Case study: Closets by Design
Charles Waterman of Closets by Design provided an
interesting and frank discussion of how his company
has grown since it was started in 2004. The Exton,
Pennsylvania, company, focuses on reducing defects,
cycle time, and cost, and has used technology to
boost its efficiency in its making of closets for customers in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Waterman said that wood product manufacturers
should have a plan to use technology, that pain drives
gain, and change eats culture for breakfast.
FDMC Magazine and woodworkingnetwork.com
are planning additional coverage of this company.
Skills gap and social media
Jennifer McNelly of 180Skills encouraged wood
product companies to be involved in the Woodwork
Career Alliance, to hire veterans for their experience,
to leverage current employees as ambassadors for
potential workers, and to take part in events such as
the annual manufacturing day.
What kind of social media strategy should a
company have? Aaron Miller of Herman Miller, consultant Denise Bahs and Nic Schiffer of NS Builders
offered real-world examples of what to do and what
not to do when trying to attract attention on social
media. This is a subject that some companies don’t
know a lot about, or have kept at arm’s length.
Schiffer offered examples of his deep involvement
in social media, including frequent posts about installations and work in progress.
Rick Siewert of Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Mfg.
Inc. in Minneapolis started a business a few years
ago to recover urban trees that were being cut down
and sent to the chipper. Siewert created Wood from
the Hood to recover these valuable trees and use the
wood in furniture. Jurgen Koppel of Leitz Group discussed smart tooling, how tooling data is used, and
the communication between the tool and machine.
Other speakers included Bill Henderson of Sie-
mens on synchronizing system communication, Jona-
than Adams of Innergy on managing big data, Mario
Bobsin of Fritz Egger GmbH & Co. on Eurolight
lightweight material, and Dick Diller of Stediwatt on
protecting against electrical threats.
To wind up the conference, Alan Beaulieu of ITR
Economics pointed out the many positives in the
economy. Always a popular speaker in this industry,
Beaulieu discussed the role of technology and immigration in the economy. Overall, he sees a strong
economy in the United States for the next dozen
years, with a mild recession in 2019.
More information on these presentations will
follow on woodworkingnetwork.com. The next EBC
will be held in San Jose, California, April 14-16, 2019.
Also see executivebriefingconference.com. ;
Top: JB Cutting in Mt. Clemens welcomed visitors to its
component operation. Bottom: Robots are big at Fanuc.