Industry: Millwork and commercial cabinetry, specializing in design/build
Family: Married to wife Alysia with three children, sons Maciah and William, and daughter Kyley
What is your mission?
My mission and passion are to disrupt the construction industry by offering a model of change that means working directly with clients and eliminating the long-standing, lowest bid concept. By standardizing a client’s commercial woodworking needs, we can work together to create more value, improve efficiencies, eliminate waste and reduce costs. Our new concept has been enthusiastically adopted by a select group of clients, and we are in the process of rolling out the model on a larger scale.
What led you to your industry?
There was no doubt that I was going to work in the family business. I love commercial woodworking and helping clients achieve their dreams. Over time I have moved up through the ranks as the company has grown.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
We are shifting to a leaner manufacturing process based on the Toyota model, recognized as the best in the world. Our goal is to improve output, efficiencies and profitability. Toward that end, we brought in Tim Bornemann, a well-known, nationally recognized Lean consultant as COO, and we added a former Toyota manager to our team.
Who is your industry role model?
No one in our industry really stands out, but I love the grit, determination and foresight of Elon Musk with Tesla. He is a visionary who looks at the world, determines what can be accomplished, and moves ahead without worrying about the restraints of industry norms.
How do you try to differentiate your business from others in your industry?
As we roll out our new model, we will be disrupting standard construction practices and establishing a high bar for others to follow.
What’s the hottest trend in your industry, and are you going to jump on board?
We are setting the trend with our new standardization model. As more customers adopt this practice and Cohen Architectural Woodworking reaches new levels of growth, we will build a successful foundation for others to emulate.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Commercial woodworking and the construction industry itself continue to operate on a very dated business model. The hardest part of my job is to convince clients and others that there is a better, more efficient way of doing business that still helps them achieve their goals and saves them money.
What’s the best part?
I love helping clients achieve their dreams and showing them there is a better way to approach their projects. I am passionate about adding value and saving our clients time and money. Nothing is more gratifying than to see a customer’s final product done the right way.
What best advice would you share with new entrepreneurs?
Building a successful business is not easy. You must understand your “why.” Your goal should not be simply to make money, but also to find new and better ways to change or revolutionize existing products and find solutions to problems that exist for consumers or businesses. Defining your why is the first step to success.
What’s your favorite place in St. Louis? I love eating at Monsoon Vietnamese Bistro in West County, always a great meal. I also like to hike and enjoy the picturesque trails throughout our suburban areas.
Submitted 1 years 91 days ago