Kraus started the company in 1989,
using a small Sears saw that was put
on a tabletop. He started as a builder
and had a number of businesses, with
a degree in construction science, and
said he should have gotten an MBA.
“Just because you can make a
cabinet doesn’t mean you can run a
business,” he said. “My lack of business
knowledge was an impediment, but
I’ve taken classes, done everything I
could to learn.”
Kraus outgrew his first shop and
began to add to his team. Sixteen years
ago, Keystone moved into its current
Bryan location, and two years ago,
that building was doubled in size. The
recent expansion gives the company
space for flexibility and staging work.
Before they moved to the current
Bryan location, he paid consultant
Gero Sassenberg to develop a plan
emphasizing flow. Sassenberg provided
concepts that Kraus put into practice
when setting up the new location. “Best
$3,000 I ever spent,” he said.
Keystone Millwork offers hands-on
management of each project from start
to finish and the ability to execute
both large scale casework and fine custom designs. They meet with architects
to design the millwork they envision,
manufacture it in their facility and
install the millwork themselves.
One of the biggest reasons for
the company’s success is in training
people, managing and paying them
well. There’s no micromanaging, Henderson said. People are allowed to have
ownership in their work. The company
has 38 employees.
Emphasis on planning extends to Keystone’s own operations. The company may have 35 jobs
in progress at any one time. A Homag Vantech 512 CNC router is one of the main machines.
Keystone has a Mayer panel saw with Weima grinder and several smaller dust collectors
rather than one large system for the whole plant. Cut pieces have a barcode label applied.