companies), where American Wood Design does
fabrication to their shop drawings. The company also
does service work and repairs.
There are 10 full time employees, with help
from part-timers if needed. The family business was
started by Mike Gilhool Sr., and JoAnn Gilhool, who
is the office administrator. Mike Sr. previously made
retail displays for a paint company, and the company
started in second-floor space above a doctor’s office.
Sons Jim Gilhool (project engineer), and Michael
Gilhool Jr., (project manager, daily operations) work
in the business.
“Our niche is short lead times on custom work, we
do not miss deadlines,” said Michael Gilhool Jr. “We
offer timely, quality service at competitive pricing.”
“We are extremely responsive to clients’ needs,”
Gilhool said. “We are in a market where the pricing
is very competitive and it is always needed yesterday.
That usually doesn’t change from job to job. How we
stand out is our second-to-none quality service and
doing whatever it takes to complete a project.”
Gilhool said the company thrives on last-minute
jobs, and is willing to work extra hours to complete a
project. He added that American Wood Design has
more technology and software capabilities than other
One of the ways American Wood Design has been
able to back up those promises is with improved
efficiency and software.
Gilhool was creating shop drawings and shop-floor people were producing all the company’s
products by hand when his father encouraged him to
take a look at more advanced options.
“We were making ends meet, but it wasn’t totally
working money-wise,” Gilhool said. “The impression
that we got was that, if we wanted to be in this game,
we needed to become more efficient.”
After researching the CAM market, Gilhool
concluded that it was time for an upgrade and the
company purchased the Cabinet Vision design-to-
manufacturing software by Vero Software in 2014.
Today, Gilhool requests 2D AutoCAD drawings
from customers, and those drawings are converted
American Wood Design makes commercial casework,
plastic laminate and solid surface countertops.
Its own shop space in Claymont, Delaware, has been
limited since the company downsized during the recession.