Window of opportunity

Automated Window Machinery Inc. manufactures and distributes machines for the window and door industry.

The company, founded in 1998, has grown from one employee to 24, and from $600,000 in sales to $3.8 million now.

“Our plans are to be a $10 million company in the next three years,” says Tom Whitehead, president. “We are gearing up to build more machinery in house. That way we don’t have to customize it. We can build it and sell it.”

The company imports about 75 percent of what it sells and custom-builds the other 25 percent from the ground up. But of the 75 percent that is imported, almost a third are customized to meet customer needs. Whitehead wants to build in house more machines that are already configured properly to meet the needs of most of his customers.

One thing that sets Automated apart from its competitors is its showroom.

“Part of what we have done is purchase a space in Akron that’s 30,000 square feet,” says Whitehead. “Of that 30,000, probably 7,000 square feet is showroom. We have probably close to $600,000 worth of new machines in there. Potential customers fly in and we show them the machines. It makes the sale that much easier.”

Automated sells to customers across the United States, Canada and South America. Its most remote customer is in Trinidad.

Rapid growth and future plans mean further challenges for the company.

“We need to grow not only from a dollars-and-cents standpoint but also grow the number of employees on the backend so we can handle it,” says Whitehead. “Controlled growth is sometimes a little more difficult to do.”

Keeping the company at the right staffing levels is important to maintaining the service commitment. For example, Automated’s technicians are factory trained by its competitors to work on their machines. Its technicians can go into a shop and work on their machines as well as everyone else’s.

“It’s something the competition doesn’t offer,” says Whitehead. How to reach: Automated Window Machinery, (330) 535-9200