PROFILE | By Karl Forth
Pain drives gain for closet manufacturer
Philadelphia area Closets By Design franchise not afraid to make changes.
Charles Waterman, who owns a Closets
By Design franchise near Philadelphia,
hasn’t been afraid to make changes in
his business to make it better.
Waterman was interviewed by John
Mauro of Stiles Machinery Inc. during
the 2017 Executive Briefing Conference
in April. Each order at the Exton Closet
By Design is custom made, and installation is done in one day.
The operation was started in 2004,
and now has 90 employees, including
eight in the shop, 24 installers and 30
full-time designers, and it uses 13 vehicles. The company has a 33,000-square-
foot location in Exton, west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The company made 2,760 installa-
tions last year. For manufacturing, it
started out with Altendorf sliding table
saws, a Homag edgebander and Unisaw
Waterman has seen the challenge to
expand the company, and has focused
on defects, cycle times and cost. A Six
Sigma Black Belt for quality control,
Waterman was a general manager and
director of training for Certa ProPaint-
ers before opening the franchise 12
He has upgraded with a Holzma
beam saw that can do 100 to 110 sheets
a day, along with a Weeke nested-base
CNC machining center, and a small
Brandt edgebander. A Weeke BHX 300
has also been added for boring. Reduc-
ing redundancy in all operations has
been a goal for the closet manufacturer.
Here are a few lessons from Charles
Waterman on improving his business:
• Pay more to fewer people for a boost
• Have a plan to use technology
• Recognize that pain drives gain
• Change existing culture for a breakthrough.
The parent franchise describes the
mission of Closets By Design:
“We’ve built our reputation as the
industry leader on a commitment to
complete customer service and total
customer satisfaction. From our no ob-
ligation in-home consultation to custom
tailored designs to the highest quality
product construction. Even with these
comprehensive services, our products
offer the best value in the industry. We
offer a wide selection of finishes, acces-
sories, and hardware.”
Learn more at closetsbydesign.com.
Designed by Kelly Clark, Closets By Design.