Follow Up: Refining the Core Business and Creating its Future

Founded in 1982, Appalachian Lumber, a third-generation wood products company operates a modern 64,000 sq/ft plant in Wilkesboro, NC. The company is a mid-size manufacturer of random-width hardwood plank flooring, hardwood paneling, custom millwork, radius moulding, kiln-dried cabinet lumber, stair parts, dimensional furniture parts and specialty moulding.

In early 2014, the company retained the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) to assist in the development of a strategic plan to position the company by finding ways to refine the core business and develop a growth path — moving forward toward a fourth-generation of continuous operations.

Now, two years later – early 2016, major elements of the plan are in place. Implementation has led to real impacts. Impacts include profitable growth over the period, new hires, reduced costs and increased productivity by moving elements of the IT system to the cloud. In addition, efficiencies/margin improvements reflect addition of new capital equipment and by modifications to the plant layout. Further, the company has benefited from new products developed and brought to market during the period. Finally, reorganization of customer service and sales efforts are improving the customer experience.

Reflecting on the engagement with SBTDC’s Strategy & Growth Services (SGS), William Church, CEO/Owner comments:

“Kevin and the SBTDC team came highly recommended to us from another local businessman. I am thankful to say they lived up to the recommendation. One giant step came out of one of our first meetings and soon began to pay big dividends for us in the area of production. I would certainly recommend the SBTDC Strategy & Growth services to my business acquaintances.”

And, Banks Church, Production Manager, adds:

“Our time with Kevin and the SBTDC staff was well worth it. Many changes have come as a result of our employees time spent with the SBTDC team. The days that our management team spent with the SBTDC were eye opening and key to the changes our company has made. It was great to see the entire management team around a table discussing problems and finding solutions that work for everyone.”

If you are looking for a first-person referral, give either of us a call at 888-910-9663. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and recommend Kevin McConnaghy, State Program Director, Strategy and Growth Services.

For more information about Appalachian Lumber, visit


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