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Wayne and Mechelle Williams bought a struggling custom door manufacturing company in July 2005, renamed it Covenant Doors and Millwork and have taken it from bankruptcy to 700% growth in four years by wresting market share back from Chinese competitors.
Purchasing it out of bankruptcy, the Williams discovered that the domestic high-end custom door market was increasingly pressurized by foreign competitors. The domestic door industry had been bleeding market share and revenue to China for years. The Williams decided to invest in Covenant, increasing marketing materials and activities, and utilizing American innovation and technology to increase productivity and quality of its products. Along the way, they were able to provide nearly 50 new jobs for their community in Central City, Nebraska.
The first step in turning around the company was creating a marketing strategy and plan that enabled them to reach more potential customers with the message of craftsmanship and quality Covenant products. Covenant partnered with Chris Stone of the Rocky Mountain Trade Adjustment Assistance Center to develop a plan to use Trade Adjustment funds to offset costs.
Using Trade Assistance funds allowed the Williams to lead Covenant Doors through the transition of ownership change and a worldwide economic downturn to profitability. Having stabilized the company, Covenant Doors was in the position to pursue larger contracts, and they began to work with Sun Heat Manufacturing to produce 10,000 furniture-grade wood cabinets for infrared heaters a month – a product being manufactured in China, but not meeting quality standards.
In order to fulfill the Sun Heat contract requirements, Covenant Doors needed to modernize their manufacturing processes. In partnership with Sun Heat Manufacturing, Covenant invested $1.4 million in new capital equipment, mostly CNC automated production equipment and a state of the art UV-cured finishing line to ensure specifications and speed requirements are always met. Trade Assistance funds were then used to implement the automated production software system.
Sun Heat Manufacturing can now boast their USA-made cabinets, and Covenant Doors are hiring more Nebraskans to get the job done. To meet the increase in business, Covenant Doors hired 50 new employees in August of 2009. The Williams have put in untold hours to make Covenant Doors a success, but for them the journey has only started. Their aim is to continue to improve, to grow and to support their Nebraska community.