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Wood 100: strategies for success.

THE REBOUND CONTINUES. as evidenced by the success of these North American wood products manufacturers. The following pages illustrate the strategies put in place by this year's WOOD 100 class, as they continue to survive and thrive--in today's economy. Turn the page to read their 100 strategies of success.

Marketing Initiatives

Go-to-Market Strategies

Business Strategies

Productivity Ehancements

Technology Integration

Product Innovations

Customer Service

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MARKETING INITIATIVES

ORGANIZATION IS KEY to developing an effective marketing plan. Whether it's growing their own businesses, or helping franchises market theirs, these WOOD 100 firms are experts at promoting their goods and services.

Organizers Direct, Scottsdale, AZ -- While it can be challenging enough to market your own business, it takes a special skill set to help dealers also market theirs. A supplier of custom cabinetry and home organization systems since its inception in 1995, Organizers Direct markets its products and design services through a network of qualified dealers.

"Over the last year, Organizers Direct has focused much of its efforts helping dealers grow their businesses," says President Neil Balter. In addition to hiring an experienced regional sales manager, Organizers Direct created an online Marketing Toolkit for its dealers that contains customizable collateral materials, downloadable product image files and social media how-to guides and advertising templates. The company also makes available free product, installation, marketing and sales training at its corporate headquarters in Arizona.

"Organizers Direct is truly dedicated to helping dealers succeed," Balter says, and the strategy has paid off. Sales jumped 20% in 2013 to $12 million, and 2014 looks to be even better, Balter adds. 2015 projections are also "excellent" as the company continues to add new products and finishes to keep up with market trends.

TOP MARKETERS

WW Wood Products Inc., Dudley, MO

"We focused on bringing in-demand products to our customers and expanded our product lines to capture more of the overall market," says Ken Carmode, vice president of sales a marketing of the firm's 20.1% sales growth. WW Wood manufactures cabinetry for any room in the home, under the Shiloh, Eclipse and Aspect brands.

Barbosa Cabinets Inc., Tracy, CA

The residential, multi-family and commercial cabinet and countertop maker attributes its 44.9% sales growth to diversification. "We diversified into other cabinet and countertop markets as well as expanded our area of influence," says President Ed Barbosa. With new frameless-related eguipment enhancing production, 2014 sales also look bright.

Premium Woods LLC, Lincoln, NE

Communication between customers, vendors and staff has been key to obtaining and retaining business, says Bob Long, president of the laminate and wood casework firm, "implementing systems that create uniformity," he adds, also "increase customer satisfaction and a better work environment." Sales grew 18.4% in 2013 and look to be even better in 2014 with key purchases including a Giben edgebanderand Gannomat drilling/insertion machine.

Ethan Allen, Danbury, CT

The residential furniture company promoted its international locations by showing at the prestigious Maison y Objet trade show in Paris in 2013, and also by launching a European website.

Allied Cabinet Corp., Ladysmith, WI

2013 sales for the custom cabinetry and built-ins manufacturer grew 3.1% as the firm "concentrated on marketing using a variety of media" to maximize its customer reach, says President Anthony Lichwa. "Great customer service," keeps them coming back.

Capitol Closet Design, Vienna, VA

"We have targeted a select market focusing on dressing rooms and specialty wardrobe systems," says Larry Nordseth, president. The high-end closet and home storage systems firm also hired "new key craftsmen that are focused on custom cabinetry and fine furniture style quality," he adds. Sales jumped 57.2% in 2013, and look to grow even more, with 2014 purchases of Scm edge-bander and CNC router adding productivity.

Leidy's, Chambersburg, PA

The custom cabinet firm's acquisition of a nearby shop enabled it to expand as well as "have a showroom where we can bring in customers to look at the products and options that are available," says David Leidy, president.

Drawer Box Specialties, Orange, CA

DBS launched a stocking inventory program of pre-cut component parts. "We are not looking to build cabinets, just to assist our customers by providing value-added components," says Mike Taylor, president of DBS and States Ind.

Advanced Cabinet Sys., Marion, IN

The fixture and casework firm markets its ability to handle national accounts, plus its fast turnaround, enabling it to obtain contracts with Sir Speedy and other large firms.

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THE DOOR IS WIDE OPEN for these WOOD 100 companies when it comes to developing strategies to sell their products.

Tischlerei Fine Woodworking LLC, Salina, KS -- The future is bright for Tischlerei Fine Woodworking. A manufacturer of custom cabinetry and millwork, the company sells its products through kitchen and bath dealers in the Midwest.

"We developed a new 650-page product specification manual to simplify the ordering process for our dealers," says Olaf Gerhardt, manager. As an added bonus for customer service, he says, "Our finish department introduced 15 new Signature Finishes and has accommodated our clients' need for color matching."

The strategy has paid off markedly, with 2013 sales jumping 133.3% to $1.4 million. Sales--and production--should continue to grow with the 2013 purchase of an edge-bander, drawer clamp, TigerStop equipment and a downdraft table, and more machines, including a knife grinder, widebelt sander and arch moulder, planned for 2014.

TOP MARKETERS

The Closet Guy, Beverly Hills, CA

A manufacturer, designer and installer of custom closet and home organization systems, President Michael Mueller said the firm has stopped "competing against the larger closet companies at their level of quality," and installs only Panolam or Roseburg panel products and Hafele hardware. "This has led to better projects as well as a final installed product that is far better than the competitor's," he adds. The strategy has paid off, with 2013 sales up 15.8%, and 2014 sales also looking good.

Bellmont Cabinet Co., Sumner, WA

Formerly known as Pacific Crest Industries, Bellmont Cabinet markets its eco-sensitive manufacturing processes and social responsibility to customers. Its efforts were a success, with 2013 recording a jump of 75.0%, says Tyler Bell, vice president of sales S marketing at the custom cabinet firm.

MityLite, Orem, UT

The hospitality furniture maker rebranded itself, including a new logo, website and tagline, "MityLite, Durability by Design." "From a strategic standpoint ... it was time to go bold with a new look for the company," says Spencer Posey, vice president of marketing.

Leedo Cabinetry, Stafford, TX

The cabinet firm has gained success specializing in multi-family housing, targeting projects of 50 or more units. According to Ken Hirshman, president 6 co-owner, the company expects to manufacture and ship more than 7,000,000 cabinets in 2014. It will be the "third consecutive year with more than 30% growth, year over year," he adds.

GO-TO-MARKET

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THERE'S NO COUNTERING the fact that these savvy marketers find ways to separate themselves from their competitors.

Decore-ative Specialties, Monrovia, CA -- In 2013 the firm made news when it added Streamline custom cabinet components manufacturing and ordering. Streamline provides our customers with a simplified process and economical prices for quoting and ordering, RTA frameless components online," says Joel Boyles, director of marketing.

Not content to rest on its laurels, in 2014 Decore-ative launched Anytime Orders, providing customers with a secure online account for viewing and tracking orders and viewing invoices. Payments can be submitted online as well.

Multiple users can be set up within a master account, with different access levels allowing for greater control, according to the company.

BRIGHT IDEAS

McKaskell Haindl Design Build Inc., London, ON

"We increased our marketing efforts by reaching out to local designers, showing in more trade shows and by increasing our showroom hours," says Chris McKaskell, president of the custom cabinet and furniture firm. The company also focused on total quality management and improved customer service, leading to sales growth of 17.5% in 2013. "We learned some good lessons which have given us ideas for the upcoming year," McKaskell adds.

Boiseries Metropolitaines, St. Basile Le Grand, QC

Going direct to retail is a strategy that has worked well for the stair products manufacturer and installer, says President Denis Beauchesne.

Reborn Cabinets Inc., Anaheim, CA

Continuing the kitchen and bath cabinetry and refacing firm's consecutive years of growth, Reborn Cabinets' sales jumped 32.9% in 2013, due in part to increased marketing campaigns and new opportunities, says President Vince Nardo. "We implemented canvassing as well as increased our presence with additional showrooms. We also worked on changing our MRP program to allow us to schedule our projects more efficiently," he says.

Quantum Windows & Doors, Everett, WA

Online marketing has helped this wood and aluminum window and door firm's sales grow 27.5% in 2013, and the company is not done yet, says Stephanie Carr, marketing coordinator. "Top architects and contractors regularly rely on Quantum to provide the highest level of design expertise and engineering. This collaborative approach helps Quantum exceed customer's expectations regardless of the complexity or size of the project," she adds.

Bella Systems, Asbury Park, NJ

Sales for the custom closet and storage solutions designer and manufacturer rose 19.9% in 2013, due in part to a combination of increased capabilities with the addition of a five-piece door line, and online marketing. "[We have a] strong presence online via our website and social media," says Joseph Lonardo, founder.

Kahle's Kitchen, Leeper, PA

A maker of custom and semi-custom cabinetry for more than 40 years, Kahle's Kitchens has "forged partnerships with our dealers that has allowed [us] to remain successful year after year," says Scott Fair, general manager. In 2013, he adds, the firm also "arranged purchasing agreements for raw materials which allowed us to forecast expenditures."

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

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THE PATH TO SUCCESS is not the same for every wood products company. Strategies used by this year's WOOD 100 range from outsourcing to insourcing, to expansions and training of workers.

Custom Millwork a Display lnc.f South Bend, IN - Sales for the architectural millwork and custom products manufacturer rose 3.2% in 2013, and the company looks to grow even more as it plans for 2015.

Among the decisions undertaken to improve the company's profit margins was to outsource more components, says President Jerrel Mead. "We have learned that it often makes sense to outsource even though you can make it yourself. For instance, I have one of the best solid surface fabricators around, but we only fabricate the truly custom, complicated items. All the standard tops are bought out. This allows us to increase our output without increasing our in-house production," he says.

Other improvements made inside and outside the shop walls have also had a positive impact on the bottom line. For example, Mead adds, prior to purchasing a 24-foot box truck with a lift gate, Custom Millwork & Display would rent trucks for deliveries exceeding 100 miles round trip. "Now we don't have that added expense and coordination hassle," he says.

The company also plans to improve its manufacturing capabilities in 2014, including upgrading its edgebander, Mead adds.

MASTER PLANS

RiverCity Cabinets Inc., Austin, TX

Business is flowing at the residential cabinet firm, which saw sales jump 45.3% in 2013. RiverCity purchased its leased space and expanded the production area. "The additional production space will enable us to virtually double our throughput capability and should carry us through the current market surge nicely," says Randy Hardin, co-owner/ VP. RiverCity also hired and trained additional employees: CAD personnel, project managers for faster customer service, and field service technicians to reduce warranty wait times.

Closets by Design Seattle, Fife, WA

Doing business as a Closets by Design franchise "and following their marketing plan," resulted in a sales jump of 118.8% in 2013, says Truman Jepson, manager/memberof Manufacturing Group LLC. The firm designs, manufactures and installs panels and shelving for closets, home offices, entertainment centers, wall bed cabinets and garage systems.

Millwork 360 LLC, Tampa, FL

General Manager Mike Williams credits the 42.4% jump in sales to the door and moulding maker s "dedicated and experienced employees" as well as a focus on on-time delivery and customer service. Aiding productivity were purchases of a Weinig moulder and shapers. Millwork 360's products are sold through retail lumberyards and dealers.

RSI Home Prod., Newport Beach, CA

One of the largest cabinetmakers got even bigger, acquiring full ownership of sister firm Professional Cabinet Solutions. Operating as separate units, they will take advantage of supply chain and cross-selling synergies.

Wood Masters Ent., Fort Collins, CO

"We survived the recession by managing debt, cash flow, reducing shop staff and expenses," says Brian Tormey, general manager. The architectural millwork and casework firm's sales grew 7.2% in 2013.

Red Star Cabinet, Farmingdale, NY

Specializing in custom medicine chests, the cabinet firm stays "future proof and ahead of the curve" by attending trade shows; its sales grew 36.4%. "We [also] try to manufacture as much as possible in-house to manage quality control and strict deadlines," says President Robert Edelbach. "We are always updating our machinery to help reduce production times and raise quality." 2013 purchases included a glass beveling edgerand Brandt edgebander.

The Stow Co., Holland, Ml

The closet and home organization firm's growth strategy included maximizing its manufacturing capacities and leveraging a centralized, national shipping point. "Our 200,000-square-foot Holland facility is readily able to absorb additional volume, and will positively impact our industry-leading quality and turnaround times," Randy Tallman, executive vice president of operations, said at the time.

Wewoka Window Works, Wewoka, OK

Having a system in place for "precise quality control" has the window firm on a steady path of success, says Dennis Myers, owner.

Colony Cabinets, Longview, TX

The firm added a new warehouse, part of a $1.3 million capital expansion program resulting from its growing healthcare casework.

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DRESSED FOR SUCCESS? These WOOD TOO firms have the right pieces in place for a successful 2014 and beyond.

Wisconsin Built, Deerfield, WI -- The architectural woodworking and restaurant/ retail fixture firm attributes its success to its employees, including customer service and productivity skills. 2013 sales rose 5.8% and the custom manufacturer looks for sales to be even higher this year.

"We are placing a greater emphasis on training in software utilization, machine maintenance, and other areas of the company," says President Dan Petersen. "[We're] also agreeing on clear expectations and monitoring progress towards those expectations."

To enhance the productivity in the shop, in 2013 the company invested in a Black Bros, cold press, solid surface forming oven and JobPak scheduling software. The company also provides value analysis for every proposed project and commits itself to shipping "the job complete and on schedule, for the quoted price."

MASTER PLANS

Lakeside Cabinets S Woodworking, Nowthen, MN

Investments in new equipment, plus programs such as a 401k and cross training, helped grow the custom firm's bottom line 33.3%. Says Owner Troy Bednarz, "My goal is to continue to work with each of my coworkers and make sure they know they are important to the company. Cross training our employees, especially in the office, will ensure the company will be able to operate and be profitable. Having complete transparency is the most important facet of this."

Woodtronics Inc., Yorktown Hts., NY

The architectural millwork and cabinetry firm streamlined production to help meet deadlines, spurring a 13.2% sales growth in 2013. "Last year, most of our products was casegoods for the commercial market," adds Jan E. Efraimsen, president.

Closet & Storage Concepts, West Berlin, NJ

The home organization firm got even bigger with its acquisition of More Space Place. "[Their] retail stores expand our markets and give us the decisive edge for Murphy beds," said Bob Lewis, president and CEO, of the deal.

Patrick Industries, Elkhart, IN

The components and building products producer went on an buying spree in 2013, purchasing: John H. McDonald Co., Westside Furniture, Frontline Mfg. and Premier Concepts.

GW Hartisan, Lachute, QC

Owner G. Williams Houle attributes the cabinet firm's 10.4% growth to employee training and importing special woods for projects.

PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCED

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GETTING THE RIGHT PIECES IN PLACE is a key ingredient in improving the productivity--and profitability - in the woodworking shop.

Northern Contours, St. Paul, MN - Known for its innovative products and design-driven solutions, Northern Contours manufactures a wide variety of products, including: door and drawer fronts, surfaces and specialized tops, seating solutions and shelving. The company's products are used in many industries, among them: kitchen, bath, home organization, store fixtures, healthcare and contract furniture.

"Our production facilities combine expertise in flat and membrane pressing, CNC routing, edgebanding, precision boring, and other traditional woodworking processes to produce quality components with reliable and timely deliveries," says Melissa Sjerven, marketing manager. 2013 sales for the company grew 3.5%, and projections are upbeat for an even better 2014 and beyond.

"The key steps to our continued success have been improved efficiency and quality. We've added the appropriate processes and equipment upgrades necessary. An example of this is our implementation of a barcoding and nesting system that helps us streamline production and orders," she added.

Looking to expand its capabilities even further, the company has planned purchases for a new PUR laminating line, a membrane press, two CNC routers and a number of foil carousels.

TOP PRODUCERS

Eagle Bay Cabinet Doors & Drawers, Oviedo, FL

Cross training on the production line is one of the strategies used by the components maker to improve productivity. Another is outsourcing. "[Our] in-house rough mill allows us to provide custom capabilities, but outsourcing our standard dimension mill operations has allowed us to run with one less employee in the crew and provided a cost basis for determining job profitability while cutting production time by two days," says Jason Lockhart, production manager/partner.

Architectural Millworks, Duson, LA

A lot of hard work, attention to detail and meeting deadlines have helped this high-end millwork firm's sales continue on a steady course, says Paul Fontenot, vice president. Recent projects have ranged from private cruise lines to horse stables.

Bright Wood Works, St. Petersburg, FL

Strict guality control and attention to detail helped spur a 2013 sales increase of 10.0% for the high-end custom kitchen, vanity and casework firm. "We are very selective about any/all materials used in our casework as they directly relate to the quality of the finished product," says Michael Bright, owner.

El Paso Wood Products, El Paso, TX

Hard work and investments in technology have resulted in 12.0% growth in sales for the manufacturer of custom entryway doors and furniture components, says President Alejandro Fernandez. Recent equipment purchases included Kaeser compressors and Shoda routers, with an additional CNC router on the agenda for 2014.

Hilker's Custom Cabinets, San Jacinto, CA

An emphasis on quality control and reduced delivery times were some of the strategies employed at the firm, says David Hilker, proprietor. The use of green products also helped spur interest in the cabinetry, he adds.

Southern Minnesota Woodcraft, Fairbault, MN

A full service architectural millwork firm serving the commercial, residential and retail markets, SMW's sales grew 4.5%. "Continued development and expansion of our engineering department, including new software and personnel have made production more efficient and organized," says Bradley Cohen, vice president. The firm invested in QuickCam engineering software and updated AutoCAD 15 software, along with a new server and finish sander. Next on the agenda is a new edgebanderand a possible manufacturing facility expansion or relocation, Cohen adds.

Prime-Line Inc., Malvern, AR

The moulding and millwork maker built a new manufacturing plant with additional production lines, giving Prime-Line the ability to manufacture more than 2 million lineal feet of primed moulding per week. Prime-Line's products are sold in retail outlets, including Lowe's and Home Depot.

Industrial Timber, Shannon, MS

The furniture frame maker announced plans last year to expand operations at its Shannon and Ripley facilities in Mississippi. Industrial Timber is a preferred vendor of Jackson Furniture. The expansions will create 80 jobs.

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ADDING VALUE to products is a key ingredient for sales growth.

Stevens Industries, Teutopolis, IL --A full-line manufacturer of TFL and HPL casework and millwork, Stevens continues to focus on reducing scrap, lean manufacturing and improving quality. Its efforts have already paid off, with 2013 sales growing 8.8%.

"With all purchases or developments, we are keying in on the lean concepts of reducing non-value added steps and increasing the ability to be right the first time," says President Todd Wegman.

Among the changes on the assembly lines were the addition of throughfeed drilling centers and robotic turners, plus quick change edgebanding and added pinning capacity. The firm also invested in new presses and software, including Stevens QAdvantage software (single source entry for quoting, drawing and BOM generation) REVIT files for customers to specify products.

Also aiding sales was the partnering with reps and dealers "to continue sharing our product lines with new and growing markets," adds Amanda Emmerich, marketing coordinator.

TOP PRODUCERS

Legacy Door S Millwork, Creswell, OR

2013 sales grew 7.4%, and 2014 looks to be even better for the custom cabinetry and furniture maker and millwork distributor. "We moved into a bigger facility in 2012 and became leaner and more efficient," says President Scott Woodland. "We added a couple of specialized employees, and have worked at keeping our lead times short. We [also] have improved our buying so as to give our customers the best value for their dollar." The firm added an edgebanderas it continues growing its frameless business, and "we also began to buy plywood, melamine and hardware in larger quantities to lower costs," he adds.

Paladin Industries, Kentwood, MI

A manufacturer of components and products for the office furniture, medical furniture, store fixture and automotive industries among others, Paladin's strategies included "investments in production control systems and employee training as well as lean manufacturing," says Craig Bell, president. The firm's capabilities include CNC routing, membrane pressing, edgebanding, and packaging complete services.

Lustig Custom Cabinets, Effingham, IL

The custom cabinetry and furniture maker "increased productivity while maintaining our premium quality, individual design and customer service," says Kim Stanfield, coowner. Additional sales come from countertops, supplied in quartz, granite and laminate.

idX Corp., Earth City, MO

The store display maker continued its pursuit of acquisitions, expanding its capabilities in the UK with the purchase of Rockingham Display's 30,000-square-foot operation.

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THE FUTURE IS LOOKING BRIGHT for these WOOD 100 firms expanding and investing in technology.

Morantz Custom Cabinetry, Lauderdale Lakes, FL--2013 was a successful year for the small custom cabinet manufacturer, which recorded a sales jump of 52.9%.

President Harold Morantz attributes the growth to increased marketing as well as improvements in productivity. "We increased our presence on social media and marketed through Houzz.com," he says. "We also expanded from a 2,200-squarefoot shop to 3,600 square feet, and purchased a second saw to speed production."

The company added a Striebig vertical panel saw to augment its Casolin sliding table saw. The residential and commercial cabinetry is manufactured using solid wood, veneers, laminated panels and other synthetic materials, such as acrylic.

TOP PRODUCERS

PIN, Irving, TX

The retail fixtures and furnishings firm's ongoing investment in technology has enabled it to produce large-volume orders quickly and cost-effectively, according to Jeff Pray, president and CEO. In just the past few years, PIN has installed: Holzma high-speed panel saw systems, additional Homag edgebanders and Weeke machining centers; Ligmatech case clamps; a Wemhoner membrane pressing line; and an automated panel laminating line.

Huntwood Ind, Liberty Lake, WA

Energy-saving features (heating, cooling and lighting) are throughout the cabinetry firm's 567,000-square-foot plant. In addition to be a sustainable manufacturer, Huntwood is also high-tech, incorporating robotics, CNC machinery and material processing systems in the production process.

United Furniture, Nettleton, MS

Residential furniture operations were expanded by the Simmons Upholstery manufacturer, creating 100-plus new jobs.

Pacific Trading, San Clemente, CA

"Improving performance, while reducing costs," helped this dimension stock and panel producer to grow sales 20.0%, says Alberto Dona, managing director. Aiding production was the purchase of kiln driers and other processing equipment.

SourceCut Industries, Osseo, WI

Maximizing yield and reducing waste are high priorities at the high-volume architectural firm, says Brad Wiedenhoeft, owner. "We'll take a 450-foot order, but our sweet spot is something over thousands of feet," he says. The company specializes in acoustic panels and ceiling grids, profile wrapped mouldings, and other components.

Jackson Furniture, Cleveland, TN

Approximately $2 million was invested by the furniture maker to open two plants in Mississippi, resulting in 250 jobs. In addition to producing Catnapper reclining products, the company is the "official seat" of Duck Dynasty-branded furniture.

Smart Cabinetry, New Paris, IN

The cabinetmaker announced plans in 2013 to relocate its facility to a larger 200,000-square-foot building and add employees. Smart Cabinetry produces approximately 2,000 to 2,500 cabinets daily.

Bassett Furniture, Bassett, VA

In 2013 the residential furniture maker announced plans to invest $1.5 million to expand its production capabilities, improve service and position the firm for future growth. The project will increase Bassett's custom casual dining business while adding jobs.

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

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TECHNOLOGY CAN TRANSFORM small sized firms into production powerhouses, and enables large firms to batch-one process quickly and easily.

transFORM, New Rochelle, NY -- From its 30,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, transFORM designs, manufactures and installs custom storage cabinetry for closets, home offices and wall units. The company's products are sold throughout New York, New Jersey and the Connecticut metro market.

2013 sales grew 8.2%, and look to be even better this year. "transFORM marketed more sophisticated products which appealed to the higher-end of the market," says Donovan Malloy, marketing director. "By successfully executing in the design, manufacturing and installation of higher-end products, our average sale increased and our visibility expanded within the design community.

To enhance the productivity and profitability of its products, transFORM recently purchased dovetail drawer box manufacturing equipment to produce the components in-house. By not outsourcing this product, Malloy says, the company saves time and also reduces its costs. And with plans underway to increase its capabilities and manufacturing capacity, transFORM looks to purchase automated sanding and finishing equipment as well as a nested-based router.

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THE RIGHT ROUTE for success often involves ensuring that the proper technology is in place to meet the needs of the project.

Plus Closets, Elmhurst, IL -- in 2013, the closet systems manufacturer invested approximately $2.5 million in machinery for its 60,000-square-foot facility.

The investments are already paying off. Total sales climbed to $10.8 million in 2013, and are projected to reach $13.3 million this year, says Frank Happ, president.

Felder equipment is used throughout the shop, including: three CNC routers, an automatic beam saw, drilling machines, and three edgebanders. Cabinet Vision software is also used at the shop.

Happ purchased Plus Closets/Closet Works in 2013. The firm is a wholesale manufacturer for independent businesses and operates under the "Our Shop Is Your Shop" slogan.

TECH HEADS

Chandler Cabinets, Pilot Point, TX

Founded in 1975, the family-owned custom firm is known for its custom cabinetry and architectural products. "We have grown almost 400% since 2005," notes CEO Josh Chandler. 2013 sales alone grew 23.3% as the company expanded its capabilities, including with the purchase of a miter door machine, two paint booths, four table saws, two framing tables and three new buildings. 2014 sales are projected to exceed last year's as the firm looks to add a beam saw plus "finishing equipment to expand our pre-finishing department."

Dubworks LLC, Erie, CO

Focusing on its core competencies, the casework and architectural millwork maker's sales grew 30.2%. A number of capital improvements were made including replacement of a throughfeed point to point with a new Giben. "We also purchased the required equipment for the expansion to a second Colorado location," says President and CEO Jake West. That plant is now equipped with: a Biesse machining center, edgebander, and boring and doweling machine; Uhling case clamps; a Star V twin-head V-groover; and Tradesoft software.

Custom Source Woodworking Inc., Olympia, WA

In addition to exceeding customer expectations, the architectural woodworking firm also attributes its 25.0% growth to a "continued implementation and integration of technology," says President James Mammina. Among the purchases last year were a second CNC nested machine, another edgebander, a gang ripsaw, planer and a CNC sliding table saw.

Cabinet Components, Bessemer, AL

With a focus of improving quality and customer service, the cabinet components firm purchased Cameron optimizing saws and a Timesavers planer/sander last year. The investment has paid off, with 2013 sales growing 5.6%, says President Wayne Moore. Not done, the firm plans to add a Cameron ripsaw with an optimizing infeed and CNC software.

Taghkanic Woodworking, Pawling, NY

Specializing in cabinetry and CNC machining services, the firm's 2013 sales grew 19.1%. "We added a new edgebander which increased the quality and quantity of work produced. This also allowed us to offer edgebanding services to our CNC customers, including 3mm banding," says President Leland Thomasset. "We increased our labor force from 4 to 6 and we also outsource work overflow to other shops," Thomasset adds.

Village Handcrafted Cabinetry, Lansdale, PA

"Now that the overall construction and remodeling market has picked up, we are primed to see double-digit growth," says Joseph Trave, partner at the cabinetry and millwork firm. 2013 sales grew 13.8% and look to be even better in 2014, he says. Aiding production was the purchase of a 5-head Weinig moulder, Pistorius hauncher, TigerStop with Oliver upcut saw and Cabinet Vision software.

Rodgers Wade, Paris, TX

The fixtures and millwork maker revamped its 275,000-square-foot plant for high-speed production, including adding an SNX contour bander. It won the WMIA's 2014 Wooden Globe for Commitment to Excellence through Technology. "We have had constant growth due to the commitment from our ownership, sales and entire staff," says Darren Hamner, Director of Client Solutions. "In the past five years we have averaged 100% growth each year due to these commitments."

Walker Woodworking, Shelby, NO

The cabinetry firm added an Scm CNC router, increasing its capacity and sales, says Travis Walker. Other shop equipment includes a Kentwood moulder, Buttering sander, Brandt edgebander, Balestrini mortiser/tenoner and Cabinet Vision software.

TECH HEADS

Closet America, Lanham, MD

"Last year, we invested in three key areas of our business--employee training, equipment, and technology. Closet America is a growing company, and we felt that strategic investments in these areas would allow us to retain our focus on customer satisfaction as we expand our business," says Joshua Kiernan, marketing manager. The decision paid off with 2013 sales up 54.6%. In addition to software investments, the firm installed the first hot airedgebanderin the United States, a Biesse AirForce, which produces seamless edges.

Cutting Edge, Maple Creek, SK

The solid wood components maker has been hard at work meeting clients' needs, says Arden Bond, managing director. To aid in the production process, the firm "purchased an automated chop saw which 'de-skilled' the operation and has maximized material and labor utilization." A second saw was added this year, and the firm also plans to add a sander and another CNC for sizing.

North American Plywood, Parsippany, NJ

In addition to offering plywood, the firm also has full production facilities for value added plywood products. "We just installed the largest UV coating line in the United States," says Donald Kuser, general manager. Capable of finishing to 5-ft x 12-ft panels, "This line is fully automated and has the fastest production speed available." 2013 sales grew 5.3%.

Jack Daniel's Cooperage, Decatur, AL

At its new 150,000-square-foot facility, Weinig CNC stave jointers and planers have automated the barrel making process. "The new jointing equipment that we put in, by cutting the exact right angle for every individual stave, means that we have a much cleaner fitting barrel and a much tighter barrel," says Larry Combs, senior vice president/general manager. James L. Taylor and Brown-Foreman Engineering assisted in the upgrade. The firm won the 2014 WMIA Wooden Globe for Innovator of the Year.

Industrial Shipping Products, Latrobe, PA

Business is looking good, says Frank Rozik, owner of the IPPC certified shipping containers and wood parts maker. In 2013 it added a straightline ripsaw, with 2014 plans to add a beam saw, gang rip and CNC machine center.

PRODUCT INNOVATION

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THE PLATFORM for success includes quality, service and a dash of ingenuity.

J. Alexander Fine Woodworking, Nampa, ID -- Innovation, quality, service and productivity are some of the hallmarks of this custom furniture and cabinetry shop.

"A lot of what we do is customizing a piece--tweaking the functionality aspect or changing the size to fit the customer's needs," says Owner Jared Patchin. A perfect example is the Apple-inspired desk (pictured), which is a big seller for the firm.

Aiding productivity has been the 2013 addition of a Brandt edgebander, JLT clamp, Ritter drawer clamp, Champion air compressors and SurfPrep sanders, with a CNC machine on the shop's agenda for 2014.

"Our customer service is also a competitive advantage, and has led to a huge increase in repeat business," he adds.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ADDING A NEW DEFINITION to products helps set these companies apart from competitors.

Premier EuroCase, Denver, CO -- A maker of components and casework for the retail fixtures industry, the vertically integrated firm has invested in technology to increase not only its productivity, but also for the development of new products.

Among the new offerings last year was the introduction of textured thermofused laminate panels for use in cabinets, contract furniture and store fixtures. The textured designs come in eight woodgrains and three solid colors.

These offerings are available as fully laminated panels or processed by the company into finished components that have no glue line, says President Andy Wilzoch, thanks in part to the Homag laserTec edgebander which the firm purchased in 2012.

TOP PRODUCTS

Stephens S Sons, Loomis, CA

The custom cabinet and millwork shop's sales grew a whopping 128.9% in 2013 due in part to its product innovations, including the implementation of materials such as metal panels, reclaimed wood and "live" edges, in its cabinet products. "Our willingness to not say no to a designer/clients ideas has paid huge dividends for our company," says Chad Stephens, project manager. The company also improved its capabilities by purchasing an edgebander, spray booths and a resaw last year. On the agenda for 2014 are a CNC router and dovetail drawer manufacturing equipment.

Brown Wood Inc., Lincolnwood, IL

2013 sales at the wood components maker grew 9.8%, due in part to its willingness to partner with companies on diverse product solutions, with the capability to manufacture virtually any product, in any quantity, the firm states. Products are also sold under the Designs of Distinction and Gavel Co. brands.

Organized Living, Cincinnati, OH

"We focused on the ease of our solutions to fit the needs of our customers. Plus, we launched four new, on-trend product finishes to help differentiate our customers from others on the market," says Jennifer Dusina, communications manager. The company's manufactured product lines include: the freedomRail adjustable storage system; the Classics custom, built-in system with the look and feel of high-end furniture; and the budget-friendly Lifetime Ventilated Shelving. The storage and home organization firm also rebranded from Schulte to Organized Living.

KornerKing, Big Falls, MN

A reinvention of the Lazy Susan, the KornerKing turns a once wasted corner into an easily-accessed, usable storage area, and can be retrofit into existing cabinets. The sides of the rotating platform are low enough to easily reach into, but high enough to keep things from falling over the edge. "With a full cabinet shop at my disposal a prototype was developed and the KornerKing was born," Owner Pete Mai has said of the invention.

Laminate Creations by Hand, Anaheim, CA

The high-end commercial interior and millwork firm thrives on the unusual. "I'll take on jobs most companies won't," says President John Hand. Past jobs have included the re-creation of a 54-foot boat hull, a 3-Form illuminated bar as well as a security desk which featured l-inch blue laminated glass rings surrounding a white high-gloss-lacquered MDF exterior, with stainless steel accents.

Keystone Wood Specialities, Lancaster, PA

The components maker added RTA range hoods to its line of American-made products. Built on the Cabinotch cabinet box system, the hoods are available in six designs and ship fiat, with the front shelf and mantle parts pre-assembled to the face frame. They can be ordered full cabinet or as face-frame only, without the cabinet box. They come in standard depths of either 18 or 21 inches.

Sauder Woodworking, Archbold, OH

The RTA giant has positioned its WoodTrac division for success in 2014 with new strategic alliances and a range of new products. Among the products is a reach in wood-based closet kits. Sauder also expanded the lineup of WoodTrac's direct mount ceiling products and ceiling color options.

Shamrock Plank Flooring, Hernando, MS

The flooring firm added a new $1 million pre-finishing line, a 10-coat automated process that gives the manufacturer a unique niche in the market, said President Jack Shannon Jr., in announcing the news. Shamrock partnered with Valspar to develop the dual-tone color process that uses water-based and UV solid stains. "The addition of the pre-finishing plant allows us to offer designer colors and textures, and even the ability to create custom colors, that the designers, architects and contractors want and the market place needs," he says.

Legacy Classic Kids, High Point, NC

The bedroom furniture firm partnered with Wendy Bellissimo for the launch of mix-and-match youth furniture. The products are transitionally adaptive throughout the different phases of childhood and adolescence. "The Wendy Bellissimo Collection exemplifies Legacy Classic Kids' long-standing commitment to producing safe and durable furniture in styles that grow well with families and their homes," President Earl Wang said in announcing the news.

Herman Miller, Zeeland, MI

The contract furniture maker's Living Offices, which won Best of NeoCon Awards for overall showroom and booth design at NeoCon 2013 in Chicago, is built on how dramatically the internet, mobile technologies and powerful seamless information networks have transformed the way work gets done--not only by teams assembled in a shared office, but by collaborators working remote in virtually any corner of the world. In 2014 Herman Miller added new furniture platforms to complement the Living Office settings and landscapes.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

GOOD EMPLOYEES ARE THE FIRST LINE of engagement when it comes to offering effective customer service--before, during and after the purchase is made. Good or bad, the experience can change the perception customers have of your entire business.

Mill Cabinet Shop Inc., Bridgewater, VA -- Excellent customer service has helped secure Mill Cabinet Shop's success, and made it one of the oldest cabinetry manufacturers in the Shenandoah Valley.

In business since 1959, the company specializes in high-end custom cabinetry and furniture. Sales grew 29.4% in 2013, with projections for an even better 2014. Among the products put in place to aid the design and manufacturing process is Cabinet Vision software.

"If you can dream it, we can build it," says Randall stover, co-owner. "No two customers are alike. We can design, build and install cabinets, entertainment systems, bookcases, libraries, mantles and more based on your specific ideas and functionality requirements."

As an added service, the Mill Cabinet Shop says it works directly with electricians and plumbers to ensure the placement of the lighting and plumbing fixtures are correct for installation--and ensuring customers get the look they love.

SERVICE SPECIALISTS

Designcore Millwork and Fixtures, Brooklyn, NY

With many well-known banks, hotels and boutique properties among its clientele, customer service is of prime importance. "All of our products are manufactured on time and triple checked for perfect quality," says President Frank Ianno. Designcore also installs its products. "We never miss a due date," he adds. 2013 sales rose 16.3%.

CK Valenti Designs, Chandler, AZ

The ornamental wood products firm provides unique alternatives to catalog purchases. CK also prides itself on returning calls promptly and providing status updates. 2013 sales grew 8.6%, notes CEO Chris Valenti.

Antique & Modern Cabinets, Jacksonville, FL

Quality control and customer service are integral components to the millwork and cabinet firm's longevity and success, says Ben Patterson, vice president. "Meeting deadlines with a quality product is what sets us apart from our competitors," he adds.

Bendix Architectural Products, Passaic, NJ

President Jay Garrett says the moulding and millwork firm also offers custom carvings for customers needing specialized items for their building requirements.

Foggy Bottom Woodworks, Muscoda, WI

With computer in hand, the cabinet and millwork firm uses 3D software to design the kitchen right in the home, giving customers an instant visual of their new space.

Conestoga Wood Spec., East Earl, PA

"Regardless of how large our order file grew, we were committed to shipping orders complete and on time," says Jeff Eichenseer, director of marketing a product development for the cabinet components firm. "We never increased our lead-times and our ship rate was 99%-plus."

Quest Engineering, Richfield, WI

A full service provider of casework, closets and more, sales for the company grew 64.9%, says Chris Lefeber, president.

Masterwrap Inc., Lexington, NC

For the profile-wrapped mouldings maker, it makes sense to "Do business with your customer as you would have them do with you," says Rick Bullin, director of sales. Other tips include: offer at least one service they can't receive anywhere else, and to always give customers more than they expect. The strategies obviously work, as sales grew 6.9%.

Komponents Laminated Products, Oconomowoc, WI

On-time delivery, at an affordable price, has ensured steady sales, says President Dave Keck. The firm is an international manufacturer of miter folded fixtures, furniture and more.

Weber Co., Lodi, CA

Designer Mark Weber says hard work and service has paid off with steady sales for the cabinets and cutting boards maker.

Wood Works by the Lake, Oelwein, IA

"Our customers seek us out for our skills and quality," says Owner June Griffith. Sales at the furniture and cabinet firm rose 7.7%.
Factors Contributing
to the Companies'
Overall Success

Totals more than 100% due to multiple responses

Customer Service            78.1%
Quality Control             60.9%
Employee Skills             59.4%
Increased Productivity      54.7%
Marketing                   37.5%
New Product Development     37.5%
Reduced Delivery Times      31.3%
Green Products              10.9%
Other                        4.7%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

2014 Sales
Expectations
vs. 2013

Not Exceed     10.9%
Neutral         1.6%
Exceed         87.5%

2015 Sales
Expectations

Poor            1.6%
Excellent      40.6%
Good           45.3%
Neutral        12.5%

Profit Margins
Compared to 3 years ago

Somewhat Lower       9.4%
Much Lower           6.3%
Much Higher         20.3%
Somewhat Higher     46.9%
About the Same      17.1%

Note: Table made from pie chart.


LISTS
FAST-GROWING WOOD INDUSTRY MANUFACTURERS

Company                              Headquarters

Tischlerei--Fine Woodworking LLC     Salina, KS
Stephens & Sons                      Loomis, CA
Closets by Design Seattle            Fife, WA
  (Manufacturing Group)
Bellmont Cabinet Co.                 Sumner, WA
Quest Engineering Inc.               Richfield, Wl
Capitol Closet Design                Vienna, VA
Closet America                       Lanham, MD
Morantz Custom Cabinetry             Lauderdale Lakes, FL
RiverCity Cabinets Inc.              Austin, TX
Barbosa Cabinets Inc.                Tracy, CA
Millwork 360 LLC                     Tampa, FL
Red Star Cabinet Co. Inc.            Farmingdale, NY
Lakeside Cabinets and Woodworking    Nowthen, MN
Reborn Cabinets Inc.                 Anaheim, CA
Dubworks LLC                         Erie, CO
Mill Cabinet Shop Inc.               Bridgewater, VA
Quantum Windows 6 Doors              Everett, WA
Custom Source Woodworking Inc.       Olympia, WA
Chandler Cabinets Inc.               Pilot Point, TX
WW Wood Products Inc.                Dudley, MO
Organizers Direct                    Scottsdale, AZ
Pacific Trading Co.                  San Clemente, CA
Bella Systems                        Asbury Park, NJ
Taghkanic Woodworking                Pawling, NY
Premium Woods LLC                    Lincoln, NE
McKaskell Haindl Design Build Inc.   London, ON
Designcore Millwork and Fixtures     Brooklyn, NY
The Closet Guy Inc.                  Beverly Hills, CA
Village Handcrafted Cabinetry        Lansdale, PA
Woodtronics Inc.                     Yorktown Heights, NY
El Paso Wood Products                El Paso, TX
GW Hartisan                          Lachute, QC
Bright Wood Works Inc.               St. Petersburg, FL
Brown Wood Inc.                      Lincolnwood, IL
Stevens Industries Inc.              Teutopolis, IL
CK Valenti Designs                   Chandler, AZ
transFORM                            New Rochelle, NY
Wood Works by the Lake               Oelwein, IA
Legacy Door & Millwork               Creswell, OR
Wood Masters Enterprises LLC         Ft. Collins, CO
Masterwrap Inc.                      Lexington, NC
Wisconsin Built                      Deerfield, WI
Cabinet Components Inc.              Bessemer, AL
North American Plywood Corp.         Parsippany, Nf
Southern Minnesota Woodcraft Inc.    Fairbault, MN
Northern Contours                    St. Paul, MN
Custom Millwork & Display Inc.       South Bend, IN
Allied Cabinet Corp.                 Ladysmith, WI

Company                               2013 Sales    % Change

Tischlerei--Fine Woodworking LLC      $1,400,000     133.3%
Stephens & Sons                       $1,323,000     128.9%
Closets by Design Seattle             $1,299,000     118.8%
  (Manufacturing Group)
Bellmont Cabinet Co.                 $35,000,000      75.0%
Quest Engineering Inc.                $2,702,000      64.9%
Capitol Closet Design                 $3,124,000      57.2%
Closet America                        $7,187,000      54.6%
Morantz Custom Cabinetry                $286,000      52.9%
RiverCity Cabinets Inc.               $3,502,000      45.3%
Barbosa Cabinets Inc.                $39,853,000      44.9%
Millwork 360 LLC                      $5,586,000      42.4%
Red Star Cabinet Co. Inc.             $1,500,000      36.4%
Lakeside Cabinets and Woodworking     $2,000,000      33.3%
Reborn Cabinets Inc.                 $19,575,000      32.9%
Dubworks LLC                          $4,083,000      30.2%
Mill Cabinet Shop Inc.                $2,200,000      29.4%
Quantum Windows 6 Doors               $6,490,000      27.5%
Custom Source Woodworking Inc.       $10,000,000      25.0%
Chandler Cabinets Inc.               $14,800,000      23.3%
WW Wood Products Inc.                $79,450,000      20.1%
Organizers Direct                    $12,000,000      20.0%
Pacific Trading Co.                   $1,800,000      20.0%
Bella Systems                           $899,000      19.9%
Taghkanic Woodworking                   $662,000      19.1%
Premium Woods LLC                       $881,000      18.4%
McKaskell Haindl Design Build Inc.      $705,000      17.5%
Designcore Millwork and Fixtures     $23,600,000      16.3%
The Closet Guy Inc.                     $440,000      15.8%
Village Handcrafted Cabinetry         $3,300,000      13.8%
Woodtronics Inc.                      $1,115,000      13.2%
El Paso Wood Products                 $2,800,000      12.0%
GW Hartisan                             $287,000      10.4%
Bright Wood Works Inc.                  $935,000      10.0%
Brown Wood Inc.                       $8,543,000       9.8%
Stevens Industries Inc.              $74,000,000       8.8%
CK Valenti Designs                      $277,000       8.6%
transFORM                             $7,250,000       8.2%
Wood Works by the Lake                  $350,000       7.7%
Legacy Door & Millwork                  $525,000       7.4%
Wood Masters Enterprises LLC            $889,000       7.2%
Masterwrap Inc.                       $6,200,000       6.9%
Wisconsin Built                      $31,750,000       5.8%
Cabinet Components Inc.               $4,261,000       5.6%
North American Plywood Corp.         $31,600,000       5.3%
Southern Minnesota Woodcraft Inc.     $2,821,000       4.5%
Northern Contours                    $58,900,000       3.5%
Custom Millwork & Display Inc.        $1,131,000       3.2%
Allied Cabinet Corp.                    $270,000       3.1%

[Source: WOOD 100 company filings]

CONTRACT FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS--Publicly Traded

Company                Headquarters         Annual Sales *    % Change

HNI International      Muscatine, IA        $2.1 billion          +3%
Herman Miller          Zeeland, MI          $1,882 billion        +6%
Kimball International  Jasper, IN           $336.8 million        +6%
Knoll Inc.             East Greenville, PA  $867.7 million      -2.8%
Steelcase              Grand Rapids, MI     $3 billion           3.4%

RESIDENTIAL FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS--Publicly Traded

Company                Headquarters         Annual Sales *    % Change

Aaron's                Atlanta, GA          $2,235 billion        +1%
American Furniture/    Ecru, MS             $104.9 million       +14%
  Compass Invest.
Bassett Furniture      Bassett, VA          $321.3 million       +19%
  Inds.
Dorel Industries       Montreal, QC         $2.4 billion          -2%
Flexsteel Industries   Dubuque, IA          $439 million         +14%
Hooker Furniture       Martinsville, VA     $228.3 million        +5%
La-Z-Boy               Monroe, MI           $1.36 billion         +7%
Leggett & Platt        Carthage, MO         $3.75 billion        +10%
Nova Lifestyle         Commerce, CA         $78.4 million        +18%
Stanley Furniture      High Point, NC       $96.9 million         -2%

CABINET MANUFACTURERS--Publicly Traded

Company                Headquarters         Annual Sales *    % Change

American Woodmark      Winchester, VA       $726.5 million       +15%
  Corp.
MasterBrand/FBHS       Deerfield, IL        $15.8 billion        +12%
Masco. Corp            Taylor, MI           $8.2 billion          +9%
Norcraft Cos.          Eagan, MN            $339.7 million       +18%

ARCHITECTURAL/OTHER WOOD PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS--Publicly Traded

Company                Headquarters         Annual Sales *    % Change

Lumber Liquidators     Toano, VA            $ 1 billion          +23%
Kewaunee Scientific    Statesville, NC      $112 million          -5%
Masonite               Tampa, FL            $1,731.1 billion      +3%
Mohawk Industries      Calhoun GA           $7.3 billion         +27%

* Source: SEC filings or media reports, for
most recent fiscal year reported (2013 or 2014)
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Author:Koenig, Karen M.
Publication:Wood Products
Article Type:Cover story
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Sep 1, 2014
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