Woodworking Inventors: Creating New Products, and Business Approaches
Presented by: Woodworking Network, a division of Vance Publishing
Date & Time: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 8:30am - 4:30pm
Building revenue by inventing new wood products, or new takes on traditional offerings, often involves reinventing the business process.
Hear from the new breed of custom woodworkers is taking a fresh approach to the business, inventing original product lines, or new takes on traditional offerings, sometimes devising novel ways to produce them – or new ways to position wood products in the market. Developing new products is more than design. It also requires a business plan, a marketing strategy, as well as a scheme for reproducing the work if the product takes off. At this symposium, you’ll hear from woodworkers and designers who have succeeded, and were featured in the Custom Woodworking Business Woodworking Inventors’ article series. Various presenters will explain:
- Product development – steps from original idea to reproducible offering
- Production – how the product is design was adjusted for manufacture
- Marketing strategy – including sales, distribution, and marketing communications
- Impact on operations -
- Real world results – what happened, and how ahs it impacted their business
Schedule & Speakers:
Doors Open, Meet Your Peers
Welcome: Kickstarting New Products - Bill Esler
Opening Keynote: Designing Product Development -
Adam Rogers, Director of Design,
Thos. Moser Contract Furniture, Freeport, ME
| 10:00 am
My Woodworking Start-up Case Study: Adapt & Thrive
- Jared Patchin, J. Alexander Fine Furniture, Boise, ID
Launching a Business: Marketing Is Key:
- Jim McAgy, ST-Mate
- Custom Cabinetry & Design, Jessup, MD
- 1:10 pm
|1:15 pm|| A Different Woodworking Path:
Skipping Industry Norms
- Corbin Clay, Azure Furniture, Denver
Olde School: My Journey to Inventing
- Korner King, Peter Mai, President, Olde School Cabinet
Software: Why We Wrote Our Own Applications
-Jonah Coleman, Fletcher Wood Products
| 3:00 pm
- 4:15 pm
|Presenter Panel & Open Forum - Peer to Peer|
Adam Rogers, Thos. Moser Furniture. Rogers is director of design, and the person behind Thos. Moser’s award-winning contract furniture line, Element. This bench-made business and hospitality furniture line elegantly integrates support for electronic devices without compromising design lines. Rogers will focus on the overall product development process, and the thinking behind Thos. Moser’s new strategy of collaborating with outside designers as one path of product development coupled with the remaining path of development through internal design.
Peter Mai, president, Olde School Cabinet will tell about his invention of the KornerKing Lazy Susan, and the creation of a separate business within his custom cabinetry firm. “After building over 500 customs kitchens one thing became very apparent to me: homeowners hate Lazy Susans,” Mai says. He and his wife developed multiple varieties of the birch plywood KornerKing. Mai will explain his Internet promotions built around search was getting the word out using the latest marketing techniques, including search engine optimization for online promotion.
Corbin Clay, Azure Furniture, named his company after his product line, as he helped reposition blue-tinged beetle kill pine as a desirable aesthetic for furniture and cabinetry. “I’ll also talk about taking a completely different approach to professional woodworking, moving from what seem to be industry norms, and choosing to take a different path,” says Clay. Working with a daunting material, Clay will explain how he has maximized existing, lower-cost equipment into an intelligent production system, and recount his strategic use of social media to market products, positioning himself along the way as an industry personality.
Jared Patchin, J. Alexander Fine Furniture, created an Apple-inspired desk, which has proved an best seller. But before that, Patchin established his business, using the larger family-owned wood products production company as an incubator. “I’ll focus on two things: First, how being flexible and adapting to a changing marketplace lead me to start J. Alexander Fine Woodworking in the first place, and how those skills have kept us profitable and growing. Secondly, how we have used our web site to drive sales, mostly in our local market, but nationally and internationally as well. This popular bloggist and video commentator at WoodworkingNetwork is a must-hear.
Jonah Coleman, Fletcher Wood Products, will explain how his company reinvented project management and manufacturing workflow, building its own Enterprise Manager software, blending it with commercial software applications on view at IWF 2014. Coleman says, “We had enough data being collected but the only access to it was through a text-driven, DOS-based database program. In other areas we were in the same boat as everyone else (and many still are today): information locked up in spreadsheets, printed papers, and key personnel’s brains. To the surprise of many, we have shared our software freely. Currently there are over a dozen companies using it in various respects- some with revenues less than $250,000 per year and some greater than $6 million,” says Coleman. He’ll share his story.
Bill Esler, Editorial Director,Custom Woodworking Business, Wood Products, Closets magazine, woodworkingnetwork.com You’ll also hear about cooperative woodshop centers, where next generation woodworking “Makers” and “Crafters” collaborate in shared production facilities, lowering costs. Moderator Bill Esler will also present a mind-expanding recap of inventive wood products developed by cabinet shops and woodworkers across the country – creations that have allowed them to grow their businesses.
You’ll also hear about cooperative woodshop centers, where next generation woodworking “Makers” and “Crafters” collaborate in shared production facilities, lowering costs. Moderator Bill Esler will also present a mind-expanding recap of inventive wood products developed by cabinet shops and woodworkers across the country – creations that have allowed them to grow their businesses.
“Woodworking Inventors” is a session you won’t want to miss!