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Customizing Cabinet Finishes Using Consistent Controls and Consumables

9. July 2020 12:03

Using color process controls, even custom cabinet doors can move through finishing profitably at Out of the Woods. 

Provided by Sherwin-Williams

Out of the Woods, a Layton, UT cabinet manufacturer, was founded on a strong commitment to exceptional service and high-quality products. It specializes in traditional, ornate and decorative pieces that transform kitchens, bathrooms, offices, laundry rooms and entertainment rooms. 

Recognizing the opportunity to establish itself as a full solutions provider to its customers, Out of the Woods acquired a granite countertop business, which helped them further differentiate in the industry. The ability to purchase cabinet and countertop components in one place benefits the company’s customer base, which includes builders, contractors, homeowners, remodelers and restoration companies.

Its latest step in advancing its products and services was to adopt finishing chemistries and controls from an industry-leading coatings supplier that shares this core value.  

“When customers come to us, they’re looking for a better-quality product,” said Tim Bryant (right) , Cabinet Operations Manager at Out of the Woods. “We have a good reputation in our community, which sets us apart from our competition and drives people into our shop.”

Out of the Woods receives raw lumber, mills it to a customer’s needs and then builds everything onsite, from drawer boxes to base frames. They manufacture and produce all of their products in-house with the help of woodworking specialists, and high-performance coatings from Sherwin-Williams.

“We take pride in our ability to do everything we can ourselves because we can control the quality, look and style of our cabinets from every aspect,” said Matt Peterson, Director of Operations at Out of the Woods.

Sherwin-Williams supplies all the paint, conversion varnishes, primers and stains for Out of the Woods, which has made a difference when it comes to product quality, color options and process efficiencies.

“Right now, our finishes are the best they’ve been since I started working here,” said Bryant. “Our finish knowledge has increased dramatically since we started working with Sherwin-Williams." Out of the Woods understands that in customer purchase decisions, while the quality of a cabinet is important, color is also a key factor. As part of the its customer service offering, their design specialists provide insight on what wood finishes will complement flooring or interior paint colors in a client’s home. 

Out of the Woods will also help customers narrow down color schemes if they are unsure where to start. “Color is an important part of the process because some customers come in with a specific vision of what they want,” said Mark Moeller (right), Director of Sales and Marketing at Out of the Woods. “If someone is adamant about a color, and you can’t match it, then they’ll keep looking until they find a company who can.”

Understanding that color options for the wood manufacturing business is critical, Sherwin-Williams sales representative, Jackson McNeil, set up Out of the Woods with the Sherwin-Williams Color Express™ system. Color Express delivers repeatable and accurate colors on demand with automated onsite dispensing, offering easy access to thousands of colors from the Sherwin-Williams Color Snap® fandeck. 

Color Express and the use of SHER-WOOD® HB Conversion Varnish allowed Out of the Woods to greatly expand their custom color offering with ease, while also helping them increase speed of production and elevate the quality of their products. “From an operations standpoint, it’s been fantastic,” said Peterson. “And with its coating consistency, Color Express also removes the uncertainty of batch-to-batch color matching.”

The company showcases its standard paint and stain colors in their showroom, and also provides access to the full Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap designer library for custom color selection at an upcharge. 

“Delivering a nearly endless selection of color options makes a big difference in getting a client’s business or not,” said Moeller. “If customers don’t find what they want in our standard colors, then they have the option to choose from the Color Express selection.”

Out of the Woods knows consumers are doing their research online before coming into their showroom to make a selection, which is why the company will be launching a new color visualizer tool this year. Sherwin-Williams Color Express™ Color Visualizer is an online inspiration tool that will showcase Out of the Woods’ full product portfolio and Sherwin-Williams color options. Consumers can choose from different cabinet styles and colors to envision how the products will look in their home.

With the Visualizer program, Out of the Woods will be able to integrate new features and capabilities in its showroom and on its website. The tool will also streamline the sales process by giving customers a better idea of what Out of the Woods cabinets would look like in their home.

The service Sherwin-Williams supplies to Out of the Woods does not stop at high-quality coatings and a wide variety of color options. McNeil and Sherwin-Williams technical service representative, Michael Smith, also help provide other equipment and supplies, including spray guns, sandpaper, booth filters, flatline filters and flatline paper to assist in the cabinet manufacturer’s application process.

In fact, the relationship between Sherwin-Williams and Out of the Woods stemmed from a partnership with an associated products vendor who helped supply Out of the Woods with paint booth equipment. From there, McNeil spoke to Out of the Woods about its product finishes, which led to Sherwin-Williams becoming the company’s sole coatings supplier.

When Out of the Woods experienced issues with its in-line spray system, Smith helped supply the company with new spray guns. The new equipment helped the cabinet manufacturer save product and increase efficiency for its stain application process. Instead of requiring two to three people to operate the stain spray booth, Out of the Woods only needs one person at most times.

“Both Smith and McNeil have been a huge help in increasing efficiencies with our in-line system and in our spray booth with our stains,” said Bryant. “They’ve contributed a lot in getting our finishing situation in the shape it is today, and we are grateful for that.”

Both Sherwin-Williams and Out of the Woods prioritize delivering dedicated customer service. That shared understanding strengthens the working relationship between the two companies. From coatings and colors to spray equipment and technology, Sherwin-Williams delivers a full range of services to support its cabinetry customer. As a result, Out of the Woods can turn around and offer its own customers an enhanced experience with high-performance finishes, nearly limitless color options and innovative technology.

“The service Sherwin-Williams gives us is a level of service we definitely didn’t have with our previous suppliers,” said Bryant. “They’ve been there when we need them, have helped us work through difficult situations and solve problems. For us, that goes a long way.”  https://ootwc.com/ 

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The Workplace Redefined: HON's Guidance to Business Furniture Clients

4. July 2020 21:21

 

HON office panels are available in cleanable vinyl or laminates to help prevent the spread of germs in individual workstations.
Glass stack-ons can be added to increase height, while still letting in natural light.

When businesses saw signs of a flattening curve emerging in the COVID-19 pandemic, they began looking to plan for two possibilities: a continued period during which employees would be working from home; or a health-conscious return to the workplace. The HON Company, the largest unit of commercial furniture giant HNI, shares its insights into likely strategies for supporting both developments among its clients. 

How to Plan for a Health-Conscious Return to Work

Work-from-home arrangements were made almost overnight as the pandemic forced the implementation of stay-home orders. While the transition was sudden, American businesses and workers have risen to the occasion. From a trying situation has come a revelation in the way we work, and how it might look going forward.

When signs of a curve flattening in many states emerged, elected officials began rolling out plans to get employees back to work – or simply back to the office. 

Preparing for a New Normal

While we don't know for certain what work and office environments will look like in three weeks or three months, we do know they will look different. And the new dynamic could feature more permanent changes designed to support health and well-being of employees. Experts agree that making employees feel safe and comfortable about being in the office should be at the forefront of every decision-maker's mind as workers across the country get ready to return.

"The biggest thing that companies are focusing on is the mental and physical well-being of their workers," said Holli Renaud, Account Merchandising Manager for The HON Company. "Employees need to mentally feel good about coming into the office, and that translates into some of the physical things companies are doing to promote that comfortability."

"It's going to be about space, cleaning and separation between workstations and in common areas, too. That's how a lot of people are thinking about this situation as they prepare for this change." The changes required won't all be easy, though.

Finding a happy medium between appropriate spacing and a people-focused environment is the task facing companies now. Companies may be trying to juggle the open workplace and collaborative areas with options that can be conducive to social distancing.

"How do we incorporate those elements into the working environment? How do we make sure we continue to build a workplace that people want to work in, while also being able to maintain social distancing? These are key considerations for companies as they look to reopen," said Jim Foster, Vice President & General Manager Merchandising & National Accounts at The HON Company.

Flexible Solutions for Every Home Office

The way you work is changing every day, and you're most likely still figuring out your perfect set up. Whether you have a dedicated room or share the space with the rest of the home, it's important that you have the right products that fit you and your home office needs.

Twitter employees are working from home as long as they choose, even permanently if they want. Google employees are remote until 2021, at least. Other tech companies are moving to remote work in the COVID-19 era and it's brought into focus some long-held principles about work.

Whether you have a designated office or share the space with the rest of the home, it's important that you have the right products that fit you and your home office needs.

The Small Home Office

You might not have space for a formal home office, but HON's multifunctional desks and ergonomically friendly seating are designed to fit in small spaces—and if you're cramped for space, you can stow your desk away when the work day is done.

For workers who want a productive space that can also multi-task after hours, "having a nesting table like the Between is helpful," said Evan Sanford, Category Merchandising Manager for The HON Company. "Also, the Coordinate desktop riser is great because it sits on top of an existing work surface."

Coordinate desktop risers allow you to stand or sit, offering ergonomic flexibility and comfort throughout the day. When working with a small footprint (like an apartment), it's important to utilize furniture that fits when you need the space to work, but doesn't get in the way when you need the space for something else.

The Shared-Room Home Office

As you continue exploring new workstyles in your own home, you may have found a nook that is just right. Those who are outfitting shared rooms look for style and function, and typically, they want the furniture to coordinate with their home environment (we call it "resimercial"). For a shared room, the fully-upholstered Matter chair is an excellent choice, providing comfort and a look that can blend into any space.

"When you walk into the room, you won't necessarily say 'that's an office chair,'" Sanford said. Another option in the shared-room category is the Voi work surface. Its contemporary and modern design gives off a minimalistic vibe, and it has various laminate top and paint options that fit many different aesthetics.

The Dedicated Home Office

A designated office space can be key to maximizing productivity. HON offers products for a traditional or modern office solution designed to ergonomically support you and fit the aesthetic of your home. These products are similar to what you might see in an office space.

For those with the space for a designated home office space, traditional or modern office solutions are designed to ergonomically support the workstation, and the aesthetic of the home.

"Some of our best options are the Coordinate height-adjustable tables. When we talk to people about what products they want, height adjustability is at the top of the list," Sanford said.

With the market shifting toward more workers being remote and/or working from home, a comfortable and ergonomic solution will make your home office more inviting, and you may find yourself more productive as well.

For more information, check out https://www.hon.com/industry/healthy-workplace-solutions

SOURCE: The HON Company

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IWF Education: “Houston, we have a problem” – Important Lesson on Remote Support

4. June 2020 08:57

By: Travis Haynam, Vice President of Segments within the Extraction and Filtration Technology division: Nederman Corporation 

In April of 1970, the Apollo 13 mission suffered a critical system failure while performing a routine maintenance procedure. This was two days into their mission and 200,000 miles from Earth leaving the three astronauts in a perilous situation. Back on Earth, NASA engineers on Earth scrambled to support them using the crew’s local data and a replica lunar module located in Houston. Their remote collaboration allowed them to identify a solution and return the crew safely to the Earth.

50 years later in the midst of a global pandemic, many factories find themselves in a similar situation where there is potential for a critical system or piece of equipment to malfunction and there would not be an opportunity for qualified service technicians to come on-site and assist with trouble-shooting or perform repairs. Fortunately, today’s technology with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has made the ability for remote monitoring and support accessible.

Equipping our machinery and processes with sensors with support from application and product experts not only enables troubleshooting after an event happens, but rather can alert factories before it happens and avoid the critical failure altogether. While NASA used a physical replica, IIoT creates a digital replica that factories and manufacturers can use to collaborate and quickly arrive at solutions to keep production efficient and safe.

So how are you planning to use IIoT to prepare your factory for an increased need to work effectively remotely? Nederman Insight is an IIoT platform designed specifically for monitoring critical performance and operational parameters associated with industrial filtration systems critical for machine operation and plant safety.

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IWF Education: Advantages of Digital Printing

3. June 2020 10:29

By: Mark Joel, Hymmen North America

The number of applications in use at the real market shows that many companies have not yet realized the options of digital printing for their business.

These are not only based on the industrial production capacities which are enabled by the digital printing by Hymmen. The production of smaller batch sizes on industrial level can be realized and set-up times are minimized  and storage costs are reduced. There is no overproduction necessary, logistics costs are reduced, there is less material loss and the internal passage time is reduced. Finally, the digital processing of decors opens a wide field of new design options (register lengths, colors, depths of detail ...). Embedded in the existing process chains of the decor industry and a short time to market the digital printing makes a quick reaction on market trends and customer demands possible.

In the session, "Industrial Digital Printing – The Future of Decentralized Production of Decorative Surfaces" to be presented at IWF 2020 Education Conference, Mark Joel will explain why you should move from buying to producing decorative surfaces yourself. The Industrial Digital Printing is the future of the decentralized production of decorative surfaces.

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IWF Education: OSHA’s Top 10 Most Common Violations

2. June 2020 09:48
 

 Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: Matt Krig, Northland Woodworks Inc.

The following is a list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards following inspections of worksites by federal OSHA from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018. OSHA publishes this list to alert employers about these commonly cited standards so they can take steps to find and fix recognized hazards addressed in these and other standards before OSHA shows up. Far too many preventable injuries and illnesses occur in the workplace.

  • Fall protection, construction
  • Hazard communication standard, general industry
  • Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
  • Respiratory protection, general industry
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
  • Ladders, construction
  • Powered industrial trucks, general industry
  • Fall Protection–Training Requirements
  • Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
  • Eye and Face Protection

What can you do to be pro-active and prepare for your next OSHA inspection? Learn tips during the “Know your OSHA Inspection Rights”session at IWF 2020.

 

IWF Education: Quality Testing and Green Standards Mean Business for Your Business

1. June 2020 09:26
       

By: Chuck Arnold, Director of Certification, Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association

Quality Testing and Green Standards Mean Business for Your Business

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) doesn’t manufacture cabinets, but we do administer programs that test and validate the quality and safety of cabinets. We provide a community where cabinet manufacturers can join together to network, share best practices, learn from each other and work together to protect and grow the cabinet manufacturing industry.

KCMA provides access to certification programs designed to help distinguish cabinet manufacturers in today’s competitive marketplace, including our Quality Certification Program and our Environmental Stewardship Program. Recent research by Hanley-Wood shows that certifications performed by third party testers are among the top reasons consumers choose cabinets.

Quality Testing – Third party testing of cabinets can give consumers an assurance of quality manufacturing that will survive everyday life in a kitchen. This testing makes it easy for designers, builders, architects and other specifiers to know right off the bat the cabinets meet performance and durability requirements – requirements that consumers care about, but don’t know how to ask about.

Environmental Stewardship – Consumers want a safe home for their families. This program ensures that cabinet companies are doing their part to help the planet (companies participating in KCMA’s ESP recycled more than 16.4 million pounds of paper and cardboard in 2017) and is a tangible way to show customers that the cabinets they are about to purchase were produced in an environmentally sound manner, by an company that cares about the environment as much as they do.

Learn more in our session “Quality Testing and Green Standards Mean Business for Your Business” at IWF 2020.

 

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and You: What is available to me?

29. May 2020 16:18

By: Laurie Wolff, Certified Global Business Professional

If you missed funding in the initial rounds of the CARES Act stimulus, it is not too late to connect with your local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) for help.  Some states, for example New Jersey,  have released new grant programs for small business as they have received their own federal funds.  A variety of nonprofits are raising funds to assist business, sometimes limited to particular regions or to particular types of business owners, such as women and minorities.  These programs are usually small grants, but those that receive them often get other help such as business counseling. 

As the need continues, I’m confident new funding will get raised and distributed.  Even if nothing is available for your business at this moment, the staff of the local SBDC is likely to learn of anything new as it comes along.  In New Jersey, businesses that applied but did not receive funds because the money ran out are getting priority in the second round.   

SBDCs can also provide counsel on best practices for managing cash flow, identifying new customers and potential markets, pivoting your business and other assistance to weather the crisis even if direct grants are not available.  They are a gateway to connecting your business with a network of service providers and resources to help you grow.

To find help near you, visit https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/

Too see more from Laurie, be sure to check out her sessions Trade Finance: Getting the Funding You Need and Managing Risk for Exporters and Identifying New Export Markets and Customers at the IWF 2020 Education Conference.

Reach Laurie Wolff c/o IWFNetworkNews@iwfatlanta.com   

IWF Education: Let the Sun Shine In

28. May 2020 10:54

By: Ralph Bagnall, Woodworking Consultant, Author and TV Host: Consulting Woodworker.com

The biggest challenge we face when shooting video for business is lighting. Lighting is so important that professional photo studios often spend more on lighting than cameras. Fortunately for us “part time” videographers, the best source of lighting is free; Natural sunlight.

Shooting in sunlight can supply most of the light needed, does not require filters or editing to “adjust” the color, and can be as simple to use as opening some doors. Shooting outdoors in direct sunlight can be useful, but often creates hard shadows that are difficult to eliminate. But throwing open an overhead door can give your indoor shots a big lighting boost.

                   
                         Overhead Lighting Only                       Overhead Lighting with Door Open


The corner of my shop that is set up for shooting my videos is about 30 feet away from the overhead door, but there is a marked difference in the quality of the lighting between having the door open and having the door closed. Even though the sunlight is not shining directly on the shot, it is reflecting all through the room, not only lighting the scene directly, but also providing a lot of the fill lighting needed for eliminating shadows.

You will need to think about positioning these sorts of shots, strong sunlight in the background will simply overwhelm the camera and your subject will be dark. Keep the open door behind or to the side of the camera, and you should be off to a good start. You may still need to add some fill lighting, but the natural lighting will get you off to a very good start.

Learn more about this and other effective marketing content during the "Reel" Them In; Creating Highly Effective Marketing Video Without Breaking the Bank session at IWF 2020.

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IWF Education: Understanding the True Costs of Running a Business

27. May 2020 15:26
       

By: Chris Zizza, NWFA Chairman of the Board & President of C&R Flooring

Most wood flooring professionals are highly skilled individuals who perform a variety of hands-on tasks every day.  They might be completely comfortable designing and installing a complicated parquet wood floor, or restoring a wood floor that has been damaged by water, or disassembling and repairing a big machine, but they might not be as comfortable with other aspects of their businesses that are equally as important.

Administrative tasks are just one example.  They are not a lot of fun, but they are crucial in running a successful business.  This can include things like interviewing and hiring employees, scheduling appointments, and handling company finances.

Other tasks are not as obvious, but are critical to achieve real profits.  In our industry, this can include things like calculating labor costs, overhead, annual expenses, administrative costs, travel, and materials on every job, and including those costs in every bid.  Without doing so, it is nearly impossible to achieve real profits for your business.

Whether you’re a specifier, a sales professional, or an installer, mastering the behind-the-scenes skills will help ensure you position your business for growth and profits.  They are just as important as the hands-on skills we bring to the job every day.

Learn more about this topic during Chris's presentation at the Wood Flooring Symposium during the IWF 2020 Education Conference.

 

IWF Education: What are your business’s financial goals?

26. May 2020 17:53
 

 Presented by:

 

 

Sponsored by: 

 

By: Tim Northrup, CFO: Stiles Machinery

Why are you in business? What do you want to accomplish? If you already know what you want to achieve…..great. If not, here is where to start: You want to be profitable. Am I right?

Did know that 85% of small businesses fail within 10 years of operation?

Common mistakes by owners include:

  • Don’t understand growth’s impact on the business
  • Fail at anticipating cash needs
  • Improperly finance asset purchases (match funding with asset life)
  • Don’t understand how to read/interpret financials
  • Don’t understand, monitor, or control costs (actively)
  • Fail to price properly (don’t charge enough)
  • Don’t effectively communicate with bankers

So what can you do to avoid these mistakes? Learn how to gain control of your business’s finances during IWF 2020 by attending “Financing 101 - The Basics”.