their responsibility; the company continues to insure its future by investing in its people; the shop is equipped with the latest in woodworking machinery and state-of-the-art equipment, and a 24,000-square-foot addition will be completed this year.



Table : Minneapolis, MN
'89: $1,582 '90: $1,911 +20.8%
Est. 1958 Employees: 40

Main products: Custom job shop specializing in tight tolerance components The major factor contributing to Lexington's success is its commitment to excellence and continuous improvement, said Robert Dimke, controller. All employees are involved in productivity teams which meet bimonthly to discuss productivity, quality and safety improvements. A diverse product mix is maintained to protect against downturns in any one market. Production-wise, the company bought a new CNC router and CAD/CAM equipment to obtain quicker, more exacting setups and assure rapid turnaround and timely deliveries, Dimke said.




Menomonee Falls, WI
'89: $4,383 '90: $5,280 +20.5%
Est. 1975 Employees: 60

Main products: Custom pool cues The company moved into a new facility in late 1988, increasing its space four times. The building was designed with product flow and employee comfort in mind, with each department in its own room. New equipment includes three Bostomatic CNC milling machines to speed up the inlay process and a state-of-the-art electrostatic ultraviolet spray booth to apply a rich, long-lasting finish, said Jesse McDermott, vice president. The company also hired key employees and introduced new features to its product line, plus expanding its European market, he said.



Table : Pompano Beach, FL
'89: $1,034 '90: $1,241 +20.0%
Est. 1983 Employees: 11

Main products: Frameless kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and countertops President Arie Vinograd put "quality control and customer satisfaction" at the top of the list for contributing to the company's success. Other factors included adding new products, such as a high-gloss lacquered finish, plus new equipment. The company bought a point-to-point boring machine and a computerized panel saw during the past two years.



Table : New Freedom, PA
'89: $1,837 '90: $2,172 +18.2%
Est. 1949 Employees: 47

Main products: Architectural and custom hardwood plywood Over the past three years, the company has made great strides in increasing the quantity and quality of its plywood, said President Edward Jones III. It stocks more than 3 million square feet of veneer and all types of substrates to assure timely deliveries, he said. Jones said that operators are of utmost importance. "Over the past several years we have hired experienced supervisors who have been conducting weekly training sessions for the entire production workforce to assure efficient, quality production."



Table : Minneapolis, MN
'89: $15,500 '90: $18,292 +18.0%
Est. 1968 Employees: 200

Main products: Laminated plastic casework for health care, industrial and educational markets Ongoing R&D, strategic marketing and the commitment to produce a high-quality product with excellent customer service are the factors behind LSI's success, according to Gerald Wellik, president. The company does research with major material manufacturers to enhance its product line, Wellik said, and uses the latest in equipment to ensure efficiency, productivity and quality. Recent purchases include: a Homag edgebander, two Comil automated clamps, a Giben 2000 panel saw, and a Morbidelli universal boring machine.



Table : Burghill, OH
'89: $324 '90: $381 +17.6%
Est. 1984 Employees: 9

Main products: Solid hardwood products, including doors, mouldings and stair parts Concentrating on door production and specializing in interior, exterior and cabinet doors helped Seidle grow. The company broadened its marketing of doors and expanded retail and wholesale sales. It also does private label manufacturing for another door company. Seidle offers a wide variety of panel designs and can make custom doors as well. Doors are sold through lumberyards and building supply centers. A lot of retail business also has been garnered through home and garden shows at malls.



Table : Gardena, CA
'89: $3,621 '90 $4,248 +17.3%
Est. 1977 Employees: 72

Main products: Plastic laminate millwork for the commercial market "Let's tighten things up," has been the company's basic philosophy during the past year, said owner Alex McKay. McKay used his own money, reducing his bottom line, in order to hire two new salespeople and broaden his market. To stay competitive, he said he also "tightened the wheels" production-wise in order to cut prices and keep the same level of quality. The purchase of an SCMI edgebander and panel saw helped boost the company's competitiveness, he said.




Table : San Francisco, CA 94124
'89: $1,528 '90 $1,790 +17.1%
Est. 1983 Employees: 20

Main products: High-end architectural millwork, office furniture and custom veneered panels In 1986, the company began laying up its own veneer and selling custom veneered panels to local millwork and furniture manufacturers, which has contributed to its steady growth. Buchner increased its capacity two years ago with a new roller conveyor system from Quickflow and WTT, which helped it compete for larger layup jobs. It recently pruchased a Streibig vertical panel saw, Kuper zigzag stitcher and Buetfering two-head widebelt sander. The company also is "very computerized," said President Lewis Buchner, and offers a profit sharing program as an incentive to keep qualified employees.



Table : Middlesex, NJ
'89: $2,068 '90 $2,400 +16.1%
Est. 1969 Employees: 24

Main products: Plastic laminate casework, millwork and commercial fixtures for food facilities Two years ago when the economic outlook started looking grim, Jafco began paying off debts and building cash reserves, said Allan Stonehouse Jr., president. This enabled the company to take discounts and refuse unprofitable work to fight the recession. Jafco's marketing approach is "to quote, quote and quote," Stonehouse said, while keeping close tabs on the competition. To combat a shortage of skilled labor, the company purchased high-tech equipment to reduce labor costs, including computers for CAD, Pattern Systems' Cabinet Planner software, an Alberti Monolit CNC boring machine, a Gannomat dowel inserter and an edgebander.




Table : San Diego, CA
'89: $7,553 '90 $8,751 +15.9%
Est. 1966 Employees: 175

Main products: High-end architectural casework and woodwork Tim Paradise, finance administrator, credits diversification and the company's ability to switch between the bank industry, architectural projects and large retail projects as one reason for its success. The company also has done special projects, including cruise ships. Recently, Quality Cabinet added a new paint finish department to comply with air pollution laws, which includes HVLP equipment and conversion to water-based finishes.



Table : Bryan, TX
'89: $6,253 '90 $7,239 +15.8%
Est. 1971 Employees: 142

Main products: Custom wood cabinets Among its strategies for success, the company lists: adoption of a new management technique that it calls "theory of constraints;" offering various employee classes and sales training sessions; providing a 5-year warranty on its cabinets; and the purchase of a new computer to manage the increased volume. The company has showrooms in its sales office and offers discounts and special incentives during slow months. It also added quality control personnel and expanded its line with new door styles and a water white conversion varnish for glossy finish.



Table : Cape Coral, FL
'89: $618 '90 $714 +15.53%
Est. 1973 Employees: 4

Main products: Components for kitchen cabinets and closets "Buying pre-cut parts has become a way of life for many cabinet shops," said Owner Mike Brittain. "To maintain this business we offer precision-cut parts and short lead time (two to three days) on most orders." Brittain said that moving into a new building doubled production space and increased the company's efficiency, thereby making it more competitive. Brittain also recently purchased a return conveyor for its edge-bander, adding to its efficiency.



Table : Draper, UT
'89: $3,479 '90 $4,018 +15.49%
Est. 1980 Employees: 66

Main products: Custom 32mm-style cabinetry Steve Arneson, who calls himself the "chief dreamer" at Cottonwood, said the company's overall success is due to its investment in its people. "It's a known fact that Cottonwood produces some of the most detailed, high-end kitchens in the industry," Arneson said. "This requires nothing less than intelligent, experienced people." Cottonwood implemented an "earned retirement plan" in 1991, designed to take care of its employees, especially "the ones in it for the long haul," he said. In terms of equipment, Cottonwood recently improved its finishing area and computer information system. 79

 Hanover, PA
'89: $5,628 '90 $6,496 +15.42%
Est. 1946 Employees: 66

Main products: High-quality pine furniture, and a promotional line of cherry and ash

In 1989, Leisters commissioned a full-color video to show the step-by-step process used to build its furniture. As a selling tool for its reps nationwide, it was very effective "in adding luster and appreciation to the quality the Leisters' line has always conveyed to our customers," said Kenneth Leister, president.


 Salina, KS
'89: $1,926 '90 $2,211 +14.80%
Est. 1908 Employees: 24

Main products: Custom architectural woodwork

Salina "continually strives for personnel improvement," said Stan Robuck, president. He said that the company is a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute and takes advantage of many educational opportunities available from AWI. Rather than specializing, the company offers a wide range of capabilities, so that "market cycles in types of buildings being built have less affect on sales opportunities," Robuck said.


 N. St. Paul, MN
'89: $2,109 '90 $2,421 +14.79%
Est. 1972 Employees: 26

Main products: Custom kitchen cabinets, vanities, Corian countertops, furniture, store fixtures and commercial casework

The company is able to stay busy continuously by diversifying into as many markets as possible. It buys materials in truckload quantities to keep prices down. It also strives to maintain high quality and offers a 10-year warranty on its products. Using up-to-date machinery helps keep quality high and prices competitive, the company says. Computers have helped track job times and materials and facilitated time studies on projects.


 Wichita, KS
'89: $1,009 '90 $1,155 +14.5%
Est. 1982 Employees : 20

Main products: Architectural woodwork

President Dan Wendell said that the purchase of new labor-saving equipment, including a Morbidelli U-13 machining center, has been crucial to the company's success. Wendell said that having new equipment and technology has given the company an edge over its competitors with older and slower equipment. The company also is dedicated to furnishing customer satisfaction on all jobs, he said.


 Como, TX
'89: $1,972 '90 $2,255 +14.4%
Est. 1980 Employees: 54

Main products: Custom wood interior louvered shutters

Custom Shutters installed a moulding and cut-up mill, which gave it more control over quality and the opportunity to purchase raw lumber at more advantageous prices, said Bill Watts, president. The mill includes new Weinig moulders, plus new defect saws, a resaw and gang ripsaw. Watts also said that the company conforms its policies and practices to principles set forth in the Bible, which has contributed to its success.


 Longwood, FL
'89: $1,975 '90 $2,258 +14.3%
ESt.1983 Employees: 45

Main products: Upholstered bedroom furniture

Having a new, professionally designed building tailored to the company's needs has helped make it more competitive, said Co-President Scott Pilato. The company weathered the recession by exporting its products, he said, and also developed a new line of juvenile furniture. Pilato also credits the fact that he and his partner are actively involved in all aspects of the business, with helping the company to grow.



Grand Rapids, MI
'89: $642 '90 $732 +14.0%
Est. 1983 Employees: 18

Main products: High-quality wood products for contract furniture and custom furniture

President Scott Gilmore's recipe for success is simple. "We have an excellent workforce, dedication to technical proficiency and an aggressive marketing plan for the niches we serve," he said. The company also serves as a job shop for larger Midwest manufacturers and produces custom furniture for local designers and architects including table bases, desks, credenzas and conference tables.


 Knoxville, TN
'89: $498 '90 $567 +13.9%
Est. 1987 Employees: 14

Main products: Custom architectural millwork

Maddron recently purchased a Holz-Her edgebander and an SCMI panel saw, which enabled it to cut manufacturing time and take on more work, President Randy Hensley said. Maddron strives to maintain a high level of service and quality of products, Hensley added. "Not only have we kept our original customers, but we have added many new ones because of our reputation," he said.

 Milwaukee, WI
'89: $8,452 '90 $9,600 +13.6%
Est. 1965 Employees: 70

Main products: High-end architectural millwork for commercial use Glenn Rieder's purchase of a Weinig moulder and a Gannomat boring machine increased productivity and boosted the firm's competitiveness, said Elizabeth Reinhardt, vice president of sales. The company also computerized its estimating, production and engineering departments, and its drafting speed increased tremendously with the use of a new CAD system, she said. The result has been quality products and service, which have worked to fuel the company's increases in repeat business, she added.


 Columbus, OH
'89: $133 '90 $151 +13.5%
Est.1978 Employees: 2

Main products: Store fixtures and custom cabinetry

Accu-Mac augmented its Yellow Pages advertising with more and varied advertising in local newspapers which helped increase business during the past year, said Owner Tom MacPherson. The company relies heavily on hand-held power tools and upgraded recently with more and better routers, finish sanders and drills, he said. It also has succeeded in getting better trained and more conscientious personnel, MacPherson said.


 Kent, WA
'89: $2,950 '90 $3,314 +12.3%
Est. 1981 Employees: 39

Main products: Wood office furniture and systems

The foundation of Sheppard's success is "at all times to act responsibly and treat its employees, customers and suppliers with the courteous professionalism they deserve," according to President Richard Meador. In addition to paying attention to its employees, the company credits its continually evolving product line and development of markets outside its local area with contributing to its success. The company also implemented just-in-time production and an integrated quality-control program, Meador said.

 East Windsor Hill, CT
'89: $4,306 '90 $4,824 +12.0%
Est. 1978 Employees: 40

Main products: Solid oak dining furniture

Since 1988, the company has doubled its plant size to 40,000 square feet and installed automated machinery that allowed it to expand its product lines and develop more competitive pricing, said Brian Lyman, president. New showrooms in San Francisco and High Point helped develop a larger dealer structure, Lyman said, and three new factory outlet stores increased retail sales. "The overlying reason for our success, however, has been the people who work here and take pride in the jobs they do," Lyman said.

 Kentwood, MI
'89: $688 '90 $769 +11.77%
Est. 1985 Employees: 12

Main products: Contract machining of wood, wood composites, plastics and nonferrous metals

Paladin's success is due to the fact that it makes a total commitment to customer requirements, said President Larry Bell, with foremost emphasis on excellence in engineering/machining and timely deliveries. Bell said the company's success drives its capital improvements; within the last two years it has committed more than $1 million to its growth, including the purchase of two Heian four-spindle routers, a Morbidelli U-50 point-to-point boring machine and a 100 percent increase in its CAD/CAM capability.


 Prophetstown, IL
'89: $340 '90 $380 +11.76%
Est. 1986 Employees: 18

Main products: Oak furniture and accessories Clear Creek President Darrell Millsap defines the company as "a labor-intense, hand-crafted operation" that owes its growth and success to: quality product, improved employee skill and efficiency, careful production planning, efficient factory layout, quality-conscious people serving in key positions and excellent sales representation. The company also develops new products constantly to keep customers' interest high and generate new orders, he said. Clear Creek is the result of a successful economic development project by the City of Prophetstown.

 Allegan, MI
'89: $2,173 '90 $2,402 +10.5%
Est. 1910 Employees: 45

Main products: Wood parts for furniture and caskets

The company said that the purchase of new boring and routing equipment and new saws helped streamline production, which contributed greatly to its growth during the past year. The company said it also expanded its markets by branching out to produce more types of furniture parts.

 Winston, OR
'89: $3,220 '90 $3,499 +8.7%
Est. 1986 Employees: 35

Main products: Commercial and architectural flush wood and plastic laminate doors

Among the changes made by Western Oregon Door to increase sales, the company added inside sales personnel, who make regular trips with outside sales reps to visit customers, said Sales Manager Steve Collins. Other successful strategies for the company include: adding a new system for checking hardware coordination and hiring a quality control manager. The company also keeps customers satisfied by handling problems on job sites quickly, Collins said.

 Bethel, ME
'89: $3,465 '90 $3,741 +8.0%
Est. 1957 Employees: 68

Main products: Glued hardwood panels and bendings

Part of the company's growth is based on an increase in its bending operation, said Y. Leon Favreau, president. "A number of our customers used to do their own bending, but switched to us because they found our prices, quality and service preferable," he said. The company has its own sawmill, which enables it to use only the best wood for bending, Favreau said.

 St. Cloud, MN
'89: $22,915 '90 $24,392 +6.4%
Est. 1945 Employees: 325

Main products: Hardwood cabinet and furniture components and assembled cabinet doors made from red and white oak, cherry, hard and soft maple and birch

Woodcraft continues to seek new avenues for growth. Last spring the company started up its door assembly plant in Foreston, MN. The doors are completely sanded and ready to finish. The addition of doors to the product mix affords Woodcraft customers a complete cabinet component package from which to choose. Woodcraft's commitment to producing cabinet doors is self evident in its plans to open a new cabinet door division next spring across from its headquarter plant in St. Cloud. The firm's diversity also has helped it weather the recession.



Northbrook, IL
'89: $10,539 '90 $11,183 +6.1%
Est. 1965 Employees: 131

Main products: Architectural woodwork, store fixtures, cabinetry and polyurethane edging

Vice President Mark Bernhard said the company has followed a two-pronged strategy to increase quality while lowering costs and production time. First, it has aggressively upgraded machinery to better utilize the labor force at its headquarters location. Second, it built a new manufacturing facility to concentrate on higher volume and lower skill items. New equipment includes: a Shoda CNC router, a wood grinding machine, an Ott edgebander, DeVilbiss experimental sludge removal systems for waterfall spray booths, two table saws and two vertical panel saws.

 Livonia, MI
'89: $1,722 '90 $1,798 +4.4%
Est. 1986 Employees: 29

Main products: Custom kitchen cabinets, laminate countertops and refaced cabinets

According to President David Pink, the most important element of Cabinet Clinic's success is its ongoing staff training and improvement programs. "We have, I believe, successfully instilled a sense of pride and customer concern into our employees," he said. "We want to have all cabinet people believe firmly in our guiding principal - |We care; ask our customers.'" According to Pink, "By providing hundreds of beautiful kitchens each year in the Detroit Metro Area, we are finding our direct referrals increasing each year." The purchase of a new edgebander improved the company's quality and efficiency, Pink said, while office efficiency was boosted with a new computer and high-level copying machine, which he added has helped the company tremendously.

 Williamsport, PA
'89: $18,100 '90 $18,871 +4.3%
Est. 1940 Employees: 175

Main products: Wood library furniture and rocking chairs

1990 was a comparably slow year for Brodart, according to Robert Thorwart, marketing manager, but it wasn't bad by industry standards. "Our business is not necessarily tied to the general economy. The educational marketplace is somewhat insulated from the recession, but not totally." Brodart's product mix includes shelving, seating and desks, all made of oak. The emergence of the computer as a reference tool has opened up new opportunities in recent years. Eight years ago Brodart purchased rocking chair manufacturer, Lock and moved its operations from Massachusetts to Williamsport.

 Philadelphia, PA
'89: $5,056 '90 $5,208 +3.0%
Est. 1967 Employees: 63

Main products: Commercial cabinets, architectural interiors, custom office furniture and restaurant furniture

The ability to provide cabinets for Wa Wa convenience stores, architectural millwork for casino showboats and cabinets for arcade video games hints at the manufacturing flexibility of Paone. The firm also makes custom desks and conference tables, as well as restaurant furniture. 1990 was a relatively lean year for Paone, which had experienced a growth spurt of better than 35 percent in 1989. "We have greatly increased our production through the purchase of new equipment," said Samuel Paone, purchasing manager. For instance, Paone said a Morbidelli point-to-point boring machine reduces machining steps for making video game cabinetry. The company also benefits from a new SCMI panel saw and dowel insertion machines.

PHOTO : Close to 160 retail Williams-Sonoma stores have been designed by Environments Inc.

PHOTO : The interior of the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, done by Valley City, featured matched blueprint panelling made from 200,000 square feet of drape makore veneer, framed with American cherry.

PHOTO : Learning the line Helping its employees gain firsthand knowledge of the products they produce is a practice at Millrock Inc. (No. 8). Says President Marty Liebmann, "A finished product is randomly taken off the shelf for total quality review....Production employees are better able to perform their jobs knowing the end product and all its relative operations and materials."

PHOTO : Affordable dreams Tailoring its product line to the styles, price points and features that its accounts can sell has led Blackhawk Furniture (No. 7) to develop a viable mid-line collection of oak bedroom furniture. According to President Bruce Masterton, the Monterey Collection, featuring pier walls such as this Hayward, is a mainstay of the company's growth in contemporary oak bedrooms.

PHOTO : And the winner is... Big Sky Wood & Laminates (No. 31) has found its niche making wooden components for trophies. From 1989 to 1990, the company grew 49.6 percent, but next year they could be knocking at the door of the top spot. Bob Toombs, president, estimates gross sales will top $400,000 - over 100 percent growth.

PHOTO : Learning to be flexible Located in historic Williamsport, Pa., Brodart Co. (No. 99) has manufactured wood library furniture for schools, universities and public libraries for the past 50 + years. According to Robert Thorwart, marketing manager, this field is "somewhat insulated" from the economy in general. The company's latest entry into this arena is the Ultra Flex multiple terminal station that can be configured into a variety of arrangements.

PHOTO : Hold that door (grille) Not satisfied to be known as the "world's largest door grille manufacturer" Rasmussen Millwork (No. 25) makers of Colonial Craft products, decided to expand. RMI is now marketing its grilles and mouldings in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, England, Europe and the Middle East.

PHOTO : Persistence pays off Perseverance and 32mm equipment purchases have kept Bruce Kranzberg Design Studio (No. 15) a competitor in the caseworks/store fixtures industry. "We have found a niche in medium-size commercial work and our business continues to grow," says President Bruce Kranzberg.

PHOTO : A true innovator Lewis Buchner, owner of Buchner Design Studio (No. 73), recently received the 1991 WMIA Innovator of the Year Award for his use of imported machinery to increase productivity and sales. Buchner also involves himself in the forestry issue through monetary donations and humanitarian causes by donating furniture to organizations helping AIDS patients and the homeless.

PHOTO : Hang 'em high Saloom Furniture (No. 14) not only promotes its 15-year limited warranty on all its hangtags, but each tag also includes a personal message from owners Peter and Linda Saloom about the custom-order philosophy of the company. The tags serve a third benefit as well. According to Peter Saloom, the hangtags provide a valuable sales aid for dealers.

PHOTO : Service from start to finish From the designing of a project to its construction, Shopworks Inc. (No. 20) likes to get involved. According to Bob Davidson, president, Shopworks is a "service company, not a manufacturer. All our work is custom, and we are often in at the design phase of a project, suggesting materials and finishes and helping to bring it along."

PHOTO : Business success is child's play Wood Designs of Monroe (No. 42) president John Price is a firm believer in the three D's: durability, dependability and development. The firm's wooden educational products are guaranteed to last for years in a preschool environment. "The human factor is foremost in all customer dealings," says Price, whether it be vendor relationships or product development "as a response to listening to the market."

PHOTO : Hands across the water "Diversify and expand" is the golden rule for Bomboy Inc. (No. 16) as it launches a joint venture with a German firm. An exchange of information, people and expertise with a European concept has brought a diversified product line and expanded customer scope to Bomboy. Case work combined with steel, profiles the new institutional furniture that supplements the company's architectural casework line.

PHOTO : Going with the flow Susan Ritter, vice president of Ritter Cabinet Mfg. (No. 28), says facility expansion and improved plant layout have contributed to her company's success. The improved plant layout has "eased congestion and made for a more efficient shop," she adds. Ritter Cabinet produces high-end custom commercial and institutional casework and cabinets for executive suites and residences.

PHOTO: Lights, camera action Filmgoers,race car fans and news buffs have seen Studio Displays' (No. 46) work and probably did not even know it. This Charlotte, N.C., firm's screen credits include: "Days of Thunder," starring Tom Cruise, and "Murder In New Hampshire," directed by Diane Keaton. The company has also done the news set for NewsWatch6, Augusta, Ga., and the set for a cable-TV racing show. Some of owner Tom Pope's favorite work is the moving Santa Claus displays which adorn many shopping mails across the country.

PHOTO : Cruisin' along One of the most challenging jobs recently done by Quality Cabinet and Fixture (No. 75) was wood and joinery work for a $100 million refurbishment of the MS Viking Serenade cruise ship. The project included more than 200 new cabins and remodeling the ship's dining areas, lounges and casinos. It was unusual since it involved applying plastic laminate on Vermapan, a fire-proof substrate the company uses instead of fire-resistant marine grade plywood, which meets U.S. Coast Guard rules.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:top 100 North American woodworking companies
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Productivity no longer a concern for Environments Inc.
Next Article:Business site opportunities.

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