“It’s not about the wood, it’s about the people,” Kraus said.
“Like most successful businesses, most of the people have
been here 10 years. People like it here.”
“Our customers are large general contractors,” Kraus said.
Work may be in educational, medical, university, museums,
and performing arts centers. A lot of work is related to Texas
A&M University in nearby College Station, which accounts
for about a quarter of the jobs. Keystone also did 600 convenience stores for a major chain and 60 retail stores for a
Aggie Build is a special project in which Keystone is donating and providing cabinets that are put in a shipping container with medical equipment and sent to developing countries.
It’s so much about relationships, Henderson said. At one
time Keystone did many small jobs, and then they wanted to
do fewer big jobs. That became very oriented toward relationships. They only bid with the larger companies they want to
work with. “They come directly to us because they like us,”
Keystone’s estimating department is really the face of the
company. “Our estimators work with the general contractor’s
estimators to put out a number so that when they get their
final number on bid day, they’re confident that it is a good
number,” Henderson said. “The fact that we have a very thor-
ough and complete estimate is very meaningful. It’s the face
of our company.”
Kraus also seeks out the challenging work.
“We’ll get a complicated set of drawings that is hard to
understand,” he said. “I’ll say, yes, that’s what I want. Most
people won’t touch that. I want to be the person who goes
Scheduling is one of their main issues, as millwork provid-
ers are one of the last to get into the building.
“That’s what we’re constantly trying to refine,” Henderson
said. “How do we get enough ahead without putting ourselves
in a bind? Expanding the shop helped us tremendously. Now
we can have projects wrapped and ready for delivery.”
Kraus said that Keystone is paid for stored material when
it’s is sitting in their operation.
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
A Weeke BHX 055 Optimat vertical machining center provides
flexibility in the overall operation if other machines are not available.
Keystone moved into its current Bryan location 16 years ago, and
two years ago that building was doubled in size.