D&WC: Please give a description of your company and why you started it.
Lance Reed, president:
G&L Technologies Inc. is a manufacturer of automated woodworking machinery. The company was founded in 1995 with a strong background in remote controlled robotic machining and welding automation, primarily for nuclear and petrochemical industries.
In the early stages, G&L was approached by a Georgia shutter manufacturer and was asked to design and build a machine to automate a single-drilling process. G&L proposed that we combine five manual tasks into a single machine. We named it the LPS 36T, and we have been growing ever since.
D&WC: What products do you currently manufacture and who are your clients?
Reed: Our machines are primarily made for shutter, door and cabinet fabricators. Our equipment includes systems that automate the functions of louver shutter processing, drilling and stapling, dowel drilling, gluing and insertion, material sawing as well as paint automation.
We are presently redesigning many of our systems to meet the newer technological advances, that are now available and in demand. We currently have machines located in 10 countries and have sold well over 500 machines worldwide.
Our customer base includes a wide range of clients around the globe, from small, three-man shops producing 30 panels a week up to large major corporations producing in excess of 1,500 panels per day. At G&L Technologies we like to say, “The sun never sets on G&L machinery.”
D&WC: Where do you see your company in one to five years?
Reed: Our current plans are to diversify our product lines into other industries. One of our ongoing strategic plans is to upgrade and redesign our current product lines so that they may serve multiple industries, such as door and cabinet fabricators.
The technologies we have developed are being well received and our eye is on those industries that are forward thinking in automation. We will continue to redesign our existing machines to better serve our current base of clients in the shutter industry.
D&WC: How has your company affected the window coverings industry?
Reed: Thirteen years ago, when G&L was first started, most shutter manufacturers were producing on average between one and five panels per person per day. Today it’s possible for the same manufacturers to utilize G&L Technologies’ equipment and produce on average 30 panels per person per day.
G&L Technologies has played a major role in these advancements. We have contributed greatly to the mass production of shutters around the world. We have made products available to a larger segment of consumers by producing panels faster and more efficiently. This is our forte, and I am proud of my company’s contributions to the window coverings industry.
D&WC: What are your company’s strengths?
Reed: Our strengths lie in our extensive knowledge of shutter manufacturing. Our strengths also lie in the technology we have developed and how we have integrated that technology into the current and future needs of the shutter industry, as well as the woodworking industry in general. Of the shutter equipment available on the market today, G&L Technologies systems are known to be the most advanced.
D&WC: What are you concentrating on now in terms of new developments, and why?
Reed: We have completed the process of developing optimization software and incorporating this software into our automated sawing machinery. We are also developing a global communication network named WebTech. The network operates via high-speed Internet access, enabling online program downloads, audio and video uplinks, connecting all of our latest products and customers to a central technical support station at G&L headquarters. Utilizing the audio and video uplinks, troubleshooting and customer support can greatly help bypass any language barriers. The LM, RM and MPS machines all currently incorporate this new technology.
The network will be available in 2008 for all our existing machines and current clients to have a virtual technician available to them. The ability to interface with us for questions and answers is a real plus to our customer base, especially to those who are geographically distanced from our facility. As more and more machines are placed in the field, G&L realizes that customer support is the key to building long-term relationships with our clients with customer service being our No. 1 goal.
D&WC: How do you see machinery supporting the shutter industry now and in the future?
Reed: With increased global competition, companies today cannot afford to manually assemble their shutters. Price and delivery times have become paramount in the success of any manufacturer.
Automation is the absolute key factor in obtaining the upper edge. Through automation it affords a fabricator the ability to increase throughput, reduce waste, increase yield, reduce unit labor cost and deliver consistently quality products. High numbers of laborers performing the functions of sanding, drilling, stapling and painting is no longer required. In fact, increased labor burden equates to lower profits that will impact your bottom line profit.
G&L Technologies provides systems that affect positive changes in the industry now and for years to come. We like to think that we partner with each and every client as a profit center to assist that client in maintaining a competitive edge. “Solutions through knowledge” is our trademark.