In 1982, Ted and Patsy Stevens started Colony Cabinets as a husband and wife operation in a small shop behind his family home. Headquartered in Longview, Texas, the company is now known as CCI Group and provides casework services all over the continental United States.
CCI Group began as a small, standard face-frame cabinet company providing casework solutions to the residential market in Longview. After achieving an amount of humble success, Stevens found himself in a dried-up market. Searching for avenues, Stevens researched European-style cabinetry. With a different construction method and a growing market, Stevens decided to take a risk and make an investment.
More than 30 years later, the company has grown to 62 employees and generates annual revenue in excess of $15 million.
Barry Sterling, current CEO of CCI Group, joined the company in March 2013. With a background in strategy, business development and process development and implementation, Sterling was the right prospect to grow into the position and learn from the Stevens’ so together, they could help guide the company through a period of growth.
“I was in Longview and CCI Group had a need for somebody to step in and help them grow,” explains Sterling. “I met with the owners established a really great relationship. Ted brought me on board in an executive position to work with him to steer the company into the future.”
Sterling recognizes that success is due to the teamwork exhibited by CCI Group’s employees. “One of the great things about this company is that it’s not about me or Ted, it’s about our team,” says Sterling. “Since I’ve arrived at this company I’ve learned more from Ted and the employees than they have learned from me.”
In staying true to the teamwork philosophy, CCI Group holds all associates on a level playing field. “We have a mantra around here and that is, ‘no one person has the authority to make a decision that affects us all,'” says Sterling. “Oftentimes we have to make tough decisions, and sometimes I have to make those decisions by myself, but before I do we work really hard to get as much input from our team because we have a lot of very intelligent and gifted people here.”
American Subcontractors Association Inc.
As a member of the American Subcontractors Association Inc. (ASA), Sterling says that CCI Group enjoys the many benefits of the association. “The education programs are great,” says Sterling. “ASA does a very good job of providing us with online information. They also bring in public speakers to educate our staff and talk with them about numerous topics.”
ASA also provides networking tools to all members. “The networking is very important. It’s good for us to know who the subcontractors are that are working on certain jobs. Through networking we are able to learn more about projects that we should become involved with.”
Active involvement in an association such as the ASA, typically involves working alongside a company’s competitors. Sterling views this as proactive engagement opportunity for all parties involved. “As a member of ASA we don’t see this as a cut-throat game,” says Sterling. “There are other casework companies in the association and we all know each other. I think we all view this as a way to make our industry stronger. At the end of the day we just want our customers to get a great product. If it’s from us then great, if not, as long as it’s from a reputable provider of the same service and quality then we’re happy.”
As one of the top casework providers in the country, CCI Group travels all over the U.S. 70 percent of the company’s business is in the medical sector. “The other 20 percent of our business is in the educational casework market,” says Sterling. “We also do retail fixtures, jails and churches.” The company is currently the exclusive casework provider for every Discount Tire Center in the country.
CCI Group is currently working as the casework provider for the Hospital Corporation of America’s (HCA) Kingwood Medical Center in Kingwood, Texas. This multimillion dollar project includes solid surface bullnose edging countertops with a proprietary CCI Group product that lowers the cost significantly compared to other surface prices. “There were a lot of intricate details involved in this project,” explains Sterling. “The architect created a puzzle-like design on the nurse stations and reception walls which made it very challenging for our engineering team.”
The company is able to adapt to specific and challenging designs due to investments in state-of-the-art equipment. “We have machines that use lasers to perform very precise cuts,” says Sterling. “We also use very modern design software which helps call out special materials that work to prevent future damage of the product which ultimately reduces future costs for the client.”
CCI Group recently completed a major renovation for the Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas. Using its own vehicles to transport equipment and supplies to Wichita was an early challenge the company faced, as well as weather conditions.
The project involved renovating three floors of the facility, all of which were occupied by patients. “We had to work together with the general contractor as they had to move people around to different floors,” says Sterling. “We need to be as efficient as possible so the patients could be moved back to their original rooms.”
The approach to the project by the general contractor was to use a lean construction methodology; a strategy that was somewhat new to CCI Group. “We had dabbled in it before but this was a full lean construction project,” explains Sterling. “I’m glad we were involved because we’re really experienced with these processes now.”
Growing all the time
CCI Group has goals in sight for the remainder of 2015. “This year we intend to benchmark all of our processes and finish our operations plan,” explains Sterling. “The result will be that we will be able to deploy that plan into the markets that we want to explore in 2016.” The company is looking to open two new facilities within the next three years.
The principles followed by CCI Group and Sterling will result in continued growth for the company. As it continues to provide casework services throughout the United States, the mission of the company will remain the same, which is to improve its clients’ space by providing high-quality and innovative solutions one customer at a time.
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