Columbus, Ohio-based Crane Group is shaking up its company structure - creating a new business unit that will oversee its six building products companies - in an effort to initiate rapid growth and double company sales by 2010.
The announcement came on the heels of a move by Crane to split its operations bete two newly formed subsidiaries: Crane Group Cos. and Crane Investment Co.
It's a move officials said will allow the various Crane companies to respond swiftly to changing market conditions while supporting one another by sharing best practices and new technology.
``The end goal is rapid, profitable growth,'' said Stu Kemper, president of the newly formed Crane Building Products, in a June 7 telephone interview.
Kemper will step down as president of Wilmington, Ohio-based wood-plastic composite fence, deck and railing maker TimberTech Ltd. Vice President and general manager Tom Gramlich will replace him as the new TimberTech chief. Changes will take effect July 1.
Crane Building Products will oversee TimberTech; Columbus-based Crane Performance Siding; Mason, Ohio-based Crane Fencing Solutions; Atlanta door and frame components maker Evermark; Columbus custom profile extruder Crane Plastics; and Santiago, Chile-based vinyl siding extruder and building products distributor Crane Chile.
Kemper and other Crane officials said they are confident they can double the company's more than $400 million in annual sales by 2010 through organic growth.
``Not to say we aren't looking at possible growth opportunities through acquisition,'' he said.
To illustrate his point, Kemper said 91 percent of TimberTech's sales in 2006 were for products that did not exist three years prior.
Kemper mentioned cellular PVC deck board as a probable category for new growth. The material has grown in popularity following the success of Foley, Ala.-based Procell Decking Systems, a subsidiary of Moosic, Pa.-based cellular PVC trim extruder Azek Building Products Inc.
TimberTech already has introduced foaming technology into its new composite fencing line.
``We're working to improve known technologies, and develop and pioneer new technologies,'' Kemper said.