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Ludington, Michigan, Dec. 7, 2023 – Metalworks Inc. today announced its acquisition of Flairwood in a transaction that will expand manufacturing capabilities, industries served and the customer base of both family-owned companies.
For the past seven years, Flairwood, a Norton Shores manufacturer of laminate cabinets and carts for the healthcare, education and commercial furniture industries, has supplied product to Metalworks, a Ludington-based manufacturer specializing in metal products for the office furniture industry with two locations. Metalworks plans no operational changes and will maintain manufacturing at all three locations.
With the acquisition, Metalworks will be able to reach a more diverse customer base and expand its line of metal filing, storage and organizational products with the addition of Flairwood’s laminate case goods. With the expanded manufacturing capabilities, the companies will work together to develop new products in laminate, wood, metal and mixed materials for multiple markets.
Flairwood will also benefit from greater partnership with Great Openings, the direct-to-dealer sales division of Metalworks, to improve its sales and distribution. Terms of the deal, which was finalized on Nov. 30, were not disclosed.
“We are so pleased to welcome Flairwood to the Metalworks family,” said Scott Lakari, president of Metalworks. “Adding Flairwood was a natural fit for many reasons. Both companies are family-owned businesses with solid roots in our communities and strong corporate cultures focused on employees.
“We share values in providing the best in customer service and customized product solutions to meet new and expanding needs. Flairwood’s manufacturing capabilities complement ours in ways that will position our businesses for future success. We look forward to growing together. ”
Metalworks and Flairwood have partnered together on products for the past seven years, jointly developing and producing a successful laminate locker line and other personal storage products for the office furniture industry. Both companies have a commitment to lean manufacturing and continuous improvement, which enables them to produce high-quality products efficiently and on time.
“We are delighted to join the Metalworks family, which shares our commitment to growing business with integrity and reliability,” said Wayne Baxter, president of Flairwood. “We have continually invested in Flairwood to grow the company into a thriving business with an excellent reputation. This transaction enables us to take another step forward to ensure our continued success.
“We look forward to learning from our colleagues at Metalworks. They have an established strength in sales with a national distribution footprint and an effective product development process that Flairwood will benefit from.”
Lakari will continue to serve as president of Metalworks, the umbrella company over each individual business, which will retain their brand names. Baxter will continue to lead Flairwood as part of the Metalworks executive team.
Established in 1966, Metalworks has grown into two locations: Metalworks in Ludington and Fab-Lite in Manistee. Both plants work closely together, supplying one another with components and combining orders for shipment to customers. Between the two facilities, Metalworks has approximately 200 employees and maintains 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Flairwood, also a family-owned company, is a leading supplier of laminate cabinets and carts. Established in 1976, Flairwood has been delivering storage solutions designed and manufactured to meet the diverse needs of its clients for more than 45 years. The company maintains a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility in Norton Shores with approximately 40 employees.
“Working together, we look forward to building on our collective strengths to develop innovative products with both steel and laminate materials for our growing markets,” Lakari said. “We see tremendous growth potential to develop new products and add new customers.”
Based in Ludington, Metalworks Inc. is an award-winning, family-owned manufacturing company specializing in metal case goods for the office furniture industry, along with its sister company, Fab-Lite, Inc., based in Manistee. Metalworks products are sold under the Great Openings brand, a direct-to-dealer sales division. More information is available at metalworks1.com and GreatOpenings.com.
Established in 1976 and based in Norton Shores, Flairwood is a leading supplier of laminate cabinets and carts for the healthcare, education and commercial furniture industries. The company also has a strong presence in architectural millwork for the construction industry as well as laminate case goods for corporate offices. Since its purchase in 2015 by Wayne Baxter and Joel Pyper and their families, the company has grown into a thriving business focused on four pillars — People, Passion, Action and Perseverance. These pillars are the foundation to growing the business with integrity and reliability. Flairwood’s engineering and design team works with clients to provide component parts or complete customized product solutions at competitive prices. More information is available at flairwood.com.
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We are excited to launch our new 1518 Laminate Lockers – an efficient and affordable locker solution. Available in multiple door configurations including double and triple widths and a nice selection of laminate door finishes.
First order entry date is 9/01/22. Three week lead time.
Ordering made easy
Locker Garage is available in two or three pack configurations and can be ganged to create longer runs. Locker Garage is designed to perfectly accommodate Odie or Slim XLT mobile storage carts. Both offer stylish looks, great storage capacity and ready-to-travel features like telescoping handles, heavy-duty outrigger casters and cushion seat pads.
Did you miss NeoCon this year? Come take a short tour of the Great Openings space! As we return to work amid the emerging hybrid workspace, we explored new products and tools which make the transition easier. With that as the backdrop, take a peek at our ideas to facilitate this experience.
We received great feedback on our product concepts at NeoCon. We are working on commercializing the products with a goal of launching 1st quarter 2022. In the meantime, if you have an immediate opportunity please reach out to our marketing team to see how we can help. firstname.lastname@example.org
For a complete video walk through of our NeoCon space click here.
In August 2020, Great Openings expanded its’ product offering launching an extensive series of Locker Enhancements. One of the enhancements included adding the E-lock Mini-keypad & RFID to our standard electronic lock offering. Unfortunately, Digilock, our supplier, has been struggling with the global microchip shortage for the Versa-mini keypad & RFID. This electronic lock has been a very successful addition to the Great Openings lock offering. We understand these supply issues to be temporary. To ensure that Great Openings can fulfill your customer needs for Locker and meet their project schedules, we have put the ELock Mini-keypad and RFID on temporary hold until January 2022.
The Great Openings CompX Regulartor electronic lock also is a standard, has an extensive installed base, and has not experienced any supply chain delays. We recommend this lock as an excellent electronic lock product and compatible with all Great Openings products; Lockers, Pedestal Files, Lateral Files, and Personal Storage products.
We appreciate your patience as we work through this temporary delay.
As we transition back to a more populated office environment, we have added a few items and made some product changes we want to share with you. Pricing is updated in sell sheets and Price List. 2020 and other e-catalog updates will follow at a later date.
Trace Mobile File Center – we have added 5th wheels to this unit to replace the counterweight. This allows for easier movement in the work environment with a lighter cabinet. We are also providing an option to use the smaller caster size to match up aesthetically with other Trace storage products.
Height Adjustable Tables – More competitive price point for these products within the Great Openings offering. Perfect with our complementary Marty and Bill products.
Marty is member of our personal storage family. It provides wireless charging and hanging storage for Height Adjustable Tables and in Benching applications. As hoteling workstations grow in popularity we have added features to keep up with Marty’s popularity. Now there are a variety of ways to keep personal items secure. You can outfit Marty without a lock, for simple stowing. You can choose the keyed lock version or you can add a digital lock so that each user can control access to the unit while they are using the workstation. More options for more user control.