National Business Credit Exchange is hosting a joint meeting with the National Window and Wallcovering Credit Group and the Mid Atlantic Decorative Trade Group, May 21 and 22, 2007. The day-and-a-half meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn at Harmon Meadows, Secaucus, NJ.
Credit and other financial managers will meet to address the special issues that are facing this industry. Companies from all over the country will be represented from the decorative fabric and window fashions industries, the company states.
The meeting will highlight frank discussions regarding the increase of cash flows and implementing sound business practices that will add to a company’s bottom line.
The featured speaker will be Lyle Wallis, executive vice president of The Credit Research Foundation. The group members are extending invitations to all credit/financial management people from the industry as their guests.
TECHNIKU LAUNCHES CERTIFIED Z-WAVE MODULE
Techniku, Broomfield, CO, has introduced the first certified Z-Wave Module for the window coverings industry. With the Z-Wave RF control option, Techniku automated window coverings can be integrated within a broader home control solution, ultimately leveraging consumers’ investment and home network, it states.
Z-Wave, winner of the 2006 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award, is a wireless, two-way (mesh) RF communication protocol based on an open standard for home controls. Consumer electronic manufacturers are developing products based on the Z-Wave platform, with more than 100 certified products available from multiple manufacturers (including access control, HVAC, security, audio/video and interior/exterior lighting). When a product is Z-Wave Certified, it communicates a standard that all approved products recognize and will work together throughout a Z-Wave home control network. Control can be through a wide range of Z-Wave user interfaces including remote controls, timers, wall switches, computers and even mobile phone management.
With this integration, at a fraction of the cost of traditional home automation systems, a home can come alive through a number of products operating together in harmony, the company states.
GLEN OAK BEGINS PHASE TWO OF KENTUCKY EXPANSION, FINISHES PLANT IN WISCONSIN
Glen Oak Lumber & Milling, Somerset, KY, has begun phase two in the company’s expansion plans for its poplar lumber, millwork and shutter components production. The current improvements are part of a three-phase strategic capital investment in Glen Oak’s 24-acre manufacturing campus in Somerset.
Glen Oak will spend $2 million on phase two. At its fourth-quarter meeting, the company’s board of directors approved the capital expenditure to outfit a world-class rough mill with the latest technology. The upgraded mill will feature a double-rip system designed to more than triple Glen Oak’s poplar production, the company states. The automated line will be capable of processing a truckload (18,000 board feet) of rough lumber per hour. These improvements will increase recovery yields, while reducing labor and fixed costs on conversion per board foot.
The first phase–a 15,625-square-foot addition to one of four Kentucky production facilities—cost $500,000 and is nearly completed. With this addition, the company’s poplar production space totals more than 200,000 square feet under roof.
Phase three involves an upgrade of Glen Oak’s three poplar finger-joint lines and is scheduled to begin third quarter 2007. This investment is being made to generate higher production volume of products including Prime Poplar® moldings, jambs and boards, and Arrow-Straight FJ ® shutter components, the company states.
In a separate announcement, Glen Oak states it is putting the finishing touches on a plant being built for its newest business venture: Wood Residuals Solutions, LLC, Montello, WI. The new company is one of several developed or acquired by Glen Oak Lumber & Milling in recent years.
Wood Residuals Solutions, LLC was formed to process the increasing supply of wood byproducts generated during the defecting and manufacture of hardwood products for home interiors. Large silos will be erected on site to store the raw material output from Glen Oak and other Wisconsin hardwood producers. According to its business plan, which projects annual sales of $5 million within three to four years, Wood Residuals Solutions will ultimately screen, process and package wood-shavings for animal bedding, densified fuel for energy, wood flour for the wood/plastic composite industry and colorized mulch for landscaping.
O'MARA INTRODUCES ECO-FIL GENUINE RECYCLED POLYESTER
Responding to growing consumer and industry demand for environmentally friendly textiles, O’Mara, Inc., Rutherford College, NC, has introduced Eco-Fil™, which it says is the world’s only filament polyester yarn made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic beverage containers.
Company President Tim O’Mara explained that the environmental benefits of its 100 percent post-consumer content are greater than those of recycled products, “It’s critical to realize the difference between post-consumer waste and other recycled materials. Eco-Fil is made exclusively from [polyethylene terephthalate] bottles that have actually been filled with beverages, depleted by the consumer, and reclaimed from the waste stream.” He pointed out that many textile companies include factory scraps, production line rejects and other materials salvaged or diverted from upstream “post-industrial waste”—which is normally reclaimed anyway. These textiles may contain only five to 10 percent actual post-consumer waste, he said.
By recapturing the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from emptied bottles, the Eco-Fil process ensures a closed-loop product lifecycle. It reduces the depletion of natural resources, eases the burden on landfills, requires less energy use and reduces America’s reliance on imported petrochemicals, the company adds.
In addition to its unique position in the recycled products category, Eco-Fil’s performance characteristics make it suitable for an exceptionally wide range of end-use applications, the company states. O’Mara company officials point out that the fiber still offers the physical properties textile and apparel manufacturers demand in a high-quality polyester yarn: a soft, luxurious hand; strength; shrinkage resistance; dye uptake; colorfastness; stretch; durability; and manufacturability.
O’Mara, Inc. is a private, ISO 9001-certified producer of filament yarns, with 37 years of industry experience.
Five months after launching its Centurion Club, Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has more than 325 dealers signed up for the program. In celebration of that fact, and to provide these dealers with the opportunity to interact with fellow Centurion Club members as well as Hunter Douglas President and CEO Marv Hopkins and other Hunter Douglas senior executives, the company organized two two-day events: one in New York City, NY, on January 26 and 27 for Gallery Centurion Dealers and one in Chicago, IL, on February 9 and 10 for Showcase Centurion Dealers.
“The meetings included inspiring presentations and information about new products and programs as well as active and spirited exchanges of ideas and opinions,” said Joe Jankoski, Hunter Douglas corporate vice president of merchandising. “With one-on-one time included with Hunter Douglas management, this provided a valuable forum for members of this elite club to share their viewpoints, needs and concerns with us.”
The groups celebrated this important milestone with gala evenings of dining and dancing. For Gallery Centurion Dealers in New York this was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Ave., and for Showcase Centurion Dealers in Chicago the venue was the Intercontinental Chicago.
Hunter Douglas launched the Centurion Club in September 2006 (see D&WC, November 2006, page 18). Offered to current Gallery® and Showcase PrioritySM storefront dealers, the Centurion Club provides participating dealers with significant financial incentives and exclusive business-building programs designed to maximize sales and profits from Hunter Douglas products in exchange for committing 100 percent of their window fashions businesses to Hunter Douglas.
SHUTTERSMART ADDS CUSTOM ARCHES TO POLYCLAD HARDWOOD SHUTTER LINE
ShutterSmart has launched a complete line of custom shutter arches that match its new Polyclad Hardwood Shutters. Arches are available in both Sunburst and Arch Top panel designs. They are completely operable and come with frame choices to match every Polyclad shutter frame, the company states. The arches also will be made available in ShutterSmart’s wood shutter line, it adds.
“The arch program puts the finishing touches on our new Polyclad Hardwood Shutter lineup by allowing our Polyclad shutters to do everything a custom wood shutter can,” said Viken Ohanesian, president.
ShutterSmart is a division of US Polymers Inc. and sells its Polyclad Hardwood Shutters through a network of authorized dealers and fabricators nationwide.
HUNTER DOUGLAS NAMED TO TOP 100 CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES
The November 2006 issue of Consumer Goods Technology magazine has named Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, one of the 100 top consumer goods companies in America for sales performance and in the top 10 companies in the Housewares / Appliances category. The annual listing was based on research by the magazine’s editorial team.
Hunter Douglas was the only window coverings company to make the top 10 list in the Housewares/Appliances category.
“We are honored to have achieved this status; we could not have done it without the outstanding support of our dedicated fabricators and our many dealer and designer customers and friends throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Marv Hopkins, president and CEO.
THIBAUT ACQUIRES ANNA FRENCH LTD. OF LONDON
Thibaut Inc., Newark, NJ, has acquired the assets of Anna French Ltd., London, England. The acquisition brings Thibaut a well-established brand with collections spanning a broad range from bold graphics and damasks to painterly children’s collections and florals, the company states.
Along with the design talents of Anna French herself, the acquisition brings the talents of Sasha French, who manages United Kingdom and European operations, and Jonathan French, who oversees North America and is the worldwide managing director of Anna French Ltd.
Through the acquisition Anna French Ltd. receives the financial support of Thibaut, Inc. and its private equity partner, The Riverside Co., which will invest in the introduction of several new Anna French collections. Anna French brings Thibaut increased presence in the UK and Europe, along with a London office and distribution center in the Chelsea section of London near the Chelsea Harbor Design Center, and a showroom on The Kings Road.
Anna French has a long tradition for uniquely designed fabrics and wallpapers that complement Thibaut’s long history in wallpapers and printed fabrics, the company adds.
No immediate changes in either company’s distribution network are planned, but some synergies will likely occur over time. Various Anna French products will now be stocked in the United States and Thibaut will assume responsibility for North American order entry, shipping and invoicing.
DECORATOR SHADES & BLINDS NEWEST FINECRAFT INDUSTRIES DISTRIBUTOR
Decorator Shades & Blinds, New Britain, PA, has become the newest distributor for Finecraft Industries and will be sampling and distributing Finecraft’s carved wood cornices, Finewoods shutters, Tableaux Tracery architectural scrolls and the new Tableaux Ornamental Shutters.
Tableaux Ornamental Shutters are a decorative solution that combines the look and feel of wrought iron along with the beauty and functionality of a custom shutter, the company states. A custom shutter can be specified with the lower portion of the window married with an ornamental design (31 designs in 16 colors) on the upper portion of the window. This allows the constant ability to maximize both privacy and light.
Decorator Shades & Blinds is a national master distributor of Natural Woven Wood bamboo, natural reed and bamboo shades, Sunrise wood blinds, Kingwood faux wood blinds, Sunrise honeycomb shades, Finecraft shutters, Finecraft Traceries Ornamental Scrolls, and Finecraft Wood cornices.